Remember the Geoff Baker Rigidity Awards? If not, they were a short series of posts I wrote last spring in the wake of the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez steroid dustup. You know, the one in which a blogger said that it was possible, based on a statistical pattern, that Raul used PEDs and then every mainstream writer came out of the woodwork to attack said blogger for being irresponsible? Following all of that, our friend Geoff Baker wrote a column in which he claimed that the people who hurl this kind of baseless innuendo wouldn’t have passed the “very rigid course” he taught at Concordia University. Never mind that Baker himself and countless other members of the media had done the same or worse in the past without anyone raising an eyebrow. A blogger though? Lord, have mercy.
Anyway, I recap all of that because, for the first time in a long time, we have a candidate. It’s Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News, who in the process of breaking down Philly’s third base options, says this about Adiran Beltre, a man who has never been accused — based on any evidence anyway — of doing steroids:
Beltre, 31, hit 48 home runs with the Dodgers in 2004, but who didn’t hit 48 home runs in the pre-congressional steroid hearings world of 2004?
Since then, he has hit no more than 26.
I’m just saying . . .
You’ll recall that Rick Reilly won the first ever GBRA for his own evidence-free accusation of Beltre. Did Beltre take steroids? I don’t know! For what it’s worth, Beltre denies it and, for even more of what it’s worth, though it may have been a “pre-congressional steroid hearings” world, they were testing for steroids in 2004.
But the point is that neither Donnellon nor Reilly know either, and if they’re going to drag Jerod Morris or any other blogger through the mud for leveling such claims, they had better be prepared to withstand Geoff Baker’s rigidity as well.
(thanks to reader Jay S. for the link)