Steroids are clearly rampant throughout Major League Baseball, and there’s no end in sight. Players are going to continue juicing until the consequences are more severe than the rewards. That’s why Major League Baseball needs to make steroids not worth it.
Here’s a perfect example. Ryan Braun was just suspended for the rest of the season for his involvement with Biogenisis. Yes he has to forfeit $3.85 million of his $8.5 million 2013 salary, but he still has 8-years and over $100 million dollars left on his deal.
Steroids helped Braun get his $100 million dollar contract. He gets caught, and has to pay what in reality is only a small financial penalty this season. Overall though, he still gets the majority of the money.
Braun’s critics will most likely eventually die down, his reputation may never recover after adamantly denying having any involvement with steroids, and he is still a $100 million dollar man. So was it worth it for him to take the steroids? Despite all the negativity he’s created for himself, the answer is yes. And that’s baseball’s biggest problem.
Ryan Braun cheated the game, duped everyone into thinking he was squeaky clean, and baseball just wags their finger at him. He has to serve a 65-game suspension in a year where his team is already out of it, and comes back next season to make $10 million dollars. That’s harsh.
Another case is Melky Cabrera who was busted for PEDs last August while playing for the San Francisco Giants and gets suspended for the rest of the season (50 games) by Major League Baseball. Cabrera even tried to create a fake website showing that he ordered a product unknowing that it had high levels of testosterone. Please.
What happens next? The Giants end up winning the World Series, Cabrera still gets a playoff bonus of $300,000 dollars, and he signs a $16 million dollar contract with the Blue Jays in the off-season.
This could be the worst lesson of them all. Cabrera pathetically tried to cover up knowingly taking steroids, gets suspended 50 games, and then gets millions and millions of dollars in the off-season?
Before steroids, Melky Cabrera was a 4th outfield at best. Steroids turned him into an everyday player and a perennial batting average champion. While he didn’t get as big a contract as he would have gotten prior to getting caught, he still got paid handsomely.
Like Braun, was taking steroids worth it for Cabrera? Once again, the answer is an unfortunate yes. There are plenty of other cases like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Bartolo Colon, and Roger Clemens who all used steroids to cash in big time.
That’s why Major League Baseball needs to make taking steroids not worth it. To do that, baseball has to enforce a one strike and you’re out rule. You fail a test, your contract is immediately voided, and you are banned from the game for life.
If baseball is truly serious about putting an end to steroids in the game, a serious punishment seems to be the only way.
The Major League Baseball Players Association would almost certainly never agree to enforcing such a punishment and there may be a cases of incorrect positive tests.
But those rare incorrect positive tests shouldn’t be baseball’s biggest concern. Their biggest concern should be ridding the game of PEDs.
Enforcing a lifetime ban from the sport and an immediate voiding of the contract will absolutely make taking steroids not worth it, and help put an end to perhaps the games biggest problem ever.