117 million bucks of guaranteed money.
Good for Ryan Braun. What about you? What's your price to lie?
Oh, you've never lied? Ever? Is that the truth?
Your wife asks you, "Do I look fat in this?"
"No, baby, you look great!"
Your good friend, an artist, has worked two years on his latest painting. It looks like a 2 year-old did it with finger paint in two minutes.
"So, what do you think?" he asks. "Do you 'get' it, get the message, what I'm trying to say?"
"Fascinating. I think it's magical."
Another friend has you over for dinner. Your food tastes like the dog had an accident on your plate.
"Mmmm, this is really good, interesting. What's that spice?"
You never lie? Okay, maybe sometimes. Then your answers (in order) would have been ...
"Hey, Blubber, eat a salad once in a while, would ya?"
"I think I see a bunny. Other than that, this is the most stupid thing I've ever seen. People actually pay money for this?"
And ... "Bad dog."
Honesty isn't always the best policy, is it? Further, would you lie for $117 million --- and if you committed no criminal offense to get it?
Ryan Braun --- a 29 year-old outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers --- did. He cheated. He took performance-enhancing drugs to enhance his performance on the baseball field. It worked. He became one of the best players in the game, winning the NL MVP in 2011.
An investigation surfaced after the 2011 season, and it was proven Braun had tasted of the forbidden fruit (more on this to come). He was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2012 season.
Braun appealed, however, and he won.
"We won," he said in February, 2012, "because the truth is on my side. The truth is always relevant and at the end of the day, the truth prevailed."
"I would bet my life," he continued, "that this substance never entered my body at any point."
Bad bet. He lost.
Monday, Braun was once again found guilty and was suspended for the rest of the season, 65 games --- without pay. That will cost him $3.2 million, but that's chicken-feed money, as his contract guarantees him $117 million in the next seven years.
Monday, Braun admitted his guilt.
"I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step," Michael Weiner, head of the players union, said in a statement. "It is good for the game that Ryan will return soon to continue his great work both on and off the field."
Braun joins a long list of all-time great liars. He's stolen the trophy from the current champion, Lance Armstrong, but there are plenty of other examples. And not just in sports.
O.J. Simpson: "I was chipping golf balls at the time."
Richard Nixon: "I am not a crook."
Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky."
Peter (last name n/a): "Jesus who?"
Serpent: "Come on, Eve, eat this apple. It's really good and good for you!"
Lying is as old as man itself --- well, depending on what your meaning of the word "is" is.
White lies. Lying to save a friend's feelings and a friendship. Lying to your wife to keep from getting a slap across the face. Or a divorce.
Green lies. Lying for $117 million.
Which is better? Which is worse? Protecting the integrity of a "game" or making yourself, your family, and every friend you've had since grade school financially secure?
But with it, you are saddled with the cost of a legacy of shame. Is it worth it?
Said Logan Morrison of the Florida Marlins, owners of the worst record in the National League, on Monday:
"You know we're clean. We haven't scored a run in 37 innings."
Now that's just Phat.