Now we know. Now we have an explanation. For the last two seasons Melky Cabrera has been a player of All-Star caliber after several so-so years. Fooled me. I thought he had matured, eased into his prime, and was going to parlay his emergence into a big payday as a free agent after the 2012 season.
Melky, Melky, Melky, you can’t even say it isn’t so. You have been voted off the island, for 50 games, and maybe after the charade you pulled to chemically enhance your statistics, you’ll be voted off the Major League baseball island after the season, which pretty much ends for you today. It was only a few days ago that I was singing your praises because you were leading the National League in hits and were batting almost .350. I thought I was overdue to give you credit, especially after becoming the MVP of the All-Star game in July. Turns out I was premature to offer any.
Don’t know who feels like a bigger dummy right now, me or the San Francisco Giants, the team you left with a gaping hole in its lineup as it tries to rally for a playoff spot. Although I did say, somewhat jokingly at the time, that fans might wonder if you were the second coming of Joe Hardy selling his soul to the devil in “Damn Yankees.” Who knew that idle comment would be proven correct three days later?
The drug test you took didn’t lie in saying you had too much testosterone inside you to be believable. You lied by taking the Giants’ money as a fraud. And you cheated by taking the drugs. This is no Ryan Braun deal, where an appeal is going to get you off the hook. You admitted screwing up right away, the only saving grace in this mess of your making.
You had to be desperately trying to salvage your career. It wasn’t good enough for you to be a .270 hitter. One day you woke up and realized you weren’t going to be a star at this level if you didn’t do something to improve on your God-given ability. Does this mean your 2011 .300 season was a fake, too? How can we not wonder?
Somewhere along the way you lost your integrity and tried to put one over on the world. That is so 1980s. (Or is it 1990s?) In any case, you must have missed the memo that indicated MLB was going to be testing for a variety of performance-enhancing substances. The Players Association went along with this, you know, and so with newfound authority the sport was going to be cracking down on miscreants. Whereas once upon a time not so long ago a guy might get away with going from 25 to 50 home runs in one year without anyone blinking too hard, now if you commit the crime you do the time.
Melky, you drank the Kool-Aid and convinced yourself you were invincible. Not so. You manufactured artificially enhanced seasons that are on your resume, but your reputation is shot. Your IQ must be lower than than your slugging percentage because with the change in the rules, the regular drug testing, and hefty penalties available to be imposed by the commissioner’s office, nobody thinks they’re going to get away with taking drugs without being caught these days.
When you played in New York, I thought you were overrated. So did the Yankees after a while and you got shipped out. When you made your 2011 resurgence I barely noticed. But when I saw your name near or at the top of the NL averages list week after week this summer I felt I had to give you your due. Should have stuck with my instincts that you were overrated.
Now the 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s substance abuse rules will be a stain on your record forever and the taint may prevent any team from signing you after this year. After all, how will a team determine Melky Cabrera’s worth? Despite all the glory you gained this season with a terrific year till now, you have become your worst enemy.