Back in 2011 during the NLDS between the Brewers and Diamondbacks, I was a broken man. Ryan Braun was single handily destroying my team. Posting a triple slash line of .500/.571/.889, Braun led the Brewers to defeat the Dbacks in 5 games. People taunted me. I cried a little bit. Maybe a lot a bit.
Even before his torrid 2011 MVP baseball season, Braun had developed into a special type of player. After posting multiple 30 HR / 100 RBI / 15 SB seasons, the Brewers thought it would be best to lock their star player up as they signed him to a 5 year - $105 million contract extension. Mind you, that was already on top of his current 8 year - $45 million contract, so in essence, Milwaukee had one of the best young players in baseball in a Brewers uniform until 2020. Pretty sweet deal huh?
Well it was, and still might be, but we all know what has transpired over the past few weeks. Braun has been ingesting PEDs for a long time without getting caught until now. After admitting to his wrong doings (kind of) and accepting his punishment, MLB suspended Braun for 65 games without pay. This equaled out to right around $3.4 million that he will lose over the course of this season.
NO YOU DIDN'T.
While Braun's career earnings sit at a measly $20,562,500, pocket change for me, that $3.4 million looks like a pretty big deal. However, due to the fact that baseball contracts are guaranteed, he still is set to take in another $117 million over the next few years.
Well played Bug Selig, you are certainly teaching him a lesson.
Now take a look at that $3.4 million. That represents a mere 2.4% of his total contractual earnings. To normal people, that is the same as a parking ticket. So while the season is lost in Milwaukee, people really hate him, and his reputation is tarnished forever, Ryan Braun is still sitting pretty. He is still the 2011 NL MVP, he is still rich, and he still gets to play baseball every day.
The real question is: Why not take PEDs? Apparently, unless your nickname is AROD, there is no disincentive not to. I take PEDs for a few years, put up amazing numbers, get paid, and get slapped on the wrist. Sounds like a perfect world to me. Take a look at these players and let me know who you would rather be.
Player A Career:
10 Years - 1311 Games - 35 Home Runs
Total Earnings: $19.6 Million
Player B Career:
16 years - 1874 Games - 583 Home Runs
Total Earnings: $74.7 Million
Which one is David Eckstein and which one is Mark McGwire? Lets look at a more up to date example.
Player A Career:
19 Years - 2302 Games - 555 Home Runs
Total Earnings: $206.8 Million
Player B Career:
11 Years - 1215 Games - 86 Home Runs
Total Earnings: $28.1 Million
Can you guess which player is Manny Ramirez? Maybe it was David DeJesus who was on PEDs.
Sure, pick any numbers or any player that you would like, numbers can be skewed in either any direction. The point is, is actually pays more to be on steroids and put up better numbers. There as still many examples of it going on today (See Melky Cabrera) and nothing has changed. Until baseball sets a policy where they are able to void the contracts of players caught using PEDs, we will continue to have saga after saga.
If only they made a steroid to make me create excel spreadsheets.