Archive for the ‘Chasing Nolan Ryan’ Category

Hollowed Hall

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
TCh pen pal, Jose Canseco, tweeted:
Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 24 Dec

2014 Mlb hall of fame elections how many of those players used PEDs .well you can bet your life on it at least one for sure.

2014 Hall of Fame ballot: Moises Alou, Jeff Bagwell, Armando Benitez, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Sean Casey, Roger Clemens, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Hideo Nomo, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Kenny Rogers, Curt Schilling, Richie Sexson, Lee Smith, J.T. Snow, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, Mike Timlin, Alan Trammell, & Larry Walker.

Jose Canseco

Friday, May 17th, 2013

On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 1:10 PM, Max Steingrout wrote:
Hi Jose,
My name is Max Steingrout, proprietor of the investigative web log, The We have e-mailed you in the past about our series of essays entitled “Chasing Nolan Ryan.
MLB has criticized, cursed, scorned & threatened & we ask you again, either “off” or “on” the record: Are we headed in the right direction? Can you give us any clues or ideas as to where to look or who to ask about what?
Our hope has never been to “out” Nolan Ryan, more so to shed light on an era and conclude the heinous, self-righteousness of this ridiculous, modern day witch hunt. Thank you.
Max Steingrout
—– Original Message —–

From: Jose Canseco


Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:48 AM

Subject: Re: Hi Jose,

Dear Max,

Thanks for your emails but I cannot get involved in anything of this sort for several reasons. I wish you the very best and admire your passion.


who’s next

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Hi Bill,
You have helped us in the past regarding our essays entitled: Chasing Nolan Ryan, where we posed the question:
“If a player in the Hall of Fame is revealed to have use steroids, should the player remain in the Hall of Fame.”
The concensus has been an overwhelming: “Yes, said player should remain in the Hall of Fame.”
You suggested, based on statistics alone:
“I don’t see any reason to believe that Ryan used steroids, and I think it’s an improper line of journalistic enquiry … and I think it is not right to target a person for investigation and innuendo without evidence.”
With your guidance, we abandoned our Chasing Nolan Ryan project and started to research the larger issue of steroids in baseball, only to come across an exerpt from your The Bill James Gold Mine 2008:

“And finally, item 12, which concludes the essay about Atypical Seasons: “Two of the greatest home run under-producers of all time were teammates: Kirby Puckett and Gary Gaetti in 1984. Puckett hit no home runs (-16), Gaetti hit only 5 (-19). Suggesting the possibility that the Twins’ two World Championships may have been aided by their team being among the first to discover…well, I’d better not go there. Nor will I point out that Gaetti was bald and had acne and Puckett died young.”

Bill, we’re not trying to bust balls, but you made us feel, sort of, like bottom feeders suggesting that Nolan Ryan deserves another look.

There are many reasons we feel this way including: in 1987, at the age of 40, he posted the highest strikeout per 9 innings pitched ratio of his career (against competition now known to have been using performance enhancing drugs). Also because of his association with known steroid person(s), and because of his passive stance(s) on present users & their Hall of Fame qualification/disqualifications.

Our intent has never been to “out” Nolan Ryan, instead it has been to shed light on an era of baseball and, perhaps, end this modern day witch hunt.

Thanks for your time.

With respect,
Max Steingrout

—– Original Message —–

From: Bill James
To: Max AKA The Chickenhawk

I’m sure your point is a good one, and I didn’t mean to make you feel bad for suggesting that Nolan Ryan used steroids.   Part of the problem is, I’m fairly confident that. .. .a player of relevance to this discussion. . ..DIDN’T use steroids.   What he did is, he scuffed the baseball–or actually, he had Alan Ashby scuff it for him.   Mike Scott through 1985 had a career high in strikeouts of 135.  In 1986 he struck out 306.    I’m just observing.
I’m not going to write about this and I’d prefer not to be quoted about it, but other people have written about it; if your research is good enough, you can find it.   I’m quite certain that you’re going in the wrong direction in suggesting that Nolan Ryan used steroids.    I don’t think he did.   Something happened there, but it wasn’t steroids.   I was trying to save you from making a mistake, without immersing myself deeply in the complicated and emotionally super-charged issue of players doing things not exactly within the rules in order to be more successful.
– Bill

the chase is on

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Regarding the revelation that David Ortiz & Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003:

“When you tell me something I didn’t already know, I’ll be surprised,” Jose Canseco told ESPN. “And I’ll tell you this, Major League Baseball is going to have a big, big problem on their hands when they find out they have a Hall of Famer who’s used.”

