Steroids: Do They Actually
I've spent a decent amount of time thinking about about
steroid use and hitting. However, I haven't bothered to put
those thoughts down because I assumed that — excepting Manny
being Manny — the new drug testing regimen had largely solved
the problem, at least at the major league level.
Now, Ryan Braun has seemingly gone and tested
positive for steroids, making the topic relevant again. As a
result, let me put forth my various thoughts concerning
whether steroids actually help baseball players or not.
I am not convinced that steroids
actually help hitters.
At most, steroids provide a psychological advantage.
Results in 12 Hours?
I have a number of
minor and major league clients and they have told me a
number of similar stories.
For instance, a hitter was struggling while for a caribbean
winter league team. After an 0 for 22 run and a particularly
futile night, and a warning that he was going to be released if
he didn't start hitting, the following morning he decided to try
a course of steroids.
That night, he went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double.
While that story sounds like conclusive evidence that
steroids work, here's the problem; it takes steroids days or
weeks, not hours, to have a measurable (physical) effect.
There's no way a course of
steroids taken in the morning can have a positive (physical)
benefit later on in the day.
Any benefit had to be
Evidence from the 1990's
The fact is that many of the most famous, and successful,
steroid users had very hitting mechanics and swings and were
already good hitters before they used steroids.
That also suggests that the advantage was primarily
psychological; they hit better because they
believed they could
hit better after taking steroids.
The picture above shows Barry Bonds at a position that
every hitter needs to pass through.
Notice how his hands are rotating with, and just ahead
of, his back shoulder and how his back elbow is
While Barry Bonds was also taking steroids at this time, I would
argue that his hitting mechanics were the reason why Barry Bonds was as
successful as he was.
There's also the case of Alex Rodriguez's 2015 season. If any
hitter is clean, it has to be him.
Based on my experience working with a large number of
minor and major league clients, your problem likely isn't
your strength, it's your hitting mechanics. Most of the
higher-level hitters I have worked with do not have a good
understanding of what a good swing (actually) looks like.
Instead, they have been taught one or more of the things I
Truth In Hitting.
Do me a favor.
If you are a hitter and are considering trying steroids or
some other performance-enhancing drug,
e-mail me. Let's see if the problem is your hitting
mechanics and your swing, rather than the size of your biceps.
I don't work for free, but I'm sure we can work
out some sort of arrangement in which you get access to my
information for free and pay me at some point in the future.
Your balls will thank you.