Jhonny Peralta, when first asked about his connection to the Biogenesis scandal had this to say (through his lawyer):
"I have never used performance enhancing drugs. Period. Anyone that says otherwise is lying."
Turns out, Peralta was the one lying. And he eventually apologized and took "full responsibility". He never really explained what exactly he was doing, but did accept a 50 game suspension from MLB for whatever it was that he was up to.
Now, as Spring Training starts, people are curious about Peralta. I count myself amongst those.
St. Louis is, for better or worse, the epicenter of the PED world as it pertains to MLB. Mark McGwire was the human embodiment of this era's bubble – breaking hallowed records… then shattering all innocence about the feat. In the years since Big Mac's downfall, admission and subsequent easing back into baseball – things have changed.
Drug testing, the most obvious one.
So every time we hear of a player get busted we have to come to 1 of 2 conclusions: 1) He's addicted to cheating and doesn't think he can win without doing so or 2) he's just kind of dumb.
Cardinal fans won't care a bit about any of his past if Peralta comes out roping doubles all over the yard. Other players might privately resent his big free agent contract, but they'll keep it under their hats. They're a union after all. They don't like to talk about each other's bank accounts.
MLB has made him pay his penance. And as Jen Langosch reports, his teammates are on-board with him. Peralta has about as clean of a slate as he can on February 19th 2014.
What's he going to do with it, though? We've beat the PED angle to death. He knows if he cheats, he's losing almost 20% of his contract with a 100 game suspension. So it's time to finally see what this guy can do.
Let's hope he didn't need the drugs after all.