This morning it was announced that the Tigers’ starting short stop, Jhonny Peralta, was one of twelve players who have accepted Major League Baseball’s generous offer of a fifty game suspension for being part of the Biogenesis scandal/debacle/witch hunt. Peralta is not the biggest name in this whole mess, that honor resides with the already suspended Ryan Braun and the ever-popular Alex Rodriguez.
However, the Tigers – along with the Texas Rangers – may be the team most punished by MLB’s spot on impression Massachusetts circa 1692. While most of the teams who employ these egregious offenders are on the outside of the playoff race, looking in, The Tigers and Rangers are losing key bats down the stretch run. The Tigers at least had the forethought to add a starting caliber replacement for Peralta by acquiring Jose Iglesias in a three-team deal involving two of the three teams in the MLB names after footwear. The Rangers, meanwhile, will be losing a huge power threat from the middle of their lineup as the chase the Oakland A’s for first place in the American League West.
The loss of Peralta is damaging to the Tigers none the less. He was an All-Star and a solid bat in the lower third of the order. While Iglesias is a vastly better fielder, he is not likely to match Jhonny’s offensive output. With the status of Miguel Cabrera unknown and Prince Fielder mired in a slump, the loss of a contributing bat is significant.
That is the “status report” and something you can find on pretty much any news outlet covering the Tigers…we’re different though.
This whole charade by Major League Baseball is beyond stupid. It actually borders on criminal. So what if a guy took some pills that maybe, possibly, could have made him hit a ball a bit better. Jhonny Peralta admits that in 2012 he was a client of Biogenesis. Last year he hit .239/.305/.384 for an OPS of .689 with 13 home runs. If the stuff he took was supposed to make him better at baseball, he should demand a refund. In fact, MLB should look at the 150 games he played last year for the Tigers and consider his suspension served.
There was player outrage towards Ryan Braun when he admitted to using Biogenesis products. Some strong words were said by the Tigers’ Max Scherzer. Scherzer really should refrain from commenting on players who are not on his team or he does not have to face during the regular season. The locker room must have been a little awkward this past few days when it was rumored that Peralta paid for the same services Braun did (although, obviously, without the results).
For as long as baseball has been played, those partaking in the game have tried to get an advantage over their opponents. If the baseball “purists’ want to act all high and mighty now, what do they think of the 1960′s when player usage of amphetamines (or greenies) was reportedly rampant. What about the fact that until Jackie Robinson came along, MLB was excluding some of the best athletes in the country from competing. Spitballs and other means of “doctoring” the ball have been in use for ages, even after being deemed “illegal” by MLB.
If what these 12 suspended players did was illegal, then by all means, they should be criminally charged. If it’s not, then MLB – and their King Hypocrite, Bud Selig – needs to take a long walk off a short pier. Perhaps MLB should ban LASIK surgery for players who are deemed to have 20/20 vision, that creates an advantage after all. What about Tommy John surgery? Those guys with new ligaments have an advantage over some of those who have wear and tear in their elbows. of course these comparisons are semi-nonsensical…but so is this whole affair.
If the players union feels that using products from companies such as Biogenesis is bad for the game and hurts the value of non-customers, then the MLBPA needs to take action, not MLB (aka the owners). MLB profits from these players, the owners make huge sums of money off players, they are the last group who should be saying anything in regards to the “good of the game”. During the McGwire/Sosa/”everyone is juicing” years, MLB conveniently looked the other way while balls flew out of the parks and people came to stadiums in droves to watch the power exhibitions. Baseball writers exhorted the goodness of guys like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens during their heyday. Yet, when word leaked out that they may have employed the use of pharmaceuticals to aid them in their path to greatness, they were shunned by large groups of the same people who just a few years earlier could not stop raving about how awesome these guys were. Barry Bonds was one of the greatest players ever, until he wasn’t…due to vilification by the same media who built him into baseball’s version of Superman and MLB deciding they didn’t need to profit off of him any more.
The thing is, those days were FUN. McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds, etc. That was fun to watch. So what if they used pharmaceuticals. They are baseball players, nothing more. Jhonny Peralta is a baseball player, let him play baseball! If this is about the “integrity of the game” and “being role models to young players” then MLB needs to ban chewing tobacco, sliding hard into 2nd/3rd/Home, throwing high and tight fastballs, stupid umpires, and AJ Pierzynski.
Major League Baseball deserves to have someone give them the following message:
All of this, the whole entire thing, is STUPID!