When asked to name who that Hall of Fame player is, Canseco refused to divulge who he believes it is.

baying of the hounds

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Dear Degenerate Meth heads, Gamblers, Fornicators & Beloved Nana:

For now, we are going to place our steroid investigation of Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr on hold. Complete with elevator music and waft of stale, perfume-scented, old man farts.

Nolan Ryan is a hero. By all accounts, a good natured, hard-working, God-fearing, unpretentious family man. A Hall of Famer in baseball and in life.

It doesn’t matter whether he took performance enhancing drugs or not.


Did Nolan Ryan use performance enhancing drugs?

We don’t know.

Baseball was a game and we pretended we were stars collecting statistics on our cards.

Torii Hunter

Friday, June 26th, 2009

“They can say what they want, but there’s no way they would launch an investigation if Barry Bonds was not about to break Babe Ruth’s record. If you are going to dig, dig real deep. Dig into guys like Nolan Ryan. What was he taking? You want to bring guys like that down? I don’t think so.”

– Outfielder Torii Hunter (USA Today, 3/30/2006)

Bill James

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Hi Bill,
Thank you for your e-mail.
It is our belief that the way to end the present steroid “witch hunt” would be if a player in the Hall of Fame admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. If a player made such an admission, the player would remain in the Hall and it would clear the way for other steroid era diamond heroes to enter the (hollowed?) Hall.
I believe any player in the Hall that made such an admission would become an even greater hero and would, in effect, save the game — or at least an era — of baseball.
We submit the question: Did Nolan Ryan use performance enhancing drugs?
As our investigation has evolved, we have been amazed at the anger & hatred the question elicits.
Our intent is not to master, nor “bring down” Nolan Ryan. Instead the hope has been to shed light.
Perhaps being overly dramatic, we feel like an isolated Bob Woodward overwhelmed by the Watergate coverup. Whispering “our lives may be in danger,” we ask you — either on or off the record — when you analyze Nolan Ryan’s statistics, do you believe there is reason for concern? Or are we off our rockers?
Max Steingrout AKA The Chickenhawk


Dear Max,

I don’t see any reason to believe that Ryan used steroids, and I think it’s an improper line of journalistic enquiry.   The first half of your e-mail, I agree with.    I think that at some point, some player IN the Hall of Fame will be revealed to have used steroids, and this will change the discussion for the better.   From that point on the resistance to allowing steroid users into the Hall of Fame will gradually erode.   But I think it is very unlikely that Ryan used steroids, to begin with, and I think it is not right to target a person for investigation and innuendo without evidence. There must be a way to meet your larger goal–saving the game from the “steroid self-righteousness”–other than approaching it this way.  Bill 



Tom House

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

During his 1999 Hall of Fame induction speech, Nolan Ryan credited pitching coach Tom House:

“While I was [with the Rangers] I was very fortunate to have a pitching coach by the name of Tom House. And Tom and I are of the same age and Tom is a coach that is always on the cutting edge. And I really enjoyed our association together and he would always come up with new training techniques that we would try and see how they would work in to my routine. And because of our friendship and Tom pushing me, I think I got in the best shape of my life during the years that I was with the Rangers.”

House has admitted to using steroids in the 1970s, making him one of the earliest players to admit to using performance-enhancing drugs. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he described his use of steroids as “a failed experiment”, although he increased from around 190 pounds to around 220 while using them. He viewed the experience as a failure since the extra muscle did not enhance his substandard 82-MPH fastball, while the drugs contributed to knee problems, eventually necessitating a total of seven operations. He claims to have stopped using them after learning about the potential long-term effects of steroid use in college classes during the off-season.

