Some Cubs players insinuated the Brewers’ Eric Thames owes his great start to performance-enhancing drugs. Is that out of line?
The out-of-nowhere start by the Brewers’ Eric Thames has been the talk of baseball. Certainly, some members of the Cubs have been talking about the red-hot Milwaukee player, and while they’re not accusing the 30-year-old, in his first MLB season since 2012, of using performance-enhancing drugs, they are making a point of scratching their heads.
Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio:
“Well, the bottom line is [Thames] has hit the ball and we gotta figure out a way to get around [it]. All that other stuff, I’ll let other people worry about. But he’s doing stuff that I haven’t seen done for a long time. You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds … You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game. So, yeah, it’s probably a ‘head-scratcher’ because nobody knows who this guy is. And when he was here before, his body has changed. But, like I said, I’ll leave that to everyone else and we’re just gonna try to worry about how to pitch him better and get him out.”
Cubs starting pitcher John Lackey:
“You watch film on recent stuff and try to figure out a way, you know, to get him out. But I mean, really even the homer hit the other way, I mean, you don’t see that happen here very often. That’s kinda one of those things that makes you scratch your head.”
Maybe Lackey just threw him a bad pitch?:
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 18, 2017
SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee:
It’s not a tale as old as time, but it’s a tale as old as Mark McGwire’s career, roughly. Player comes out of nowhere to do something surprising, player is dirty. No trial, no evidence, just straight to conviction by suspicion, even though Thames was given a “random” urine test already. He is Brady Anderson, who was the first player in baseball history to have a shocking outlier of a season, other than the dozens and dozens of examples from previous decades. The thing is that we’ve been here before. We were just here. I was just writing this last year. This hot take shouldn’t be necessary. This is a response to an illogical opinion from 15 years ago that has never evolved. It remains an illogical and squicky opinion that would turn your stomach if it was used against players on your favorite team. So why do people still keep assuming that any surprising baseball player is on performance-enhancing drugs? Why are people so horrible?
In case you are wondering about Eric Thames' chiseled physique, here's what he looked like when he played for SEA. Has always been yoked. pic.twitter.com/9PAcQqZyf7
— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames' .566 ISO is more than 100 points higher than MLB's next highest – Freddie Freeman's .444.
— Vlad Sedler (@RotoGut) April 21, 2017
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames is taking advantage of mistake pitches… 4 of his HRs have been on pitches down the middle of the plate pic.twitter.com/5vMUnbjkcL
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 21, 2017
Chris Carter 2016: 160 games, 0.9 WAR
Eric Thames 2017: 15 games, 1.6 WAR
Suffice it to say, that move paid off.
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) April 21, 2017
Plate appearances to 8 HR
2001 Barry Bonds 63
1998 Mark McGwire 71
1961 Roger Maris 143
1927 Babe Ruth 112
2017 #Brewers Eric Thames 61
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) April 21, 2017
Home Runs This Season:
Eric Thames – 8
Red Sox – 7
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) April 21, 2017
What do MLB fans think:
Eric Thames. It's amazing how people react to a comeback story. Instead of applauding his resurgence, some whine and question it. #JustStop
— Dan Buffa (@buffa82) April 21, 2017
What I really want to see is LeBron James play basketball on the Eric Thames PEDs
— Pete (@draftcheat) April 21, 2017
— Bron missed a layup (@ZazaElite) April 21, 2017
— Chris Holmes (@fcknSemloh1) April 21, 2017
— Adam (@TheRealAdamGee) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames rest of year projection:
.269/.334/.463 .341 xOBA, 19 homeruns.
— xStats (@MLBxStats) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames is my new favorite player cus hes clearly a juice freak and doesn't give a hoot what anyone thinks
— Nicholas Zapantis (@NikoZapantis) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames really did outsmart the MLB. Go to Japan for 4 years and take steroids where they don’t test, then come back and mash in MLB
— Blue Jays Updates (@BlueJaysLive) April 21, 2017
Eric Thames fixed his swing in Korea and lives in the weight room. Why accuse him of cheating?
— Andrew McCall (@A_McCall11) April 21, 2017
— D. S. Saint-Claire (@DerekkPara509th) April 21, 2017
If the feel good @EricThames story ends with a headline including the acronym PED… I'm going to be angry.
— David Kobus (@lokokobus) April 21, 2017
— James Ferguson (@jvferg72) April 21, 2017
Lackey and the cubs accusing Eric thames of ped use is the most butthurt thing I've seen in a while. This is why no one likes baseball.
— Josh Ruffin (@JRuff38) April 21, 2017
What do you think? Are the Cubs out of line?