(Note: The following is a guest column written by blingboy.)
We all know about the looming suspensions, reportedly to be handed down after Major League Baseball’s All-Star break, which may have significant impact for the four players selected this year who have been mentioned as suspension candidates (Jhonny Peralta, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Everth Cabrera).
The integrity of the game is central to the whole PED issue and to its current chapter, including the looming Biogenisis-related suspensions. But the suspensions – which reports say may be of unprecedented length, 100 games perhaps – will themselves affect the integrity of the game, at least short term.
Consider the case of Peralta, starting shortstop of the AL Central division-leading Detroit Tigers. Peralta’s team does not have another all-star quality shortstop waiting to take over. His suspension for all or most of the remainder of this season could easily affect the outcome of the Divisional race, and the participants in this year’s post-season.
This raises the question of what to do about appealing the suspension. Does he appeal and at least try to drag it out and play as much of the season as possible, perhaps all of it and the post-season?
That question becomes rather more complicated when it is remembered that Peralta becomes a free agent at the end of this season. That presents Jhonny with a potential conflict of interest. Does he make the decision based upon what is of most benefit to his team, or of most benefit to Jhonny Peralta? Should he get the suspension – or as much of it as possible – over with this season, so he can be ready to go as soon as possible next year? If, for example, he would not be eligible for the first 100 games next year, how much would that cost him when he works out his free agent contract this winter? Does he owe it to the Tigers to stay on the field as much he can this year?
Peralta is just one of the players likely to be affected by the suspensions, the Tigers just one of the teams, and the AL Central just one of the Divisional races. And this is just one example of how these suspensions will themselves give rise to conflicts and decisions which will themselves affect the integrity of the game in the upcoming weeks and months.
The idea for this article was inspired by an article on the FOX Sports site by Jon Morosi.