Posted July 12, 2013

Orioles slugger Chris Davis denies PED use

MLB
Orioles slugger Chris Davis says he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Orioles slugger Chris Davis says he has never taken performance-enhancing drugs. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is having an MVP-type season, leading the majors in homers with 34 and also leading MLB in slugging percentage.

His previous career high in home runs was 33, set last year in 139 games and Davis says he understands that people are going to speculate and ask questions about performance-enhancing drugs.

“I have never taken them. I have no reason to. I’ve always been a power hitter,” Davis said to the Baltimore Sun. “With me, I think the biggest thing was the consistency of the contact … When I was making contact, I was always hitting for power. I’m a guy that likes to work out a lot. I’m a guy that used to eat whatever I wanted to, but I started getting into my mid-20s, I’ve been seeing that change. So I’ve been taking better care of my body. I have a pretty strict diet. But I’ve never taken [performance-enhancing drugs]. I haven’t felt the need to.”

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Davis says he believes baseball’s true single-season home run record was Roger Maris’ 61, which was set in 1961.

“I think when McGwire and Sosa did what they did in 1998, it was awesome to watch. And then when all the stuff came out with the PEDs and all of that, it was really disheartening,” said Davis. “And if there are people that want to get upset with me saying that 61 is still, in my opinion, the single season record, I’m entitled to my own opinions and own beliefs.”


36 comments
JohnManocchio
JohnManocchio

whats with the Orioles and power hitters coming out of nowhere?? he musta channeled Brady Anderson.  HOW did Brady hit fifty when he never hit more than 25, AND never did again 

ThomasCox
ThomasCox

so lets just put it on the table.  If anyone hits a home run, they have to be tested right after the game, publicly, and the test results should be made public.  Complete transparency.  Oh, almost forgot.  you post an ERA under 3, tested after each start, and the hump day in between.  


My question is, why are the sluggers of today questioned about the legitimacy of their accomplishments, when the greats of the past get a free pass?  Who's to say mantle, marris, mays, arron, etc...didn't do anything illicit to enhance their performances as well? 

riley8
riley8

Davis says he has ALWAYS been a power hitter.  3 seasons ago he had 120 AB's and hit 1 effing home run.  Now that is some serious power.  The next year he had 199 AB's and hit a whopping 5 dingers.  WOW! Amazing power Chris. 

riley8
riley8

I say they are all doing drugs.  It would be innocent until proven guilty but MLB has obviously been closing their eyes  for at least a decade and a half.  

Larry G
Larry G

He's probably tested every other day

Cool
Cool

Ok, I get it, he isn't taking anything to enhance his performance, just things to enhance his body, which in turn seem to be enhancing his performance.  It is all in how you say it.

6marK6
6marK6

I watched this guy do nothing for the Rangers for years. Now I see him hitting opposite field homers with the flick of a bat. Sorry, but I have seen this kind of transformation in baseball before and every single time the player was dirty. And every single time, the player in question, said he was clean. 

Harlan
Harlan

I understand there is going to be suspicion when anyone has this kind of season.  But where is the outcry and/or suspicion over players like John Lackey, for example?  He's been in the big leagues even longer than Davis, and had a lifetime ERA of over 4.00 coming into this season.  He didn't even play last year, and here he sits with an ERA in the 2's....where is the suspicion over that?

SlamaLama
SlamaLama

I think most people consider 61 the true HR record.

Michael10
Michael10

...and Derek Jeter wants to believe the all-time hit record is Tris Speaker's 3514.

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

Baseball created this problem itself. They turned a blind eye to PED use in the 90s, and now anyone who is putting up monster numbers nowadays will have their legitimacy questioned. The thing is, everyone has denied PED use, and most of them have been liars. Who can you trust anymore? 

rjr1110
rjr1110

actually, upon further review, the ground ball comment is wrong.

rjr1110
rjr1110

Honestly, I'm not interested enough to look up his numbers (too fed up and jaded) but my opinion is that unless his K's  and ground balls have dropped this "consistency" can be explained by PED's.

