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You’re forgiven, Jhonny Peralta

Oct 8, 2013, 9:34 PM EDT

Division Series - Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers - Game Four Getty Images

“That home run right there, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

That was center fielder Austin Jackson commenting on Jhonny Peralta‘s huge three-run blast in Tuesday’s Game 4. The game-tying homer was his first in the six games since he returned from a 50-game PED suspension, and it played a big role in the Tigers’ 8-6 win.

Tigers fans were obviously in agreement with Peralta. Not only did they cheer wildly for the homer, which was to be expected, but they gave Peralta another huge hand as he took his position in left field the following inning.

They weren’t just cheering for the event, they were cheering for the cheater, too.

Which we’ve learned is pretty typical of fans. They talk big about steroid users until encountered with one playing for their team.  Obviously, it’s true of some players as well.

It couldn’t have happened to a better guy? Really?

  1. jcmeyer10 - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Reminds me of when JD Drew hit that Grandslam in the 2007 ALCS against the Indians. I thought to myself, ‘Good sir, you have earned your keep on that one hit’.

    • ikedavisnose - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Kinda the same thing with Johan Santana’s No Hitter

    • historiophiliac - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:13 AM

      It’s very formal inside your head.

  2. dtownbeatdown - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Hey Matthew Pouliot… Bias much? Majority of Tigers fans didn’t want him to play… what do you want us to do boo him? Tell the ump not to give him the homerun because he is a previous cheater? Please tell me Matt what you would like us to do as fans to stop him from playing or getting that homerun. We can’t control what management does you moron.

    Trust me I don’t like that he is playing (it taints the game and the organization), anymore than I like what Rodriguez is doing to this league. But don’t blame Tigers fans for something that is out of our control.

    • frank433 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      I’m a tigers fan, and most tigers fans I know wanted him back. He served his designated suspension for his offense and should be able to play again.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        Exactly. He served his punishment, so bring him back. Hopefully, he learned his lesson. It’s not rooting for a cheater to let him come back and play clean. If he were still cheating, that’s another thing. As far as I’m concerned, we move on. These bitter folk need to let it go.

    • Detroit Michael - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Tiger fans were on their feet pulling for Peralta to hit the homer before he did it. If they are wearing our laundry, we’re going to cheer for the players.

      • dtownbeatdown - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Thats my point im going to cheer for anyone wearing the old english D. Do I like that he cheated no… absolutely not. But if mlb isnt making stricter rules so be it. Im not going to boo a guy on my team. I just think its unfair to make it seem like everyone wanted a cheater back.

  3. zackd2 - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Lol I predicted this on here when he first got suspended

    • sportsfan18 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Not much of a prediction. I mean long ago the Giants fans cheered Barry Bonds too while he was booed everywhere else.

  4. Stiller43 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    Craig,

    You should look up Johny Damon’s interview today with Scott Van Pelt and Rosillo (sp?). It was pretty funny…he unnecessarily went off topic and dipped into bashing guys for using PEDs and when Jason Giambi was brought up (non-related), he said something like “thats my guy right there,” and supported him vehemently.

    Thought of you…

    • historiophiliac - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      Pssst. *Matthew

      • jarathen - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        We all know this site is run by the many personalities that make up Craig Calcaterra’s fractured psyche.

        And Joe Posnanski when he feels like it.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Well, we don’t want to make the Matthew personality mad.

  5. grumpyoleman - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Agreed dtown. Many of us preferred he Minot come back. Hard not to get caught up in the moment as a fan though

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I can’t wait to see all the Brewer fans at Miller Park who will turn their backs in protest while Braun bats and then turn around and cheer when he has a game winning hit if his own.

  7. normcash - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    And I’m sure A’s fans will boo Roberto Colon Thursday night just as they did last Friday…
    oh. wait a minute….

    • bender4700 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      It happend SO long ago, easy to forget. Oh wait.. suspended in 2012.. missed Postseason as a result.. WHOA!

      Total hypocrisy. Can’t remember one time Detroit fans booing anyone associated with PED stuff.

      I get A-Rod hate, because it’s deeper than the PEDs.

    • tuberippin - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:56 AM

      Bartolo ≠ Roberto

  8. bender4700 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    How many PED users have been praised since by this site, since they were caught?

    Andy Petitte? Bartolo Colon? David Ortiz?

    Of course Jhonny got cheered, he made a mistake, paid for it, will pay for it more when he’s not resigned by Detroit, so why focus on him?

    Nelson Cruz could likely be blamed for the Rangers missing the playoffs, couldn’t they have used his 50 games of production? Missed by one game.

    Seriously. Peralta is the one “major” PED user who hasn’t denied, or tried to escape punishment. He admitted fully, said he shamed himself, team, organization, and his family.

    So why does he have to continue to be judged? David Ortiz gets cheered in Boston. He cheated. Where’s the outcry?

    • frank433 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      He denied it when he was first linked to it, then wouldn’t talk about it. He came clean and apologized when he was suspended.

