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PED/Biogenesis suspensions, integrity of the game and Jhonny Peralta

(Note: The following is a guest column written by blingboy.)

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.

What would you do if you were in Peralta’s shoes and were hit with a 100-game suspension after the break?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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21 Responses to “PED/Biogenesis suspensions, integrity of the game and Jhonny Peralta”

  1. Brian Walton says:

    Here is another factor to consider. If Peralta believes his innocence above all, he will clearly be motivated to fight any suspension. That raises the question which is better for him financially – potentially clearing his name, even if it takes longer, or taking the suspension and moving on as quickly as possible.

    Then there is the domino effect, which could come into play. If any one of the accused accepts guilt, it clearly weakens the cases of the others. There may be pressure/motivation to stand tall together.

  2. blingboy says:

    Good points Brian.

    As more becomes known, I hope others might provide examples of how individual suspensions, and the players’ responses, could affect the second half, the races and the post-season. (Especially how any of it impacts the Cards’ chance of going yard in 2013!)

  3. Bw52 says:

    What`s the deal with Ryan Braun? Did he refuse to talk to MLB about his involvement?

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    It will just be another PED farce. Lots of hot air.

    The Union exists to resist witch-hunts and fairy tales by the media. There will be headlines, but little impact. Suspensions will be fought and the players will probably prevail.

    • blingboy says:

      In the case of Braun, it would be hard to prosecute an appeal without saying anything.

      Other guys might think twice before potentially opening a can of worms by pursuing an appeal. But the prospect of losing a major chunk of 2013 salary is powerful motivation to take that chance.

  5. blingboy says:

    The vote is pretty lopsided so far. I wish some of the voters would share their thinking.

    • kray66 says:

      I’m torn about it in a way. I don’t think PEDS have any business in the sport, but I don’t know how you can convict and suspend solely on the basis of testimony from the supplier. Have any of these guys been tested and passed, or have they been tested at all? I guess I assumed most players got tested at some point, but maybe there’s a large enough window that these guys were never subject to a test. Anyone have any stats/thoughts on that?

      On the other hand, Braun has FAILED a test, and got out of it on a technicality. There’s been enough smoke there to safely assume there’s probably a fire as well.

      • crdswmn says:

        The Drug Policy allows for suspensions without a failed test. I gave a rather long winded legal explanation over on the main site (in the Biogenesis thread) as to why, because this is an administrative action, the amount and type of evidence needed to prove a case is different than what people are used to seeing in a criminal or civil court setting.

    • crdswmn says:

      I didn’t vote on the premise of what “I” would do if I was Peralta, because I wouldn’t use the PEDS in the first place. So I voted on the premise of what I think he will do if he is in self-preservation mode, which is to put off the suspension.

  6. CariocaCardinal says:

    I’m unclear how these guys can get 100 game suspensions. The penalty for first offense is 50 games. Peralta has no previous offense that I know of. Braun would only if you counted the one that was thrown out (doubrful they could do that). Rodriguez only if you count his admission in the press (again, iffy).

    Am i missing something?

  7. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Who the F do you guys think is doing the leaking? ……………. And why? ………………….. Sober up…..Selig did this with Balco too……..remember a no competition for Holiday?…….. the union recognizes a grievance by BHSC a week before? For 40 million………….. Lozano files 2 counter claims………… what do you think those could be??????? Union is playing hardball too ……….. Anybody going to be leaking that testimony ??????? BD is right in the middle of that too ………….the story is in your archives ……….. many tangent of that story leads to TV money and insurance scams ……….

    Selig is just trying to effect the market……… Brewers save a bunch of money don’t they? ….. how about what they have on the market?……..that’s the tip of iceberg…………in the end…….settlements will be paid with TV money via the luxury tax……….. this is just business……

    • blingboy says:

      I don’t dispute that all kinds of ‘just business’ stuff is flying around. My interest is how the ‘not about baseball’ stuff will affect baseball, because it will.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        They had Martinez and Wacha all tucked away………….and because Matheny burns Blazek to the ground, Martinez is on a plane????????????? Matheny was told to take a hard look at Blazek that night for a reason…… turned ugly……. Boggs showed what can happen when you torch those guys nervous systems………. this about a change in course……….we are back to a pitching surplus with Carpenter in the minors till after the trade deadline………. that means no pitching… its probably a SS…..if anything……….BD has his mind on other things…….

        • blingboy says:

          Westy, you are looking at it from BD and Mo’s side. I see it from the other side. If you’ve got a middle reliever you have to bubble wrap, what do you have? Not much. Matheny had Butler, Siegirist, Maness and Blazek out there, what is he supposed to do? The only thing he could. He tried letting Butler get a little singed the other day. Nothing. But Mo couldn’t miss the fireball when Blazek went up. So he sends Mike the $1.5M bonus baby peace offering. Well played by Mike if you ask me.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            The day that Mike Matheny “Tony’s” one of BD’s proprieties………….. will be a fine day indeed…..Mo might have told him to decide which one had to go…….. but he didn’t do it on his own.

        • Brian Walton says:

          I don’t see any change in course.

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