I have thought about this alot lately, particularly with the nagging recurring injuries to Chavez. When you boil right down to it, it could have been are beloved A's who helped create the whole "Steroid Era" in the first place....
First I will say that none of what I am about to write is proven fact, but rather a well informed opinion. But it is interesting to me to see just how much the steroid era affected our team and what major decisions it helped lay the path for.
Jose Canseco, has been forthright and honest. While he may be a "snitch" I believe he is most definitely telling the truth. He says he was one of the first players to start taking steroids and sharing the benefits with others. There is now doubt in my mind that the success he had early in his career and that of Mark McGuires led other players in the league to try their hand at these performance enhancers. Canseco took McGuire from a skinny rookie with a nice enough swing to belt 49 homers as a rookie to the one time single season HR record holder. As a side, many may not know that McGuire had another brother ( not Dan, the QB from SDSU ) but another brother who was an amature body builder. My uncle used to train with him and he told him that he supplied Mark with the good stuff.
SO as we continue to follow the timeline, as players came up through our organization the were slowly included in the bash brothers medicine. Players such as Miguel Tejada and Jason Giambi were both shown the juice and subsiquently played out of their assess for a few years. As we inch farther down that timeline, it has become clear to me that no doubt Eric Chavez was one of the last A's players who was raised on the juice.
Here is where it starts to get interesting...we continuosly praise Billy Beane for his ability to make the tough decisions by choosing not to resign some star players. However, had Beane known that players such as Giambi and Tejada were raised on juice he may have been purging instead of cost saving.
Now skip ahead to the "post steroid era" you know when the players got caught and the haevy scrutiny fell upon them. Some still tried to cheat, Rafiel Palmero anyone?, while other got off the juice and onto the DL. Giambi and Tejada have moved onto to some success but more injuries. Our last reminents now sits on the bench with no timetable for his return. The latest issue is back problems "aka steroid blowout" see Giambi, McGuire, Juan Gonzales, Canseco..... the list goes on. Have we seen Chavez's best? I'd say most definitely yes, unless he can find the new doctor that has been giving A-Rod his new undedectable substance.
Yes A-rod, the guy who was drafted at 175 lbs and then reported to Sprint training 3 moths later at a solid 215.
Anyway,as I digress, it has become appraent to me that our beloved A's were sure involved right smack dab in the middle of this mess. Our 2007 A's should be void of ex steroid users, now that Milton Bradley is gone and Chavez and Kotsay are currently out of the lineup. I really don't know how rampant it was but I have a good idea. Billy Beane had to know what's up as well.