By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Months after calling a liar anyone who accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs, then-Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta admitted he had indeed done steroids. Now, after serving a 50-game suspension and returning to the Tigers for the playoffs, Peralta’s reward is a four-year, $53 million deal.
Some players are none too happy about that, including relief pitchers Brad Ziegler and David Aardsma, who voiced their displeasure on Twitter after news broke about Peralta’s deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
For many, the substantial contract Peralta received serves as evidence that a 50-game ban will not keep players from cheating. If all a player misses is one third of a season and still ends up with a big payday for his troubles, the cost-benefit analysis seems to lean heavily in favor of using performance-enhancing drugs and simply apologizing if caught.
Evidently, some players want harsher penalties in place. Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who started the All-Star Game, won 21 games and received the American League Cy Young Award this year, spoke out against PED use during the season. He favored much stricter punishments for players who break the rules, including the voiding of contracts.
“My focus now is to work with the players, work with the union, work with everybody involved to find a fairer system that correctly punishes players and to find a way that closes some of these loopholes so that players don’t feel the need to cheat,” Scherzer said back in August. ”As players as a whole, we’re tired of cheaters.
“We’re tired of guys who go and blatantly try to break the system,” Scherzer continued. “That’s something that we have to find a way to shore up so this doesn’t happen again because the more days we have like this, the worse it is for our game, and it’s the worse for our fans, and it only drives fans away. So as players we have to find a way so that the reward isn’t there anymore and that we can always talk about baseball and not talk about PEDs and other things like this.”