Let’s start off with a big round of applause for the blogger that came up with this incredulous idea for an article.
Tuesday, a blogger for Mid-West Sports Fans wrote on his blog speculating on whether Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez has used steroids this past off-season to get the numbers that he has posted so far this year.
Ibanez is second in the league in homers with 20, and has drove in 55 runs, and is batting .327 on the year.
So, with those type of stats when your career average is only 23 homers in the whole year, and a guy has already hit 20 in not even half the season, I can see where this guy is coming from.
There is a huge but here though guys. Ibanez has always driven in a lot of runners, and has always had a high batting average and on base percentage. That is his game. The reason no body knows what Ibanez is all about is because Ibanez spent most of his career in Seattle as Ichiro’s second hand man. How’s that for making a living.
Ibanez is also 37 years old. So how can he be still putting up these numbers, most people ask? Well, there is the fact that his hometurf is the hallowed Citizens Bank Park, home of the many homeruns. He also has faced some pretty bad pitching so far this year. Those two factors are two major attributes to why Ibanez is so hot.
One thing that I can guarantee you though is that Ibanez will continue to get key hits in the big spots, and he will continue to drive in the runs for the rest of the year. The homeruns I cannot guarantee you, but the rest I can with a lot of confidence.
So you guys have heard the numbers part of the story and the reason for speculation, but here is where it gets interesting.
Today, Ibanez came out to the media and made the following statement: “You can have my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool — anything you can test,” Ibanez said, according to the report. “I’ll give you back every dime I’ve ever made” if the test is positive, he added.
“I’ll put that up against the jobs of anyone who writes this stuff,” he said, according to the Inquirer. “Make them accountable. There should be more credibility than some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement. It demeans everything you’ve done with one stroke of the pen.”
That is a pretty challenging statement right there. Ibanez has every right to get on this blogger, but in this guy’s, Jerod Morris’s, blog, he never comes out and accuses Ibanez of using steroids, he just says that everybody will be thinking the same thing that Morris is, that Ibanez had to use something to post the numbers that he’s posting.
There is nothing wrong with either’s statements or blog posts, but there is a problem here, and it has nothing to do with Ibanez.
Morris was on ESPN’s Outside the Line’s today alongside with Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports, and John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer to try and clear some things up about the article. Unfortunately, Rosenthal never let that happen. After hearing Morris’ side of the story, Rosenthal proceeded to bludgen this man until you kind of felt sorry for Morris.
In retrospect, Morris did nothing wrong. He never came out and accused Ibanez of taking performance-enhancing drugs, and he never trashed anybody in his article either. The only thing that Morris did was use some rumors that he had been hearing from some of his friends as an interesting article for his blog.
Ibanez may have been taken the wrong way, but he also has a right to speak his opinion when someone has brought up the topic of him possibly using steroids.
Ibanez is a good player hands down, he drives in runs by the dozens, he hits for average, and I guess power now too. He also does all of the little things that makes him so beloved here in Philadelphia. Ibanez is the type of player that everyone likes because he always hustles, and he always gets himself to produce, no matter how bad of a slump he is in.
Despite there being nothing wrong with the post by Morris, I feel obligated to side with Ibanez, and I am fine with that. Ibanez is a good player who has done nothing but play the game the way it was meant to be played, without PED’s. He does not deserve this criticism that has been brought upon him, thus putting more pressure on not only himself to perform, but the whole Phillies squad as well.
This is one of those conflicts where it is tough for me to choose a particular side, but in the end, you have to go with Ibanez. Like I said, he has done nothing to deserve the speculation brought upon him, and will do nothing more than do anything that the Phils staff asks him to. It is a sad fact that the media today cannot type more carefully, and actually think about what drama they may cause. Great topic to discuss in the comments section, so I’ll let you to it.