According to the source that’s out there, it looks like the reported PED dealer recommendation, that Jose Canseco made to Alex Rodriguez, happened after the 1999 season.
Mario Alejandro said that Alex and Jose trained together in 1998. And, Canseco says he met the dealer when he was with the Blue Jays – when Jose played there in 1999. So, the end of the 1999 season seems to make sense, in terms of timing.
Here’s an interesting split for you, on A-Rod:
1994 through 1999: RCAA/PA = .051
2000 through 2007: RCAA/PA = .087
That may not seem like much, but, based a season of 600 PA, that’s a difference of +22 RCAA…or the difference between a season of 30 RCAA and 52 RCAA. So, in reality, it’s a fair difference.
Another split for Alex:
1994 through 1999: BB vs. Lge Avg./PA = -.016
2000 through 2007: BB vs. Lge Avg./PA = +.049
That’s a huge difference. Based on 600 PA, that’s the difference between being 10 walks less than league average and 29 walks better than league average.
O.K, last split for Rodriguez:
1994 through 1999: OPS vs. Lge Avg. = +.134
2000 through 2007: OPS vs. Lge Avg. = +.227
So, A-Rod “Before 2000″ and A-Rod “After 1999″ were not the same, in terms of their batting performance. A-Rod “After 1999″ was more selective, more productive, and, I suppose, more feared.
Then again, Alex was very young “Before 2000″ – as he didn’t turn age 24 until July of 1999. So, the improvement in his offensive game could have just been natural maturity. But, without question, if someone wants to say that A-Rod was a great batter before this alleged meeting took place and he was a great batter after it, they’re ignoring the facts.
Oh, and, by the way, the 2000 season was Alex’s “walk year” in his contract – before he signed the mega-deal with Texas. In terms of timing, he couldn’t have picked a better season to bring his game to a new level.
There is one issue here for me in all of this: 1996. That season, as a 20-year old, A-Rod was off the charts in terms of his offensive production. Of course, he had Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner batting behind him that season – and all three of those guys had great seasons. Griffey had 61 RCAA, Martinez had 71 RCAA and Buhner had 32 RCAA. That had to help Alex in 1996.
In any event, there’s a lot to digest here in terms of the facts we know and the assumptions that can be made off them. And, I suspect that folks will be eating off these quite a bit in the next week or so.
It’s too bad. Baseball, the Yankees, and A-Rod don’t need to be dealing with this so close to Opening Day. But, if Canseco is telling the truth, then maybe the parties involved had this all coming anyway?
It will be interesting to see what Alex has to say in his statement that he’s now promised. Stay tuned.