What is the explanation for this?
Jenrry Mejia is a young New York Mets relief pitcher who until recently had a bright future as a star closer and a guaranteed multi-millionaire. Now, entirely on his own initiative, he has become the first player ever banned from baseball for using steroids .
This is not easy, though Mejia did it with ease…and speed. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Mejia was establishing himself as the Mets closer by the end of the 2014 season. But he began the 2015 season with an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a common PED (Performance Enhancing Drug), then, even before completing that punishment, flunked another urine test and earned himself a 162-game suspension a few months later.
Knowing full well that a third positive test would end his career, Mejia tried a different banned steroid, was caught again, and that third strike triggered a lifetime expulsion from major league baseball under the sport’s rules. Nobody has been that reckless and stupid, not even Manny Ramirez (who was caught twice), and Manny’s picture is in the dictionary under “reckless and stupid.”
Now Mejia joins Pete Rose as one of only two living players who are banned from baseball. Pete, however, though he is also an idiot, completed his playing career before getting thrown out, and had a long and glorious career. Mejia is 26. He is a good bet to soon be working in a 7-11, or more likely, languishning in prison.
As for the explanation for this tragedy—I don’t feel sorry for the pitcher, but it is a tragedy–my only answer is that an absence of IQ points and functioning ethics alarms is a deadly combination. Ethical people don’t need penalties or even rules to behave honestly and fairly over their entire lives. Unethical people who are smart enough to calculate a simple risk/reward ratio may be unethical, but sufficiently tough and certain penalties for dishonest conduct will keep them in line. Then there are the badly-raised and mis-acculturated souls like Jenrry Mejia, who reach adulthood with no concept of right and wrong. They see rules and laws as impediments to their ambitions and desires, and nothing more sacred or useful than that. If they are smart, they calculate which laws and rules they can break with care and canniness, and these societal termites can have considerable success for a while, until they slip up, as even the smartest—Al Capone, Bernie Madoff, Boss Tweed, Ken Lay—usually do.
They may even run to become President of the United States.
If they are not smart, however, but spectacularly stupid, and maybe arrogant too, they are doomed. Everyone should be ethical, but if one isn’t very bright, having a firm commitment to ethics is a matter of survival.