Red Sox players are privately beefing about Jhonny Peralta being eligible

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Peter Gammons has a good take on Jhonny Peralta’s presence on the Tigers’ playoff roster. The easy part, which others have observed: he served his time and is eligible, so what’s the problem? The part fewer people acknowledge: There are jobs and careers on the line based on how a team that is expected to win does, so there is a huge incentive for the Tigers to play Peralta no matter what people think about it.

But this nugget — passed off casually in the way that only someone with Gammons’ access can pull off — just makes me shake my head:

There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body.

Call me crazy, but I question whether they’d be complaining privately if it was their teammate who had come off a suspension.

People talked a bit after the Biogenesis suspensions — and the agreement of most players to not appeal — about how it might weaken the union. I doubt that. It made a lot of sense for most of those guys not to appeal. But one thing that can weaken the union is players themselves questioning the legitimacy of the drug testing and punishment system. And when you complain about a player who has done his time coming back, you are questioning the system’s legitimacy.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.