With the latest PED scandal continuing to unravel in Major League Baseball and Alex Rodriguez being made public enemy No. 1 not only with fans but his peers in the game I cannot help but go back and look at our own PED representative in Jhonny Peralta.
In the two weeks weeks that Peralta has been gone from the Detroit lineup due to his involvement with the Biogenesis lab in 2012, the Tigers replaced him by trading for slick fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias who although doesn’t have the offense Peralta employed provides a much better defensive aspect to the infield. And not only does Iglesias remain on the team for the rest of the season he’ll be a catalyst at the position for years to come.
However even though fans of the Tigers seem pretty satisfied with what Iglesias brings to the table, the thought and hope of a Peralta return towards the end of the regular season still seems like persistent thinking among the Detroit masses. In fact judging by what some fans have said in recent weeks since the suspension and the excuses that have been made and the lack of any real resentment towards the suspended Tigers shortstop, Jhonny Peralta has become almost a victim in the eyes of the Tigers faithful and in a way a baseball martyr.
Lets be clear though everyone, Jhonny Peralta is no victim of some unfair Selig rule. He’s no hero and he’s certainly no martyr. He’s a guy that knew the rules that Major League Baseball had set in place regarding PEDs, he’s a guy that knew the consequences if he was in fact caught for violating those rules yet he still chose to roll the dice with his own season as well as the seasons of the 22 other guys in the locker room.
In short, Jhonny Peralta is a selfish player deserving of no one’s praise.
Even though Peralta didn’t go to the extremes that Ryan Braun or Alex Rodriguez did to protect or continue to protect a lie he’s certainly lumped in with two of baseball’s most hated players.
It’s because of players like Peralta, Nelson Cruz, A-Rod and Ryan Braun the cloud of PEDs still hover over Major League Baseball. They’re the reason why guys like Jack Clark continue to question whether or not players like Justin Verlander use performance enhancing drugs themselves. Finally though it’s players like Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz that put their team’s pennate race aside to put themselves in a better position next season when they’re free agents.
Now players (in this position) putting themselves in a better position free agent wise is certainly understandable. Hell it’s very conceivable that baseball is as every bit a business as it is a game nowadays. But with that in mind fans shouldn’t be offering their praise to a guy like Jhonny Peralta because he was having a good season offensively or came clean in the end. The only reason why there’s any praise is because Jhonny wasn’t hitting .259 and only came clean because there was no place left to hide.
So if the Tigers decide to bring Peralta back again I as well as other fans can probably understand why. His bat was hot prior to the suspension and there’s probably a good chance that it could help in a playoff run. However if the Tigers choose not to associate themselves with a player that has his connections to Braun and A-Rod fans should definitely understand that as well.