CLEVELAND -- For most of the Tigers, Monday was the calm before the storm of their most recent late-season division clash, an off-day ahead of three games against the Indians. For Jhonny Peralta, it was a day at home.
The place Peralta and his wife purchased in Cleveland while he played there is still home, even if they don't spend much time there anymore. The kitchen is still stocked, and the bed is still a lot more comfortable than what he would find in a hotel on the rest of Detroit's road trips. The faces they see are still family.
So while some took advantage of promixity and spent Monday's off-day back in Michigan, Peralta reconnected. Come Tuesday, he made the same drive to Progressive Field he did for years when he was in the Indians' infield.
From there, he'll try to break Clevelanders' hearts again and deny some old teammates the chance at the postseason. That's his job, and he made his peace with it a long time ago.
"If you win these games, you're more excited," Peralta said.
Peralta is one of two Tigers who were part of the Indians' last playoff team in 2007, which came within a game of the World Series before the Red Sox beat them in three straight games to take the American League Championship Series.
Two struggling seasons later, Victor Martinez was traded to the Red Sox for a package of young talent that included Tuesday's starter, Justin Masterson. Peralta's trade to Detroit last year, by contrast, was a one-for-one swap.
"It's different, because a lot of the fans over there, they don't believe in how I can do it," Peralta said. "And I want to win over there. But it's baseball."