Monday, August 3, 2009

Economics of Steroids

MLB details:

The story involving David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez took another twist on Friday night when their former Red Sox teammate, Pedro Martinez, decided to weigh in on the controversy.

Ortiz, the only member of the trio remaining with the Sox, confirmed on Thursday that he tested positive for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, during Major League Baseball's 2003 survey testing season.
Since that 2003 positive test, Ortiz' stats have exploded. The other thing that has exploded... his salary.

As long as players have the incentive to increase their earning potential by 30x (in the case of minor leaguers from $30k to $1mm if they make "the big show" and for Ortiz from $1.7mm (what he made through 2002) to $56mm (what he's made since) players WILL continue to cheat the system regardless of the risk in testing positive.

The only threat remaining is the shame in being labeled a user, but that doesn't seem to matter anymore as all players seem to think that if everyone does it, it's not cheating. Pedro Martinez with that example:

"There's no crying in baseball," Martinez said. "We won in 2004. That's it. Are you going to tell me that the other guys, who used it on other teams are now whining? They used it too."

"They used it too"? If I didn't do something and was accused, would I be saying "they did it too"?

Something tells me we haven't heard the last of Pedro and steroids...