Jhonny Peralta has given a lot to the Detroit Tigers this season.
The veteran shortstop not only has been solid in the field, but hit .305 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs prior to last Monday.
He has thrived as the No. 6 hitter in the Tigers' batting order, providing a potent bat on a team that's one of the best hitting clubs in Major League Baseball.
But Peralta is currently sitting out a 50-game suspension for his association with Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida which allegedly distributed banned performance-enhancing drugs.
He admits he had a "lapse of judgment" and made a "terrible mistake" in the spring of 2012 regarding Biogenesis and PEDs.
To my knowledge, Peralta has never failed a drug test. But with he and his representatives agreeing to the suspension and not appealing, one can surmise MLB had enough evidence to ban Peralta.
Some Tiger fans may feel sorry for Peralta, believing the 50 games he must sit out is unreasonably high.
I don't. He should be suspended for the rest of the season, at least. Peralta knowingly broke the rules for his own gain and figured he'd never be caught.
He's a cheater who cast a pall over his fellow players who stick by the rules and don't use PEDs.
His current ban ends a couple of days before the end of the regular season and Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski may not bring Peralta back.
Peralta. 31, is also a free agent after this season. The Tigers may decide to rid themselves of the player, now that they have the slick-fielding Jose Iglesias in the fold that cost them promising outfielder Avisail Garcia in a trade.
But I'd be willing to bet Dombrowski in the very least reinstates Peralta once the ban is lifted to strengthen the Tigers' roster for the postseason, should the team qualify.
How much Peralta would play would be largely up to manager Jim Leyland. But you can bet the temptation would be there to insert the infielder into the lineup.
Sometimes the need to win in sports overshadows the need to do the right thing.
You can bet if the Tigers take the high road and don't re-sign Peralta, there will be other teams willing to overlook his "mistake" and add him to their roster.
But no matter how good Peralta is on the field and in the Tigers' clubhouse, he knowingly cheated and hoped he'd never get caught.
For that, he should pay the price.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org