Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Having two sick kids over the weekend really killed any type of plans my family had, but the upside is it left me with lots of time to troll Twitter to keep up with the free agent chatter. Unfortunately most of the free agent signings were disappointing as the Diamondbacks still have yet to make a big splash in the free agent market, despite some ideal starters and position players out there as stated by our own Tom Lynch and Christian Moffett. There was one Diamondback making waves over the weekend and it was reliever Brad Ziegler and his response to the St. Louis Cardinals signing of former Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta for four years and $52 million. Ziegler and many others were outraged by the fact the Cardinals signed Peralta to such a huge deal, especially someone who served a 50-game suspension for PED use in connection with the Biogenesis clinic. Here is Ziegler’s tweet in response to ESPN’s Jim Bowden breaking the news of Peralta’s signing.
"“It pays to cheat…Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use.”"
Ziegler echoes my own sentiment about PED use and how Major League Baseball and its owners have handled those cheaters. Peralta went from making $5.5 million a year to now $13 million. For some it seems as if you are sorry enough (though we all know they are sorry they were caught, not the fact they cheated in the first place) a la Andy Pettitte or Ryan Braun your fan base is quick to forgive and forget about your use. For others if you come off cocky and not at all sorry a la Alex Rodriguez or Barry Bonds, (even though in the writer’s personal opinion all listed PED users are equally guilty) you are thrown to the wolves. How is it that MLB can be seeking to end Rodriguez’s career, yet allow the Cardinals to sign Peralta to a blockbuster contract that more than doubles his old contract with the Tigers? Hypocrisy at its finest!
As much as it pains me to say it, the game I have loved my entire life is heading down a dark path, one they could have easily avoided had they taken care of this PED problem when they first found out about it. Instead they chose to ignore it until it became so obviously rampant and widespread in the game that they had to deal with it. I applaud Ziegler for calling out the owners and fighting for the guy who is playing the game the way it should be played: fairly.
My hope is that this will be the last ‘PED rewarding’ contract we see in baseball, but unfortunately until I see proof the game I love is fighting this cancer with the proper medicine and force, I’m afraid it won’t be the last. I implore Bud Selig to make this his final act before his retirement in January 2015, otherwise the game of baseball will be dead in the water and will more than likely never recover.
You can also follow me on Twitter @roberts_843.