Tigers’ staff, players react to Peralta suspension

If Tigers manager Jim Leyland is disappointed or angry that Jhonny Peralta has accepted a 50-game suspension due to his connection to the Biogenesis clinic, he’s not saying.

But some of Peralta’s teammates were talking.

On Monday, Peralta released a statement saying, “I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret … I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension.”

Reporters in Cleveland were told before entering Leyland’s office that he would not be discussing Peralta.

As soon as someone brought up Peralta’s name, Leyland ended his pre-game media session, not even 90 seconds after it started.

However, Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski did address the issue with the media.

“It’s very mixed emotions,” Dombrowski said. I’ve had a chance to talk to Jhonny and his representatives. Jhonny has done a lot of good things for our organization. He’s a very good person who has conducted himself well. He broke the rules. He has to pay a price for that. We support that, totally.

“Our organization is going to move on. We have tried to protect ourselves with the acquisition of (Jose) Iglesias. We still have a chance to win the world championship.”

Last week when the Tigers made the trade for Iglesias, Leyland said, without direct reference to the Peralta situation, “I think it’s probably a pretty smart deal.”

Dombrowski was asked several times whether the team would bring Peralta back when his suspension is up.

“That’s not something we’re going to tackle at this point,” Dombrowski said. “We don’t have to make that decision. That’s way down the road.”

Peralta would be eligible to return for the final series of the regular season, three games in Miami.

Starter Max Scherzer, who was highly critical of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun when Braun was suspended, had told reporters last week that he would not comment on Peralta unless Peralta got suspended.

Now that Peralta is suspended, Scherzer did speak to reporters in Cleveland about the entire issue.

“It’s pretty apparent how I feel towards cheaters,” Scherzer told the Detroit Free Press. “With Jhonny, it’s disappointing, it really is.”

Fellow starter Justin Verlander also discussed the situation with reporters in Cleveland.

“I know for myself, personally, I want a clean game,” Verlander said. “I want an even playing field all around baseball, and I think a majority of the guys feel that way. I think that’s the cleanest and fairest way to play this game, and that’s the way this game was meant to be played.”

As for Peralta, Verlander said, “Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, and especially if he owns up to it and serves the time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge.”

Torii Hunter also talked to the media in Cleveland.

“I hate that he chose that,” Hunter told MLive.com. “But he’s being punished for it. He’s going to serve his 50 games. I’m pretty sure he won’t do it again. If you know Jhonny, and a lot of people don’t know Jhonny, but if you know Jhonny, awesome guy. Awesome guy. He just made a mistake. Now he’s going to pay for it.”