What Detroit Tigers Should Expect from Life Without Jhonny Peralta

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What Detroit Tigers Should Expect from Life Without Jhonny Peralta
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Jhonny Peralta was suspended for 50 games for PED use

Major League Baseball has suspended Detroit Tigers' shortstop Jhonny Peralta and 12 others for their involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal.

Peralta will not appeal the decision and begin serving his suspension immediately.

This is nothing new for MLB, the Detroit Tigers or Peralta. After news initially broke with the list of players receiving banned substances, punishment was merely inevitable. Peralta released a statement Monday through the Tigers organization:

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.

In this writer’s opinion, this was the right thing to say. Not for the sake of the organization or because he got caught—because he’s aware of the work ahead of him.

Peralta will have to regain trust and respect from everyone in the baseball universe while repairing his individual integrity.

The Detroit Tigers released their own statement on Monday:

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.

The Tigers wisely prepared themselves for this situation by acquiring infielder Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team trade last Tuesday night. Iglesias is a remarkable fielder who should greatly improve the Tigers defense in Peralta’s absence.

Leon Halip/Getty Images
Jose Iglesias is prepared to step up in Jhonny Peralta's absence

Life without Peralta for Detroit won’t be so bad. Over the weekend fans received a glimpse as to what 23-year-old Iglesias can provide both in the field and at the plate.

They were emotionally prepared as well. They knew what they were facing with Peralta’s looming suspension and they ran him out there to squeeze every little bit out of him that they could. Now they won’t see him until September 27 against the Miami Marlins—at the earliest.

Between Ramon Santiago, Hernan Perez, Jose Iglesias and the eventual return of second baseman Omar Infante, the Tigers are stocked with middle infielders. If they really feel so inclined, Don Kelly has seen time at every infield position in his career as well.

They will certainly miss the power in his bat. Peralta provided some punch toward the end of the lineup and protected Victor Martinez sufficiently. While the drop in power will be noticeable, Alex Avila’s bat has perked up as of late and the introduction of speed from Jose Iglesias could make the Tigers more dangerous on the base paths.

For the fans, it’s a matter through what scope PED’s are seen. Many are sure to write off Peralta as a cheater and call for his release, while others may see it as “keeping up with the Joneses”. Whether or not Peralta’s apology is genuine, keep in mind how he handled the impending decision.

The man was facing rumors of a suspension for most of the season and it became all but sure once Ryan Braun came clean.

Jhonny Peralta played baseball.

He was barraged by reporters and analysts for statements and opinions on the matter. Many players denied the allegations and some continue to fight them.

Jhonny Peralta played baseball.

It was announced early last week that suspensions were imminent for players that were indicated.

Jhonny Peralta hit .294, a solo home run and scored four runs en route to helping his Tigers sweep an eight-game homestand.

MLB has made their stance on PED’s abundantly clear, and yet players continue to seek the perks with little to no remorse.

But Peralta isn’t feeling sorry for himself. The Detroit Tigers aren’t feeling sorry for him. Major League Baseball absolutely doesn’t feel sorry for anyone, as Arizona Diamondback's pitcher Brad Ziegler has made clear on Twitter.

Peralta is certainly receiving a just punishment for his actions. He used banned substances and he’s paying the price for his crime against the integrity of the game—as well as himself.

He’ll serve his time and the team will be quite alright without him. When he returns in September, the team will likely integrate him back into the lineup.

Everything will seemingly be back to normal, but only Jhonny Peralta will know how much work will really need to be done.

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