FanGraphs: Marlon Byrd Shows PEDs Not A Miracle Cure

I don't know what the story of the day is in Major League Baseball, but it might be Marlon Byrd's 50-game suspension. The free-agent outfielder tested positive for Tamoxifen, which is a banned substance, and now if he signs with any team, he'll have to serve the suspension first. There's a chance that we've seen the last of Marlon Byrd as a big-leaguer.

Byrd's a free agent because he was having a nightmare of a season in 2012. This did not go unnoticed by Dave Cameron, at FanGraphs. I quote:

It’s worth noting that Byrd is in the midst of the worst year of his career and has been one of the least effective players in baseball this year. In 153 trips to the plate, he hit .210/.243/.245 with three extra base hits, good for -1.0 WAR in about a quarter of a season’s worth of playing time. Obviously, we can’t know when or what Byrd has taken in the past, and it’s possible that he was also using PEDs when he performed better in prior seasons, but hopefully people will notice that a guy can be using performance enhancing drugs and still be absolutely awful. They are not a miracle cure that can make up for a lack of talent.

Cameron's absolutely right -- while people have a certain impression of PED users, there's a ton of evidence that PEDs don't really help. Freddy Galvis was just suspended, and his offensive numbers are terrible. Even if they do help, they can't turn a bad player into a good one. With that said, it's possible that Byrd wasn't taking Tamoxifen for reasons related to performance enhancement, as he claims that this has to do with a personal health condition. If Byrd's telling the truth, then he doesn't work as an example as Cameron uses him. But oftentimes players aren't telling the truth.

To close, a Byrd quote from this past spring training, included at the bottom of Cameron's piece:

"I'm always going to watch what I take. I'm not going to say I have a bull's-eye on my back, but I think a lot of people are waiting for me to get my first positive test and miss 50 games. They'd like that just so they can say, ‘We told you so.' I know that won't happen. I know I'm clean. I know the supplements I take are clean. I'm going to make sure of that."

Welp.

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