According to a report by CBS’ Jon Heyman, Commissioner Bud Selig is considering adding length to the 50 game suspension levied against San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera is the wake of his positive test for synthetic testosterone. Cabrera, whose associate created a fake website and fake supplement to attempt to avoid the drug suspension, dropped his appeal once MLB investigators uncovered Cabrera’s ruse.
“All options are in play with this situation,” a source said regarding the question as to whether Cabrera could receive an additional penalty for trying to perpetrate a hoax on MLB.
Even if Cabrera had somehow proved he ingested the PED inadvertently, it’s not clear he would have beaten the 50-game rap. But of course, that’s not how it happened, anyway.
I would venture a guess that it’s extremely unlikely that Cabrera would have skirted any penalty even if his fake supplement scheme had worked. That he and his associates went to such lengths to cover up his drug use removes any doubt about whether or not Cabrera knew that his actions were wrong. He knew, and he didn’t care.
In 2011, a season after getting non-tendered by the Atlanta Braves, Cabrera landed in Kansas City and turned in an outstanding season. The Royals didn’t seem like believers, however, as they dealt his to the Giants in the off-season for left hander Johnathan Sanchez, who has since been released by the Royals. Meanwhile, all Cabrera has done is hit .346 and be named MVP of the All-Star Game.
Now, both of those things sound fantastic to the average fan until you consider two things. One, the All-Star Game doesn’t matter, even if it counts. And Two, batting average is almost completely irrelevant. Especially when the hitter in question is enjoying a season where his batting average on balls in play (BABiP) is resting a full 70 points higher (.379) than his career number. PEDs might make you stronger, they might help you recovery from injury faster, but they don’t make you more lucky.
Regardless of the hard numbers, the issue of Cabrera’s attempt to cover up his blatant use of PEDs is something the commissioner simply cannot ignore. There have been times in the past when the commissioner’s office has failed to hand down a stiff enough penalty, but I hope Selig draws a line in the sand here. Not only has Cabrera’s case shown that perhaps the punishment as currently constituted is not enough of a deterrent for the players, but also that there may be a perception that the commissioner is soft.
Of course, it could just be that Cabrera is significantly more self-entitled than his peers, but that seems unlikely.
In my view, Selig can’t simply add five or 10 games and think he’s done his job here. Cabrera should see an additional suspension of 25 games or more.
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John Parent is the Senior Director of Human Resources for the FanSided Network. He can be reached at [email protected] or via twitter @JohnJParent.