We all knew it was coming and this afternoon the hammer was finally dropped on the head of Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
After his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal that has really swept through Major League Baseball for the past year and a half, Peralta was suspended for 50 games Monday essentially ending his regular season in a midst of one of his better career offensive years.
Here’s an official statement from the Tigers regarding the matter:
“We recognize the suspension of Jhonny Peralta for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program as a measure taken in the best interest of the game. The Detroit Tigers continue to fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers’ organization will provide no further comment on Peralta’s suspension.”
And after whole heatedly denying taking performance enhancing drugs, Jhonny himself issued a statement on the suspension:
“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension.
“I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost.”
Now I’m aware within that statement Peralta doesn’t exactly admit to using PEDs. In fact the Tigers veteran shortstop has never even tested positive for using. However like Lance Armstrong we’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to test positive to be guilty, hell I’m not even suggesting that Peralta actually used. In today’s day and age of Major League Baseball, where you don’t actually need to test positive to be guilty (it’s in the CBA which the MLBPA and MLB agreed upon) a phone call inquiring on PEDs is good enough to make you liable. Jhonny knew that as well every single MLB player that was busted today. Not to mention if Peralta was TRULY innocent, why roll over and take the suspension like he did? I guess at this point though it’s not something that can be debated anymore.
At this point it’s unclear if the Tigers will bring Peralta back once his suspension is up. As of right now he will be eligible to return to the team during the final regular season series in Miami from September 27th through September 29th. He will also be eligible for the Tigers’ postseason roster of course if the Tigers choose to add him.
For me I really don’t care either way what the Tigers do. If the players want him back and he won’t be a distraction in the locker room then bring him back. If that’s not the case then don’t bring him back. The anger for me was subsided when the Tigers acquired Jose Iglesias last week for Avisail Garcia. Yeah it sucks losing Garcia but the team had to address the shortstop position one way or another which they did with a phenomenal young player.
Bottom line, Jhonny deserves this and he as well as a bunch of Tigers fans know it. That’s why you can’t blame Tigers nation for getting upset at him. It cost the team a valuable prospect and a nice hitting shortstop. Not to mention in a way Peralta is being selfish putting his situation at the forefront by not appealing as he prepares to head into free agency. But I’m not going to get on him for that, baseball has basically fully evolved into a business and Jhonny’s decision to take the suspension now was purely a business one. Right now the only thing we can do is move on and worry about Cleveland.