Paging Jim Jupiter! Hall Of Famer Johnny Bench tells The Hickory Record’s Paul Fogelman he prefers the term, “The Blender Era” to “The Steroid Era” when discussing the prodigious home run totals of contemporary players. And that’s to say nothing of the insidious influence of The Perfect Pushup.

Q. Speaking of the Hall of Fame, baseball has just come through the era of performance enhancing drugs. Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using steroids, and it’s widely assumed Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens were users as well. Do you consider those guys Hall of Fame worthy?

A. We know a lot of the guys who took some of the juice. You see, I blame it on the trainers. I think that when (players) started getting the money, and they wanted to stay in shape, they wanted to work out. They got their own personal trainers.

Guys started working out and they stayed working out all winter. We never worked out. They said, ‘OK, we’re going to build some muscle and we’re going to do some protein and we’re going to do some stuff.’

You know, they go to GNC which now we know has lots of HGH and everything else and they got stronger and bigger. … I think the naivety of the players themselves created a lot of that.

Then it was the money, because if I hit 10 home runs this year and 40 home runs the next year, all of a sudden I get a contract for three years for 45 million or 40 million dollars.

There’s no way around the fact that these numbers have skewed the way a lot of people look at us. We shouldn’t be amazed that people are hitting 50, 60 (home runs), pitchers have gotten better, pitchers have gotten stronger.