Steroid rumors are now circulating around Chicago sports radio and this blog that AJ Pierzynski might be using PEDs since he’s having a career year at age 35. First off, he’s in a contract year, but I guess with Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon being found guilty over the past few weeks it makes people speculate. Could he be? Sure, AJ could be on steroids, but he’s had a lot of solid years including back to back years of 74 and 77 RBIs in 2003 and 2004.
His 162 game average is 15 homers and 73 RBIs for his career, so I guess the big number is the fact that he’s hit 23 homers, the most of his career at age 35. I’ve reminded several people that Cartlon Fisk his 37 homers at age 37, the most of his career. In fact, he eclipsed his former high by 11 homers at age 37. Fisk dabbled in the long ball, but had more seasons of hitting in the teens in homers versus the twenties. He only drove in over 100 runs twice in his career, and the most at age 37 with 107.
The big news here is someone is looking for anything to drum up some negative press about the White Sox this season, because since Sideshow Ozzie left town things have been fairly quiet on the South side. The biggest news happened on Saturday when manager, Robin Ventura, lost his temper because of several terrible calls behind the plate and was tossed. AJ was tossed moments before, must have been ‘roid-rage.
I feel like the story would have more merit if AJ was hitting a ton of opposite field homers, but any intelligent baseball fan knows that pulling the ball is all bat speed not strength. Hank Aaron was even quoted as saying, “steroids can’t hit homers for you, its about bat speed.” It’s how fast the bat moves through the zone, and that’s all AJ is doing this season. To me the stats you need to look at are doubles verus home runs from this season to last season. Most doubles when you watch the ball travel are often home run balls hit at a lower trajectory, and you can often here Hawk utter the word, “stretch,” on many a double.
Interestingly enough, AJ only has 14 doubles this season compared to 29 last season. That’s a difference of 15, his exact difference in home runs he’s hit compared to last season, 23 to 8. He’s hit more than 30 doubles four times in his career and 24 or more five times in his 15 year career, with 12 of those years as a starter.
His lowest doubles total as a starter would be this season, the same season he hit the most homers of his career. The other thing to note, we would have heard already if AJ was juicing because those test results were all just released. Not sure how the season will end up for AJ, but I would ask all the haters and pundits to please focus on the facts; the Sox are just good team this season, so let them be.