Forget the 50-game suspension. Forget the 100-game suspension. If you really want to get these Major League baseball players to stop using performance enhancing drugs then there is one and only one solution — void the contracts. Go back to the drawing board with the Players Association and insist on any failed drug test from this point forward resulting in the player’s contract being null and void.
So Alex Rodriguez doesn’t see a dime of the $100 million left on his deal, which runs through 2017. And Ryan Braun can kiss that 5-year, $105 million contract extension he signed in 2011 goodbye. Same goes for Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta and the $6 million he is pocketing this year.
Hit ’em where it hurts — in the wallets. If a player signs a multi-year contract worth millions in guaranteed money and he knows that if he cheats and gets caught he loses all of that money, then why on earth would he cheat? He wouldn’t. Right now the punishment is not severe enough to act as a deterrent. Players don’t fear a 50-game suspension the way they should. The chance to put up bigger numbers to earn that next big contract is worth the risk. Heck, Melky Cabrera got caught cheating last year with San Francisco, got suspended for 50 games and then signed a two-year deal with Toronto for $16 million. Insanity.
This was supposed to be the post-steroid era. But it’s not. And the only way Commissioner Bud Selig can change it is to do something so drastic that the players will be fearful of cheating, and that’s to take their money away.