Some don't like the St. Louis Cardinals signing of Jhonny Peralta because, to them, it shows that cheating can pay off. Right-hander Brad Ziegler of the Arizona Diamondbacks said as much but he isn't the only one holding such an opinion. After all, Peralta recently finished a 50-game suspension for having ties to Biogenesis, a shuttered clinic reputed to distribute performance-enhancing drugs. And now, all of a sudden after free agency, he's signing a $53 million contract? It's not fair!
Cards' GM John Mozeliak responded to these opinions Monday at a news conference at Busch Stadium, defending the team from the backlash while pointing out reality to PED moralists.
“[H]e admitted what he did. He took responsibility for it. At this point in the game there is nothing that says he can’t go play or isn’t free to go sign with some other club. I don’t think it’s the Cardinals’ responsibility necessarily to be the morality police.”
Not only is Mozeliak right, but he's also righteous. The Cardinals aren't rewarding Peralta for cheating. They're paying him for playing baseball, hoping he doesn't cheat — or, at least, that he doesn't get caught cheating. That's all a team can do. A team (or a league) can't retroactively punish a player for something he did in the past. And a player shouldn't be punished for what he might do in the future.
If Peralta gets busted again, it's likely going to be for 100 games. And, as Mozeliak also said in the P-D story, it's going to hang over his own head if that happens.
As for making a change: Shrill, self-serving tweets won't get it done. The next step is for Ziegler, a union rep, is to help make suspensions longer for players caught with PEDs.
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