November 25, 2013

Cardinals, Peralta, PEDs and ethics

Everybody else is weighing in with his or her two cents about how the Cardinals and GM John Mozeliak got Jhonny Peralta from the Tigers to fill the Pete Kozma at shortstop hole is some massive violation of the Cardinal Way, or else is some massive overpay.

First, Bernie Milkasz wrote not once, but twice, about this issue. He first tackled Peralta's actual bust by baseball over Biogenesis, then took on what he implies is a bunch of sanctimoniousness.

In that second column, he tells players who are worried about Peralta's contract saying "it's OK to cheat," that they have several options. One, ask for much longer bans for players. Two have the union stop defending players under suspicion, like ... Alex Rodriguez? Oops, that will never happen.

Or, there's Option B, which I saw mentioned elsewhere. The owners could agree that they're forced to pay suspended players, or at least, if not pay them, still have their salaries count against the luxury tax line.

Beyond that, players who are complaining the most, like Max Scherzer or Brad Ziegler? Again, not to justify a Peralta, or the many other Caribbean Latinos who have gotten busted, but, there is the additional hunger incentive for those players.

Second, depending on how you slice your sabermetrics, Fangraphs notes that Jhonny not-so-rotten is actually, possibly, an above-average defender. We know he's above average at the bat. Put that all together? Elsewhere, Fangraphs argues that, for the first three years, at least, this is a Cardinals win, in today's contract dollars.

And, Miklasz' first article relates to that, too. Peralta's bust was for action in 2012, when he had a down year compared to 2013. He adds that, when one looks at today's market, Peralta's rumored asking price, the fact that unlike Stephen Drew he did not cost a draft pick (and hits lefties), and that the Cards didn't overpay by trade, like rumors of the White Sox asking for Carlos Martinez as part of any Alexei Ramirez trade, let alone the nutty ideas of the likes of Ken Rosenthal for Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies or even what the Angels might have been wanting for Erick Aybar.

So, the Cards didn't trade Martinez. Or Shelby Miller, or Trevor Rosenthal. So, definitely not an overpay.

Now, that "Cardinal Way." Mozeliak noted the team isn't a "morals police." And, it can't be. That's for the two leagues as a whole, plus the players' union, to be. That said, other Cardinals fans should be aware that a lot of the country does think that the Cardinal Way includes being white bread and morally upright, and address any poising or posturing by the majority of fans, or minority, that fosters other fans thinking that.

If there is a dispute about the "Cardinal Way" or whatever, it brings to the forefront, again, if managers should know more about their players, and in the case of Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, if the Veterans Committee shouldn't punish them just like the BBWAA has certain players. 

Anyway, since Peralta's the team's answer at short, I killed the old poll I had. Now, you can vote on how much you like, or dislike, the deal.

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