      • bender4700 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        He didn’t fight the suspension, and gave an apology, admitting his mistake.

        Can’t say that about A-Rod, Braun, Nelson, nor several others. I don’t like that he was caught, and I’ll never look at him the same way, but I’m not going to keep judging him, while ignoring others.

        Andy Pettite was caught, admitted it, and apologized. He’s been forgiven. So not sure why Jhonny’s any different.

        I respect how Jhonny handled it, even if he didn’t fess up initially, but how’s that any different than ANYONE who is accused of something? He’s wrong for doing it, but his actions are far less scumbag-like than Braun, A-Rod, and others.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        Andy Pettite was caught, admitted it, and apologized. He’s been forgiven. So not sure why Jhonny’s any different.

        You skipped a few things there re: Pettitte. He used HGH, got caught, said he used it once for an injury. Then on the stand he was asked if that was the only time, and said no, he lied previously and used it a second time. So he lied, got caught, lied, got caught, and finally “told the truth”.

        But he’s still been forgiven.

  9. herkulease - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    For the majority of sports fans, its only bad when the other guy does it. You’ll come up with tons of excuses if its your guy.

    Its just the nature of sports and their fans.

    This applies to steroids, late hits, cheap shots, off field incidents like DUIs, arrests, etc. But at least the line is drawn for more heinous stuff like murder, rape, etc.

    Owners of franchises are the similar too. Most will talk a big game about a guy’s character and all that, but as long as a guy produces on the field(and makes them money) they’ll turn a blind eye to everything else and talk about second chances.

    • bender4700 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      But there is a huge difference in not booing a guy and not making excuses. My wife and I, Tiger’s fans, neither of us want him to be resigned, feel like the team would be better to move on, but for now, he’s a Tiger. His PED use has as much effect on his performance as it does on Colon’s in this series.

      • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        The problem with this is that there is not another free agent SS to replace him with who’s even close to as good, and the in-house options are sub-par as well. If the Tigers are smart they use the PED thing to sign him to a below market deal like the Jays did with Melky.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        Actually, the gulf between Peralta and Iglesias defensively is so wide it more or less negates Jhonny’s offensive edge. When you consider their relative salaries, it’s a no-brainer to move on. Only way you bring Peralta back if you’re the Tigers is as a super-sub, IMO.

      • bender4700 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        @Reflex:
        Iglesias has fully taken his job: Example: Jose is starting at short stop and Jhonny is in left field. So I’m not sure what the argument is.

      • Reflex - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Kevin – People keep saying that. Iglesias has a defensive reputation, but his defensive stats and metrics in both the majors and minors do not reflect that. He is, so far, marginally better than Jhonny, despite how much better he *looks*. Flashy does not mean the defense is great. I am not saying he is a bad defender, only that the gap between him and Jhonny is vastly overstated. And its not nearly enough to make up for his bat.

        Bender – Yes, and its costing them dearly. They have a guy in their lineup who has had several defensive miscues(especially on positioning) at short, while producing at the level of a NL pitcher on offense. Meanwhile they have a shortstop who is a decent defender out there playing adventure time in left field while his bat is the hottest on the team. What a smart move…

  10. pappageorgio - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    MLB, the players union, and (probably) congress and the US doping agency signed off on what the penalty should be for being caught.

    I understand the hate that surrounds the guys from the steroid era who’s feet were never officially held to the fire and their records/stats are held as a reminder.

    But now…..it has to be over at some point. The man served his suspension and he’s probably one of the most tested me on the planet at this point. He served his punishment and should have to wear the scarlet letter for the rest of his career…..no matter what groups of sports writers and fans believe.

    • bender4700 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      Amen, especially since there is a double digit list of players who are known to have used prior to him.

    • pappageorgio - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      BTW….I meant he “shouldn’t” have to wear the scarlet letter the rest of his career.

      Damn auto correct think it know what I want to say more than I do.

  11. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Also don’t forget Mr.Popular David Ortiz tested positive and Boston fans never seemed to care.

    • Reflex - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      I think a huge diff here is that Ortiz has denied it, the claim was made on an unverifiable leak, he never tested positive again(unlike Manny) and he has repeatedly expressed that he wants to know what test he failed, what the drug was and so on to either clear his name or determine what he took since he maintains it was unintentional.

      I’m not saying he is or was clean, only that in his case the evidence is far more tenuous than a lot of other guys, and he didn’t pull a Braun and claim conspiracy.

      • bender4700 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:07 AM

        Many have done the same thing. Deny, claim it was an accident, etc. That doesn’t mean Ortiz didn’t use. Lack of proof he did isn’t proof he didn’t. Considering his association with it, it’s more likely he used something, knowingly, than he used nothing.

      • Reflex - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:47 AM

        The difference here is that the only source of any info that he was on that list is anonymous. Players who have denied have all been facing discipline or had other proof of it. In Ortiz’s case, a news report was it, and all sources for it are anonymous. Anyone could make a claim like that, and if Ortiz is telling the truth that MLB and the players union have denied any additional info to him, well, it seems to me like the entire thing is dubious.

