Today's New York Times brings an article about baseball players slimming down over the off-season. Among stories of Marlon Anderson losing 22 pounds in 25 days thanks to a cleansing program and Brian Bruney ("Mr. Avant Garde himself"?) losing 35 pounds in the past two off-seasons and looking like a different person, there are these three paragraphs (I'm cutting out the one about Anderson, which is the only thing in the *** space):
Among the biggest losers are Brett Myers and Ryan Howard of the championship Phillies, who lost 30 and 20 pounds. Yankees relief pitcher Brian Bruney, Mr. Avant-Garde himself, shed 25 pounds before last season by giving up beer and eating healthy food. He has slimmed down another 10 this year, and essentially does not look like the same person.
We have seen some sluggers and power pitchers lose bulk in recent years, in the wake of increased testing and penalties for steroid use. In his humiliating appearance in front of Congress in 2005, Mark McGwire was noticeably slimmer than when he was passing the season records of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris in 1998.
“You have to be a little skeptical, given the context of watching bodies change,” Dr. Gary Wadler, an internist and member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said Thursday. “The explanation then was that they were eating more and working out more. Now if you hear players say, ‘We changed our ways,’ all you can do is be suspicious.”
So you be the judge. With the "biggest losers" being Myers and Howard and then the World Anti-Doping Agency representative saying that "all you can do is be suspicious," is the New York Times, or at least George Vescey, the author of this piece, implying that Ryan Howard and Brett Myers lost weight this off-season because they stopped doping?