One professional athlete who in particular has a lot to be thankful for this particular holiday season is new St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Johnny Peralta. Now, If you havent been keeping up on the sports new lately, the Cardinals have caught a great deal of criticism for signing Peralta to a 4 year $53 million dollar contract. This is not necessarily a ridiculous amount of money for signing a free agent shortstop like Peralta, particularly one who hits as well as Peralta does. The issue many players and fans have with this signing is that Peralta was one of the players suspended for their involvement with the Biogenesis proceedings. Brad Ziegler, relief pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was very vocal on twitter about a player connected to P.E.D.'s getting such a large contract. And to be honest, I couldn't agree more. But all of the people who are treating the Cardinals like the enemy in this whole ordeal are mistaken. Now, I know those of you who read my posts regularly know that I am a huge Cardinals fan, but I would say the same thing if Peralta signed with another team and here's why. Peralta was going to get PAID wherever he went. He actually turned down more money to play elsewhere. When the Cardinals GM John Mozelak came out publicly and said that it was not the job of the Cardinals to be the "Moral Police", and he is absolutely correct. If the Cardinals didn't sign Mr. Peralta, some one else would have, and that is where the real problem lies. No, I am not thrilled the Cardinals paid big money to a guy who cheated, it actually really bothers me, but I can't blame them for working within the system that is in place.
For those of you who have read my posts before, I am a big advocate of increasing the penalties on players who use P.E.D.'s for just this reason. While a 50 game suspension is a significant amount of money lost for a player, the fact that the player is still allowed to earn millions and millions after being caught using P.E.D.'s is absolutely ludicrous. Lets look at some of the guys who have been caught: Ryan Braun (has a contract in excess of $180 million), A-Rod (way too much money), Nelson Cruz (asking for north of $75 million), and Peralta ($53 million). Those guys are all making pretty good money, and just think about how many guys who haven't cheated are making the league minimum or never made it thanks to guys like these who aren't doing things the right way. But here is the thing, injustices just like these are going to keep happening, and here's why, NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! The players say how they are unhappy that guys like Peralta get paid like they do, yet they don't propose adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement. They say they thought 50 games for a first time offense was a steep enough punishment, it clearly wasn't... so do something about it. Because if nothing is done about it, contracts like these will continue to happen, because organizations want to win, and if they think the guy can help them win... what incentive is there not to pay the guy.
Thanks for Reading,
T.O. signing out