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Muscle Sport Magazine

Raul Ibanez Steroid Talk A Lot of Bull

I bet that you have never heard of a blog entitled Midwest Sports Fans or ‘JRod,’ the guy who started this whole Raul Ibanez/performance-enhancing-drug controversy.

What the blogger insinuated was that due to the 37-year-old outfielder’s fast start (which includes 19 home runs through the Phillies’ first 55 games) he may be using PEDs. Why was he interested in Ibanez in the first place, you may ask? He drafted him for his fantasy baseball team, of all things.

After doing a tedious amount of statistical work to refute any other reasons why Ibanez is hitting three times the amount of long balls than his average (projected over a full season), JRod wrote, “Since I was not able to draw any absolute parallels between his prodigiously improved HR rate and his new ballpark’s hitter friendliness, it would be foolish to dismiss the possibility that ‘other’ performance-enhancers could be part of the equation.”

What happened was a shitstorm of responses from every sports media outlet under the sun and Ibanez himself, who didn’t do himself any favors by telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that a “42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement” was “cowardly” in making the accusation.

In a later post, JRod apologized to Ibanez and admitted that the website is not part of the mainstream media. While that is certainly true, it gives more credence why bloggers are not credentialed members of the press.

Although JRod did do an exhausting amount of homework with Ibanez’s home runs at the different ballparks they were hit at and his joining the defending champions as possibly being a factor, a more responsible journalist with access to the athletes could have turned this argument around completely.

Instead of jumping to a conclusion that Ibanez ‘must’ be juicing, isn’t there a possibility that he has changed some of his lifestyle habits for the better in his later 30’s? Perhaps he modified his diet and workout routine, which made him add muscle and strength.

Professional athletes – especially baseball players – have a reputation for being late night partyers. I’m sure that there has been a case or two where a player reached a certain point in his life where he made a decision to forego the hotel bar, cheeseburger and late morning for a good night’s sleep and an early workout followed by a sensible meal.

Doing that on a steady basis would certainly ‘enhance’ one’s performance, wouldn’t it? Especially if the player introduced supplementation into his nutritional plan. Becoming a gym rat will do a hell of a lot more for you than a handful of HGH injections, such as Andy Pettitte admitted to.

Ibanez is a well-conditioned athlete that in all likelihood made strides with his workout and diet this past offseason. Did he use PEDs? That remans to be seen and of course there is a possibility that he did. But to place all the credit on mere speculation leaves a lot to be desired.

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