Yesterday, Jhonny Peralta signed a 4-year, $50 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Upon first look, it seems like just another Major League Baseball contract. Another highly paid athlete playing the game he loves, but that’s not what this is about. Peralta was suspended 50 games last season by MLB for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. He and a number of other players faced the punishment at the end of the season last season. Peralta, the Detroit Tigers opening day shortstop, was able to play in the postseason for the Tigers and after they traded for Jose Iglesias midway though the year to play shortstop, Peralta played left field a few games in Detroit. When the season ended, he was a free agent and free to sign with whatever team he wanted.
November 24, Peralta signed with the Cardinals, a day or two after the defending National League champions traded their fan favorite third baseman David Freese for Peter Bourjos of the Angels. St. Louis seems to be revamping the entire left side of their infield, but they are doing so by signing a P.E.D. user.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Zeigler made the first move yesterday by tweeting…
“It pays to cheat…Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use “@JimBowdenESPNxm: Peralta – Cards agree to 4-year deal: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10030133/jhonny-peralta-st-louis-cardinals-agree-4-year-52-million-deal …”
You have to understand where Zeigler is coming from. Peralta basically has cheated the game, got caught and then gets rewarded for it. I don’t know how many players actually use illegal substances, but I believe that a majority of player do not. They should all be up in arms over this contract. If you work your entire life to be one of 750 major league baseball players and then get beat out by a guy who cheated, you should be furious.
I completely agree with how Zeigler feels. He also tweeted that he will go to the Major League Baseball Players Association to make things right. If this contract isn’t a wake-up call to owners and general managers, I don’t know what is. I understand it’s a business and people need to do whatever they can to get ahead, but when performance enhancing drugs are an international issue in sports and John Mozeliak, the Cardinal general manager, goes out and signs this guy, what kind of message are they sending? That’s it’s okay you cheated, you did your time and now you’ll get paid. That’s not the “Cardinal Way.” The Cardinals are supposed to develop talent through their farm system, have good character guys and be constant contenders.
Now the Cardinals will be even more hated than they have been before. They are enabling cheaters. Why don’t they just sign this entire list of players (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis_baseball_scandal#List_of_suspensions), they could make a pretty good team.