Another one bites the dust, for 81 games anyway. Dee Gordon is another significant MLB player that has been swept up by the increasingly strict PED penalties. After winning the batting title last year, this will be a major blow to the Marlins. But, on a monetary scale, it doesn’t really effect Gordon at all. He won’t get paid for 81 games; big deal, he just signed a $50 million contract, so he’s practically losing his signing bonus. In similar fashion, Jhonny Peralta signed a $53 million deal, the biggest of his career, with the Cardinals fresh off a suspension for PED use. In short, they are benefiting, from a monetary standpoint, from the seasons in which they used PEDS after they’ve already been caught.
Obviously, the penalty must be harsher, because players continue to use and who knows how many actually use relative to the amount that are caught. There are also masking agents, which are a different topic entirely, but in that case, it doesn’t matter what drugs so and so is taking since they’re covered up.
So, make the consequences so harsh that a player literally has to put his career in jeopardy to cheat. 1st offense, season suspension and a large salary deduction from that year’s pay; 2nd offense, you’re gone. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if a first time offender was canned for good, as long as the process shows that the athlete is clearly cheating. No matter how fool proof a user’s method of passing a drug test is, are they willing to bet their major league career on it? I think most say no.