DETROIT — The clock finally ran out on Jhonny Peralta.
In a move rumored for months and expected for weeks, Major League Baseball on Monday suspended Detroit’s All-Star shortstop for 50 games for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami.
Moments after the suspension became official, Peralta released a statement through the team.
“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.”
At the same time, the Tigers issued their own statement:
“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.”
Peralta was one of more than a dozen players suspended in a process that started on July 22, when Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game ban.
Detroit has 53 games remaining in the regular season, meaning that
Peralta would be eligible to return for the final week; however, that
The Tigers have already acquired Peralta’s replacement in Jose
Iglesias, and GM Dave Dombrowski said that he would be happy to go into
the postseason with Iglesias at shortstop.
There’s also this: Peralta would normally be allowed to play in
minor-league games to prepare for a return after the 50th game, but
that’s not an option in late September. Minor-league play will be over
Unless the Tigers have already clinched a postseason berth, Peralta
— likely rusty from the layoff –wouldn’t get the game time needed to
play at the highest level.
That means Peralta’s season is almost certainly over, and given his
free-agent status, there’s a very good chance he’s played his final
game for the Tigers.
His career in Detroit has been a mixed bag. Peralta struggled with
the bat after joining the team in 2010, but rebounded to make his first
All-Star Game appearance in 2011.
Last season, he had another poor regular season, hitting .239 and
looking slow at shortstop. He then bounced back to hit .343 in Detroit’s
postseason wins over Oakland and New York while fielding everything hit
His hot hitting in the playoffs didn’t last, though. Peralta went
1-for-16 in the crushing World Series sweep by the San Francisco Giants.
This year, he was back to his top form. He’s been the best-hitting
shortstop in the American League and was an easy selection for his
second All-Star Game.
Since the All-Star break, with his name being constantly linked to
the scandal and with reports of imminent suspensions hanging over him,
he still managed to hit .316 in 15 games, including a pair of homers in
Detroit’s 8-0 homestand. In his final game,
Sunday’s 12-inning win over the White Sox, Peralta made a game-saving
defensive play in the 10th inning, and narrowly missed a walk-off homer
in the 11th.