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Know any good attorneys Bartolo?
According to ESPN.com and information from the Associated Press, even though Bartolo Colon is going to lose the remaining $469,945 of his $2 million base salary this year, he has earned $600,000 in performance bonuses. That money cannot be touched. So in a roundabout way, Colon actually turned a $130,055 profit from his use of performance enhancing drugs.
Think about that for a second. Although I am no Carnac the Magnificent, it is reasonable to say that Colon would not have put these numbers up clean. There is about six years of performance to back that assertion up. So by running this risk, he stands to only benefit. Without improved performance, a 38-year-old pitcher with rapidly declined stuff is out of the league.
But with improved performance, Colon essentially made himself over $130,000 in 2012. And like Melky Cabrera, Marlon Byrd, Guillermo Mota and Freddy Galvis (the other four MLB players suspended for PED's in 2012), the reward is far greater than the risk. If you are a middling player on the cusp of being out of baseball, your salary goes from the stratosphere to the very real Main Street–sphere in a hurry.
The superstar will always carry more of a burden with cheating. Ryan Braun's ordeal served as a lightning rod for what you know versus what you can prove and the effect it can have on an otherwise squeaky clean athlete. Ironically, Braun has quietly put up MVP-type numbers in 2012 as the Brewers have become a mediocre ball club. So in a way, he has been allowed the relative anonymity that a city like Milwaukee affords.
And that leads to another point altogether: If you get caught, 50 games is not enough of a punishment. The average MLB players makes $3.44 million a year. Fifty games is roughly 31 percent of the season, or about $1.03 million to the average player. That leaves $2.41 million. If you cheated once, you would still make on average, $2.41 million in a season. Economics is not my strong suit, but I am certain that $2.4 million per year is more than what the average mechanic or teacher or police officer makes. Combined.
That said, Braun is in the midst of a contract that will pay him $150,000,000. I am hard pressed to find someone that would not be cheat, let alone be tempted with that kind of money in play. For a Bartolo Colon, the rationale is simple: If I cheat, I stay in the game. If I stay in the game, I continue to make the kind of money that 99 percent of the world can not make, irrespective of their abilities. The only risk involved is getting caught and not getting paid. But if you hang around long enough, you will make your money. Getting caught, it seems, is just another side effect of usage itself.