House has stated that “six or seven” pitchers on every major league staff in the 1970s were “fiddling” with steroids or HGH. He attributes players’ willingness to experiment with performance-enhancing substances to the permissiveness of the drug culture of the 1960s, and he believes that steroid use has declined in major league baseball since the 1970s, as players have become more aware of the potential long-term drawbacks.

Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 7:51 PM
Subject: Hi Mr. House,
Hi Mr. House,

Thank you for your honesty regarding drug use in baseball.

We believe the only way to turn the page on baseball’s ”steroid era,” is for someone in the Hall of Fame to admit they used steroids.

We believe such an admission would clear the way for many present era diamond heroes to enter the (hollowed?) Hall, as well.
Question: Did Nolan Ryan use performance enhancing drugs?


– Max Steingrout AKA The Chickenhawk

—– Original Message —–
From: Marie House
To: Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 6:25 PM
Subject: RE: Hi Mr. House,

Nolan absolutely did not take anything!!

Although interesting we received any sort of response at all, we find it more interesting that we received a response from Marie House, we assume, Tom’s wife.

When someone e-mails me a question about picking an NBA game or about a possible fix, I either e-mail them back or ignore the son of a bitch. Never in my life have I had The Wife e-mail them. Suspicious? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

This investigation will be continued …


Saturday, June 20th, 2009

The Question: Did Nolan Ryan use performance enhancing drugs?

Our investigation has, officially, gotten murky: mysterious, late night phone calls, heavy breathing, angry e-mails, threats & broken bongs.

The closer we get, the uglier it’s getting.

Nolan Ryan is bigger than the state of Texas. That’s saying something. We’re beginning to feel the heat. CIA, FBI, Gaming Control Boards, we’ve seen it all. Phone records seized, bank accounts froze, witnesses intimidated, jurors sequestered & wires tapped. None of it matters. Last time we checked, this is still America. I bet Nolan Ryan agrees.

Strikeouts per 9 IP
1972 AL–10.426–1st (age 25)
1973 AL–10.574–1st (age 26)_
1974 AL–9.929–1st (age 27)
1975 AL–8.454–2nd  (age 28)
1976 AL–10.351–1st (age 29)
1977 AL–10.264–1st (age 30)
1978 AL–9.972–1st (age 31)
1979 AL–9.014–1st (age 32)
1980 NL–7.703–3rd   (age 33)
1981 NL–8.456–2nd   (age 34)
1982 NL–8.808–2nd  (age 35)
1983 NL–8.389–2nd  (age 36)
1984 NL–9.653–2nd   (age 37)
1985 NL–8.108–4th   (age 38)
1986 NL–9.809–2nd   (age 39)
1987 NL–11.480–1st (age 40)
1988 NL–9.327–1st (age 41)
1989 AL–11.319–1st (age 42)
1990 AL–10.235–1st (age 43)
1991 AL–10.561–1st (age 44)

The surprise isn’t Ryan’s slight strikeout per inning pitched wane at the age of 33 in 1980. More so, the surprise is how he reestablished himself as the dominant power pitching, strikeout king in the late 80’s, entering his 40s, against competition now known to have been on steroids.

This has been a Max Steingrout, AKA The Chickenhawk, Special Report ™.

ryan redux

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

The stars at night are big & bright. Deep in the heart of Texas.

Any allegation of Nolan Ryan and steroids raises the hair on the back of a good ol’ boy’s red neck faster than you can say “commie-hippy-fag.”

Longtime associate, & self-proclaimed “biggest Nolan Ryan fan in the world,” Dick Wheeler, asked “what the hell are you trying to do, derail The Ryan Express? Mess with The Express and you’re gonna get the horns, boy. You better leave it alone or else you’re gonna get yourself shot.”

Nolan Ryan thinks Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens were Hall of Famers before their alleged steroid use, and if it were up to him, they would get in The Hall.

Regarding Barry Bonds, Ryan said:

“His accomplishment should be recognized no matter what the cloud is. No matter what the circumstances are, you still have to hit the ball.”

If Nolan Ryan used performance enhancing drugs, I’m certain he’d believe he still belongs in the Hall, too.