Jhonny Peralta deal; Why Brad Ziegler is right

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.

Just a beginning

I wrote last week about my new job at ESPN. I didn’t write it to announce what I am doing or to brag about my “dream job,” I wrote it for myself, because I was nervous.

I appreciate all the words encouragement and well wishes, but I didn’t expect it.

All I do is track college basketball games and make sure all the data is going where it is supposed to. It’s a cool job, but not my dream by far. I would still love to be a major league baseball beat writer. I want to travel with a team and write stories everyday, all spring, summer and fall. That is my real dream job.

I hope to use this opportunity at ESPN to make some connection eventually and work my way around the sports world. I know I can do it.

Tonight I am doing my first college basketball game in RealTime. This means I will be controlling the clock and score on the computer and what you see on the bottom line is coming from what I am doing. I believe I am on the UCF/Florida St. game, so if you see any mistakes…let me know.

Let Jose Fernandez have fun

Why is watching a home run a problem?

Jose Fernandez, the Marlins super rookie and likely NL ROY, hit his first career home run Wednesday night at home in Miami vs. the Braves. Fernandez was pitching in his last game of the season due to an innings limit and when he hit his long ball in the 6th inning, he watched it fly and then trotted around the bases.

Why did a fight ensue and benches clear?

Chris Johnson of the Braves took exception to Fernandez watching his home run and the way he rounded the bases and as Brian McCann confronted the rookie at home plate, Johnson ran in from third and basically started a fight. I know why the fight started, but I don’t understand why it’s a thing.

Why can’t the rookie enjoy his moment?

These are men playing a boys game. Yes, they are paid millions of dollars and they are the best players in the world, why can’t they have fun too? If a player wants to watch his home run ball fly through the air, let him. This kid hit his first career home run and he knew it was gone, let him enjoy it. He may never hit another home run again.

I understand that the veterans of the league want to police baseball and make sure the “kids” earn their spot, but what would they have done if they were in Fernandez’s position? I have no problem with ANY professional baseball player showing off, putting on a show or having fun playing the game, that’s why I love it so much. I wish there was more show-boating in baseball.

Yeonis Cespedes won the 2013 Home Run Derby and on his finally swing gave the biggest bat flip I have ever seen and it was awesome. I know that event is an exhibition for the fans, but I wish it happened in games. The 2012 Boston Red Sox had Cody Ross, the king of bat flips. Whenever he hit a big fly, he flipped the bat and it was great. Why didn’t he cause the benches to clear every time? Because he has earned his spot? He’s not the greatest hitter of all time, he just has fun playing the game, so why can’t Jose Fernandez?

If I ever hit a home run in any level of baseball, I would stand in the batters box until the ball landed, hold my arms up high and enjoy every second of the moment, because I know it is most likely the only one I will ever hit in my life.

Let major league baseball players do what they want, let them entertain the fans, because after all, it is an entertainment business they are involved in.

Baseball Stands With Boston

There have been a number of tragedy’s the United States has seen over the last few years and with sports being such a large part of our society, they provide a distraction when we need it most.

April 15, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded killed three people and injuring 130 more. Just a couple hours later, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays and were on their way to Cleveland. I was sitting in class on my phone continuoiusly updating Twitter and when I saw the tweets start to come in about an expolsion, I could look away. I kept with the story for the rest of class and the rrest of the day. The stories I heard and the pictures I saw were intense. The more I heard, the worse I felt.

Tuesday morning, the New York Yankees announced that they would play Fenway Park favorite, “Sweet Caroline” after the third inning of their game. This was an amazing gesture and almost the entire league followed suit.

I may hate the Yankees, because I am a Red Sox fan, but I am a baseball fan and an American. This was as classy as any orgainization could be.

I also saw people on Twitter posting pictures of themselves wearing Red Sox gear even though they were Red Sox fans.

One thing this country does better than anyone, is come together in times of need. Sports provide a wonderful solace in that sense and even though I may be a sports nut, I understand and appreciate what they do for people and how they help everyone in even the smallest ways.