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Monday, December 17, 2007

Highly paid guinea pigs

Occasionally, the email announcement circulated daily at my university includes a call for volunteers to participate in various kinds of medical studies. Apparently, students and others in need of quick cash can make money serving as human guinea pigs.

For this reason, I'm not at all surprised that major league baseball players started using steroids in large numbers. Literally millions of dollars are at stake -- especially if the drugs enhance performance, as they reportedly do.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of December 15 examined the statistics -- and paydays -- of the numerous baseball players named as steroid users in the Mitchell Report.
More than one in three players - 33 in total - immediately improved in the first season compared with their career averages.

The list of 27 hitters and 19 pitchers who allegedly "juiced" and raised their statistical performances includes stars such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Jason Giambi....

The Journal Sentinel looked at a select group of all stars, named in the report, including Jason Giambi and Pettitte, to analyze the impact on their contracts.

The other all stars were catcher Paul Lo Duca; second baseman Roberts; shortstop Miguel Tejada; third baseman Troy Glaus; outfielders Bonds, Matthews and Gary Sheffield; and pitchers Clemens and closer Eric Gagne, who just signed a $10 million one-year contract to play for the Brewers.

According to the salary analysis, the players were given a collective raise of more than $25 million by the time of their next contract. The raises include signing bonuses paid in the first year of the new deal.
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