Changes to the Joint Drug Agreement announced earlier this year prevent players who were suspended during the regular season from appearing in the postseason, even if their suspension has been served.
In short, former Tiger Jhonny Peralta wouldn't have gone 3-for-4 in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Red Sox and lifted Detroit to a 1-0 victory. He simply wouldn't have been allowed to play.
Several members of the Boston club spoke this week to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal for the first time publicly about their private battles last season over a cheater returning when it most counts.
Just how much did the Red Sox talk about it?
"A lot," outfielder Jonny Gomes said. He added that the tone of the conversations was "not positive."
According to union chief Tony Clark, Gomes and "a significant number of others" on the Boston roster had conversations with union officials. Pitcher Jake Peavy and catcher David Ross communicated with the union via text or email.
Even with the revised version of the JDA, it's still bothersome to players.
"It still makes guys mad," Ross said. "Nelson Cruz beat us with a home run on Opening Day (this year). You just have that sense of getting beat by a cheater.
"It hurts a little more than normally when you would just give a guy credit for doing something good. That's on them, too. That's something they'll carry the rest of their playing career, and probably the rest of their lives."
Though they made it clear to Rosenthal that they harbored no personal ill feelings against Peralta, now on a four-year, $53-million free agent deal with the Cardinals, they were all upset that the rules didn't prevent him from playing in the postseason.
Peavy said he wouldn't care which team a PED user was playing for - even his own. He calls the practice "not acceptable" anymore.
"If any guy is knowingly cheating the game of baseball, I don't care if they're on your team or not," Peavy said. "You can talk all you want about being a good teammate.
"But if you're knowingly putting a substance in your body that is illegal in your game, you're not being a good teammate. No one is going to have any sympathy for you, no matter what team you're on."
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