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.
Former Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez is reportedly being “eyed” in an ongoing federal and state investigation, per Michele McPhee of ABC News. McPhee did not elaborate on the exact nature of the investigation itself, but provided a few more details during an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday:
“Obviously, I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime,” McPhee said. “And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
McPhee further clarified that she thinks the suspect — who was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine — was tied to “a sweeping federal case involving a substantial ring that’s being operated out of Lawrence, Massachusetts.”
Ramirez, the Red Sox, and Major League Baseball have all denied knowledge of any current investigation. According to the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Red Sox VP of media relations Kevin Gregg insisted that Ramirez had been dropped from the team for baseball reasons alone and had not been made aware of an investigation at the time of his release.
“Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation,” the infielder’s agent, Adam Katz, added Friday.
The 34-year-old Ramirez was designated for assignment on May 25 and became a free agent on June 1. Prior to his release, he batted .254/.313/.395 over 195 plate appearances, 302 shy of the 497-PA threshold he would have needed to cross in order to activate his vesting option for 2019. He’s still owed the remainder of his $22 million salary for 2018.