Monday, August 12, 2013

Should We Forgive Users

Nelson Cruz
About a week ago, several players were suspended by Major League Baseball for association with a clinic in Florida that sells performance enhancing drugs. Headlining these suspensions were shortstop Everth Cabrera (Padres), outfielder Nelson Cruz (Rangers), and third baseman Alex Rodriguez (Yankees). The players took different approaches when addressing the media and their teammates. Both Cabrera and Cruz had emotional apologies to their teammates and fans, while Alex Rodriguez appealed his suspension that would have taken him out of action for the rest of this season and all of next season. His suspension was the most substantial out of the group due to Rodriguez impeding the investigation and trying to buy evidence. Since Rodriguez appealed, he is allowed to play until his appeal is processed. He has been greeted with boos in every city he has played in. After looking at how (some) players graciously apologized and took responsibility, would you forgive them?

Alex Rodriguez
These players will all lose north of 300,000 dollars. That is enough to buy a house or a very nice car. They paid the consequences. Rodriguez is set to lose at least 30 million dollars with his suspension. These players are all going to be missing the rest of the season, and Nelson Cruz was on the last year of his contract, meaning instead of a 5-year contract worth 75 million dollars, his deal could look similar to Melky Cabrera's 2-year 15 million dollar deal with the Blue Jays (also suspended in his contract year, and also connected to biogenesis). They committed a crime and are doing their time. The problem is, the punishment isn't enough to prevent a player like Alex Rodriguez from using PED's and getting a 300 million dollar contract instead of a 100 million dollar contract. They are essentially stealing money from teams and other players. Let's imagine a scenario. Pretend you are in a job interview for a high paying job, and you say in your interview that you have multiple degrees from Harvard, when in actuality, you are a high school dropout. You then you get the job over other highly qualified candidates, and end up making lots of money. It eventually comes back that you lied on your application and in your interview. Scott Thompson (former CEO of went through a similar scandal when he lied on his resume about his degree. He was forced to resign. He now is working for Shop Runner, a shopping website owned by eBay. The job pays less and is less desirable. The players padded their stats with the PEDs, so why should they be any different? After paying the consequences, the players could essentially be shunned by fan bases and cause negative PR for the team (ex: A-Roid).
Here is Everth Cabrera's apology, either he truly was sorry or he is just a fantastic actor! Anyway, would you accept a player after this type of scandal, or would you shun them? They did suffer consequences, and this will follow them around their entire career. In your opinion, does owning up to their mistakes and taking responsibility improve your opinions of these players? Would you give stiffer punishments?

Here would be my proposal.

1st Time Offender: All years left on the contract are reset to league minimum, with the team still on the hook for the rest of the money, donating it to charity instead of giving it to the player. The player will also have a salary cap for future salary (3 million a season), never be allowed to make it to the hall of fame, and not be allowed to make any future all star teams. He will also have all past, present, and future records set eliminated from the books. Fine the player 15% of what he has earned in his major league baseball career.

2nd Time Offender: Lifetime ban. Donate all money owed to charity. Fine an additional 15% of what he has made in his career.

The severity of this punishment is easily enough to scare any player and agent into not using PED's, and allows Bud Selig to lay down the law.

If you are reading this in an email, you may need to go to the site to watch the video. 

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