Sports Outside the Beltway

Detroit Tiger infielder Neifi Perez suspended for 80 games

It was for testing positive for a banned stimulant for the third time.

DETROIT – Detroit Tigers’ infielder Neifi Perez was suspended for 80 games Friday after testing positive for a third time for a banned stimulant, a penalty that finishes his season.

Perez was suspended for 25 games on July 6 when he tested positive for a second time. Under baseball’s labor contract, a player who tests positive for the first time is sent for counseling.

Perez has been the only player suspended by baseball for stimulants since they were banned before the 2006 season.


His initial suspension cost him $396,175, and the second will cost him $792,350 — a total of $1,188,525 of his $2.5 million salary. He will miss the final 54 games of the regular season and finish serving the suspension next year, if he is signed.


The 34-year-old Perez is hitting .172 with one homer and six RBIs in 64 at-bats for the defending AL champions. His biggest contribution was when he started a spectacular double play to end the eighth inning of Justin Verlander’s no-hitter.


Perez won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2000 with the Colorado Rockies and also has played for Kansas City, San Francisco and Chicago.

I don’t know what would drive a glove man like Perez to use stimulants, except maybe he saw his career going down the toilet and decided to take desperate measures. Perez was always a talented glove man, but of little use offensively. This year Neifi’s hitting stats were well below the ‘Mendoza line’. If I had to make a guess, it is that the combination of Perez’s suspension and lack of offensive production will mean Perez’s baseball playing career is over.

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