    • xjokerz - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:14 AM

      agreed

      Boston had Ortiz, Manny and Pedro win them a ring….

      nobody bitched then

      i wonder why….

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        Boston had Ortiz, Manny and Pedro win them a ring….nobody bitched then

        Wait a second, you think Pedro used PEDs? [citation needed]

  12. Kevin Gillman - Oct 8, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I am no means a Jhonny Peralta fan, lord knows as an Indians fan, I have learned that he just wasn’t a great player. A decent player, yes, but not a great player. Not the kind of reason he had in 2005, his first full year when he hit close to .300, 23 HRs, and 94 RBIs. But Matt, in the grand scheme of things, aren’t we supposed to forgive people?

  13. barnesaintnoble - Oct 8, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Fact is, we don’t know who takes banned substances and who doesn’t. Testing only goes so far. It’s not even a forgive and forget situation, it’s just an accept that this is what the game has become situation. The risk to take something that will give you an edge is worth it, have you seen how large the minor league system is and how much volume in new talent they bring in every year with their draft? Chances of making it to the majors are slim, and if they do, they want that payday. I understand all the idealists who talk about the “sanctity of the game”, but go live the minor league lifestyle on a minor league salary and reality will balance out your idealism.

    • bender4700 - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Seems like many use it to get back from an injury more now than to enhance. Which follows the same mindset.

      I’m not one that says “ban ‘em all” but I’m not one that thinks they shouldn’t be punished, and severely.

      I certainly am against singling out players when we have several examples to choose from.

  14. xjokerz - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    lol @ matthew Pouliot…. these ” steroid “.. ” Charges ” were based on him using them 2 years ago…..

    what the hell does that have to do with this year?.. he served his time..now STFU you have and always will be a tiger hater

    why dont you go make ANOTHER article about why trout is so much better than Miguel Cabrera even tho he was injured for the last 2 months of the year and didnt spend 1 minute on the DL , YET trumpt Trouts offensive numbers besides for Stolen bases, which hes a leadoff hitter..what do you expect him to do…

    you make me sick, and so does NBC.

    go choke on it.

  15. tigergranny - Oct 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    People forget that many of the guys who got caught using in this most recent scandal are poorly educated foreign born ballplayers. They come from a different background than we do, with different ways. What is unconscionable here is accepted practice there. We don’t know if some of these guys may not have understood the why of what they did when going to this clinic – if they were swept up in the whole “make you stronger, faster, better” thought process sold by these sleazebags. They may not have been smart enough to really know what was going on, and what the consequences were. The American born players – hell yes. It’s part of our culture, they knew. The thing is, we are taught to forgive and forget. Whether they knew or not, unless it’s a blatant case of the repeat user, who are we to say we would not have done the same? Let the guys try to make a living. They are being watched now, tested, and if they stay clean and produce for their teams without drugs, then it’s in the past. Who among us has not done something in the past we aren’t proud of – would we want our ability to make a living doing the one thing we are best at, taken from us as a lifetime punishment? I doubt it.

    And personally, I enjoyed that Perraulta homer!!

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      These guys have american agents and plenty of resources from the organizations they work to make sure the things they are using are on the up and up. While I’m not saying its impossible they weren’t taken advantage of I think its safe to say its more likely they were willfully ignorant, that is if they were ignorant at all.

  16. jeffchadwick - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Perhaps the most sanctimonious post in Pouillot’s brief internet history. Well done.

  17. mattintoledo - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    It seems worth noting the “couldn’t have happened to a better guy” comment came from a teammate who actually knows Peralta personally. Was it hyperbole or a deliberate attempt to make it clear the Tigers have forgiven Peralta? Maybe. Hell, maybe even probably. But maybe they’re willing to do that for him because they think he actually is a good teammate and a good guy.

    One thing’s for sure. They know him better than most of the people writing Peralta off as a terrible person because he used PEDs.

  18. largebill - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Personally, I don’t care what vitamins or supplements players take. What I don’t get is folks like Matthew insisting that fans that do care about PED’s are somehow hypocrites if they cheer for player who got caught using and served his suspension time. What other relatively minor crime do we insist that people opposed to the offense have to hate the offender after they serve their sentence? Say I dislike pitchers throwing scuffed baseball’s and a Niekro or Sutton is caught with a file in his glove am I required to boo him when he returns to pitch for my team (not that any player on my team would ever seek an advantage)?

    Things just aren’t that black and white. Fans will cheer for a player on team they root for if they doing something to cheer regardless of whether they were previously upset with something that player may have done.

    As far as the last sentence “It couldn’t have happened to a better guy? Really?” Yeah, really. What is wrong with Jackson saying that about his teammate? Jackson may like Peralta as a teammate and believe he’s been through a really rough season (regardless of whether it was his own fault) and be really happy for his friend having a big moment that helped them win a game. I can’t stand the Tigers and I have no problem with a teammate being happy for his friend/teammate. Bottom line: Lighten up, Francis!

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