(as Manny Alexander is not a current member of the Red Sox, he’s probably not one of the unnamed players referenced by Peter Gammons below).

For a franchise that reaped tremendous rewards from the PED-assisted production of Manny Ramirez (not to mention the output of an unusually clutch DH that’s been in their employ for a decade), the Boston Red Sox seem quite prickly when it comes to ethical matters. Weeks after Alex Rodriguez was deliberately targeted by Ryan Dempster, Peter Gammons claims the Red Sox have an issue with Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta’s role in a postseason that began shortly after he’d served a 50 game suspension.

There are several Red Sox players who have complained privately that Peralta is allowed to play. They wonder what remains in his body. But as Jonny Gomes says, “we all play by the rules, and he is playing by the rules. So go out and play.”

This is about a risk-and-reward thing, and the reward for Jhonny Peralta and the Detroit Tigers is far more important than a so-called moral judgment about so-called “cheaters.”

We do not know exactly when the PEDS go out of their system; we don’t know if, indeed, the chemists have figured out how to mask whatever they’ve concocted. In the 1988 ALCS, when the Fenway Park crowd chanted “Steroids” and Jose Canseco laughed and flexed his biceps, it did not intimidate him; he was the American League MVP and thought he was on his way to an A-Rod fortune.

It’s all in the rules. And if Peralta is the MVP of the ALCS or the World Series, the Tigers will have won, and we will forever be left to remember that the risk and the punishment was worth the reward.

Gammons does take care to point out the Tigers’ handling of Peralta is marked different from the Giants leaving Melky Cabrera off their postseason roster last October, though they’d already benefited greatly from his performance earlier in the year.