Regardless, no player can be taken at their word anymore. A sad state of affairs.

WalterBishop
WalterBishop

Steroids primarily benefit hitters by adding to the player's size and strength, thus increasing hitting power and turning hits that would have once been fly outs into homers. Davis has always had power and strength, but has struggled with contact and consistency. I don't know if Davis is using PEDs, but his 'gains' have been in areas that aren't typically aided by PED use. Like I said, I don't know if he is using them, but his explanation certainly makes sense considering the facts.

drudown
drudown

Just this: as long as professional athletes' salaries are driven by performance, there will ALWAYS be PEDs. 

Res ipsa loquitur. 

ThomasCox
ThomasCox

what's he supposed to say.  oh, by the way...no, my stats arn't legit, i'm roiding it up between innings, but until MLB busts me for a positive test, they can kiss my roid flexed muscled buttox?  


idiots


ThomasCox
ThomasCox

so Kj, your saying he's guilty then?  or your saying that just because the guy is ripped...obviously he must be juicing?  


kj4027
kj4027

What he means to say is he has never tested positive for PED's. There is not 1 guy in my gym that will ever admit to "using". If you ask them they will say "years of training and lots of chicken". Just look at this guy's body... sure everyone looks like that.

Chip
Chip

Davis' improvement actually began at the end of the 2012 season. He made some adjustments to his practice routine (suggested by hitting coach Presley). He took to the drill well and ended up getting 7 HR and 13 RBI in his last seven games last season.

See last month's Grantland article by Jonah Keri about Davis and the changes he made. It seems to suggest that it was not steroids that helped, but a change in his practice routine.

6marK6
6marK6

How many of those guys like McGwire, Palmiero, Sosa and Braun said the same thing? 

rjr1110
rjr1110

@Harlan hr's are flashier and get more attention, especially since all eyes are on Cabrera, so Davis stands out that much more.

I do agree with you, though. Lackey should be looked at.

6marK6
6marK6

@WalterBishop "I don't know if Davis is using PEDs, but his 'gains' have been in areas that aren't typically aided by PED use."

Say what!? He is considerably bigger and stronger in his upper body than he was a few years ago. Don't let the baggy uniform fool you.

Michael10
Michael10

@WalterBishop McGwire had always had power and strength, too (still holds the rookie HR record of 49) -- that didn't stop his detractors from crediting all his success to PEDs. His explanation that they helped keep him healthy and on the field after a plague of injuries in the mid-90s made sense, too...

Chip
Chip

@kj4027 Does he look dramatically different this year than he did two or three or four years ago?

doop
doop

@Chip i agree you have to take everything into context. i agree that you can't trust anyone for their word in this game but if you take the statistics, more specifically sabermetrics, then it doesn't seem that implausible that this could happen naturally; also, are people always going to have doubt even with no positive tests or zero implications with these "anit-aging" companies. either way 

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

@6marK6 I just commented something similar. They all heavily denied it too, and you know the rest. 

ToddDavey
ToddDavey

@Chip @kj4027  No he doesn't! Anyone that saw him play even in HIGH SCHOOL will tell you that. The people making accusations on this board are jealous internet trolls talking out of their arse. Pathetic!

doop
doop

@Chip there is always doubt, but isn't it innocent until proven guilty?

ToddDavey
ToddDavey

@doublejtrain68 @6marK6  Davis is 27 and thus hitting his peak through making adjustments and working hard. He was a beast in high school....the ability has always been there. He's a family man and a man of faith. So I suppose Maris whose hr numbers spiked from 39 to 61 then down to 33 was taking PED's also? NO it's just called hitting your peak. BTW...Maris turned 27 in 1961. Stop assuming everyone is guilty. Can't you folks take enjoyment in the fact the is doing this the honest way. Most of you seem to get enjoyment these days from putting others down. SAD!

Chip
Chip

@doop Of course. Not sure why you're asking me - I don't think Davis took PEDs. I think he adjusted his practice routine and has gotten good results from that.