Raw lamb testicles, the specialty supplement of champions. Well, maybe not yet, but we believe that their testosterone-boosting qualities will soon be the MLB's best-kept PED secret. Until then, we'll talk about steroids and the eye-popping seasons they produced. For an idea of how obvious they were, we're leaving Manny Ramirez off this list.
Baseball is less fun without steroids. Let's be fair here, chicks still dig the long ball as much as like they did in John Maddux and Tom Glavine's classic 1998 Nike commercial. Many of us were but young lads and lasses when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were bumping chests with one another on their chase for 70 home runs. One thing is certain, you watched those games because you wanted to see the home run records be broken - just like you wanted to watch every Barry Bonds at-bat.
To be clear, we are in no way condoning steroid or human growth hormone use in sports. No person should have to see their crown jewels shrink in size for the sake of his professional success, nor should any person or acquaintance of a user have to deal with roid-rage outbursts. Jose Canseco, the steroid poster child, now regrets his former appetite for performance enhancers linking them to his premature exit from the game and his current sterility (Fellas).
Nowadays, besides fewer home runs, there are fewer punches thrown in altercations between players as it seems natural levels of testosterone are the new norm. So, it can hard to pinpoint the users - if you're blind and and don't notice giant biceps and home runs. Right, fellas?
Here's where things get tricky. When people look at "obvious" steroid users, they consider how productive a player was prior to a breakout season and then look for a cliff-like drop-off in production. People against that theory might say, "Sosa and McGwire were chasing Roger Maris and his 61 home runs in 1961. Maris never hit 40 before he broke Babe Ruth's mark, and never again came close to hitting 40."
Those same people don't realize that Maris played in Kansas City prior to being a Yankee and didn't know how to deal with the New York media. Maris once said, "Anybody who expects me to do it again must have rocks in his head." So, it's clear that pointing fingers at players not yet associated with steroids and screaming "Cheater!" is not much better than conjecture, but we're doing it anyway and you will like it.
15 Jose Canseco (1998)
14 Eric Gagne (2002-2004)
13 Juan Gonzalez (1996)
12 Melky Cabrera (2012)
11 Brady Anderson (1996)
10 Jhonny Peralta (2013)
9 Jay Gibbons (2005)
8 Luis Gonzalez (2001)
7 Richard Hidalgo (2000)
6 Sammy Sosa (1998)
5 Ken Caminiti (1996)
4 Rafael Palmeiro (Any Season)
3 Alex Rodriguez (2007)
2 Mark McGwire (1998)
1 Barry Bonds (2001)
"You wanted me to jump off the bridge; I finally have jumped. You wanted to bring me down, you've finally brought me and my family down. You've finally done it. So now go kick a different person. I'm done. I'll do the best I can and that's about it. [I'm talking about] inner hurt. I'm physically, mentally done. I'm mentally drained. Tired of my kids crying." - March 23, 2005 on MLB. Bonds hit an untouchable 73 homers in 2001.
We were this close to putting Manny Ramirez on top, especially given his two positive tests amidst his post-Red Sox comeback. However, he immediately fell from the top-15 after we realized there were no statistics to prove his PED-use actually helped him.
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