Monday, November 25, 2013

Under Further Review: Will Peralta's Deal Spur Change?

When you read the headline online or saw the ESPN SportsCenter that 31-year-old Jhonny Peralta inked a four year, $52 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, you probably didn't even blink. Ho hum. Nothing to see here. The contract is nothing new. Cheating pays the big bucks, I guess.

While Cardinals fans are probably loving the impact bat at the shortstop position and wondering if they'll be allowed play a different guy on defense, baseball fans are left scratching their heads. Peralta was suspended for 50 games last season after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Should he be allowed to cash in on success that may have been the result of taking PEDs?

Jhonny Peralta (

The answer is a little murkier than you may think. 

There have been some current and former players that have come out in disagreement. The consequences for getting caught (not using, getting caught) are defined by the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the owners and the players. This leaves very little room for disagreement because the chance to negotiate these things is long gone.

Also, limiting somebody's civil right to prosperity would probably not hold up will in court. Sure, Major League Baseball benefits from a nice little thing they like to call an anti-trust exemption, but limiting somebody's earning ability because of a league rule-determined offense would certainly overstep the bounds.

At the same time, something just doesn't feel right here. Here is a guy who cheated the game of baseball and in the end comes out a winner. That cannot be allowed to happen, right?

The answer to that questions depends on your trust in Bud Selig. Whether you like it or not, the Selig era will be defined by how he handled steroids in the game. Balco and Biogenisis and Bud. Or something like that.

Ken Caminiti (USA Today)
Do you think he has done enough to rid the game of steroids, of liars, of cheaters? I don't. But cynically, what is the benefit for him to do so?

It all comes back to why steroids in baseball were swept under the rug for so many years to start. People love home runs, 100-plus mile per hour fastballs, and players breaking bats over their knee. Chicks dig the long ball We all dig the long ball. The long ball sells tickets, so the long ball makes money.

Clearly, the revenue brought in is worth the occasional  "steroid scandal" here and there. Especially now, we live in a short attention span society. Once news stops breaking, we stop listening. Unless new information about PED users is coming out, we don't care. Ain't nobody got time for caring about things the media isn't telling us to care about. I think that's what that YouTube lady said.

OK, that was a little long-winded. The point is Peralta's deal strikes the nerve of the ugly truth. We are told to care but we are never taught how to care with our actions. If people really cared, then the CBA would do more than a 50 game suspension for a first-time PED offense. Teams would take a moral stand against players who cheat the game. Fans would take the same moral stand. All we see is home runs and batting average. That "1" sitting in the Positive PED Test column is a mere inconvenience.

Peralta's deal won't spur any change. He's simply the next ex-doper to cash in. Marlon Byrd. Nelson Cruz. Melky Cabrera. Alex Rodriguez. The list goes on and on. 

We can all disagree with Jhonny Peralta's contract, but he's just taking what we're giving him. If we want that truth to change, then we have to be willing to face the truth first.


Kevin Rossi is a junior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Communications and Business Administration. Since joining the SMTSU, Kevin has worked his way up the ladder to President. Currently, Kevin is also the Drexel editor for Kevin recently finished his second co-op with Temple University in their Athletic Communications office. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

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