**UPDATE: Melky requests to be ineligible for batting title** MLB Unlikely to Interfere If Cabrera Wins NL Batting Title
UPDATE 12:30 p.m. 9/21/12: According to multiple sources, Cabrera has requested that he not be eligible for the NL batting title, and the league has obliged in a one-time exception!
First of all, let me give Melky the thumbs-up for a very smart, classy move. He knows he did wrong and doesn’t want to earn a rare honor based on a tarnished season. No matter how much I despise the guy, I can appreciate and respect this act.
Now the question becomes, why is this a one-time exception? If a player knows he cheated and the league has recognized that with a suspension, why not let them request this in the future? Why not make it a policy, in fact, to banish suspended PED users from award consideration anyway?
That’s all for now…check out the new poll below and let us know how you feel!
——-END OF UPDATE——-
…what? No, no. This must be a joke. BLAST! It’s no gag:
“We’ll see how it all plays out,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of “CenterStage” for the YES Network. “We generally don’t interfere in that process. We’ll take a look at it at the end of the year.”
That quote comes directly from this Fox News story posted earlier today, and also includes this gem:
During the YES interview, scheduled to air for the first time Sept. 27, Selig was asked whether records set during the Steroids Era should be revisited.
“You can’t change records because once you get into that it would never stop,” Selig said. “It would create more problems than it would solve.”
Okay, first things first. It’s not “if” Cabrera wins the NL batting title. It’s “when.” And everyone knows that. I’m sorry, but Andrew McCutchen is not going to hit nearly .500 over the final 14 games of this season and overtake Cabrera. If he does, this blog becomes pointless and worthless and I will gladly eat my words.
“It would create more problems than it would solve?” The problem is that it isn’t being solved! SOLVE THAT, BUD!
Technically, Cabrera stands at 501 plate appearances, one short of the 502 required to qualify. But according to some rule in the rule book of rules locked deep within the rule hall in the annals of Major League Baseball’s rules department, the rule troll himself points out that an 0-for-1 can be added to the average to make Cabrera qualify, as long as it’s still above the second place finisher.
So it sounds as if Cabrera’s testosterone-induced .346 average will stand, no matter how much people like me cry and kick and scream. What I don’t understand is this: how can a Commissioner, so hell-bent on saving his own reputation by instituting one of the harshest drug-testing penalty systems in modern sports, just ignore this incidence?
Selig put so much work into creating a fair, stringent testing system to catch all those Popeye-lookin’ sluggers who were breaking home run records left and right. And now he’s going to let one of the players his system caught make a mockery of it?
And this isn’t Ryan Braun or Barry Bonds – both innocent, technically. This is a guy who was caught this year and said “Sorry I’m not sorry, dudes. I cheated.”
Okay, I’m sure Melky’s admission was a little more professional, but you get my point.
While Selig is in a giving mood, let’s pass out some other free milestones, shall we? Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline both retired with 399 home runs. Screw it, they get 400! Miguel Cabrera needs two more home runs to be leading the Triple Crown categories in the American League. All yours, Miggy! Or this, from Twitter:
If we are giving Melky 1 more PA so he can qualify for batting title, it seems fair we give Omar Vizquel 140 hits so he can have 3000
— Chef Justin (@JGallagher24) September 19, 2012
Baseball is a hard-fought game in which accolades and milestones are earned, not given. And when a player directly, unabashedly disregards the integrity of the game for personal gain, it’s like a slap in the face.
Would you give someone who just slapped you in the face a diamond ring right after? It’s like Paul Edgecomb in “The Green Mile” (R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan) letting Wild Bill Wharton out of prison to accept a Nobel Peace Prize.
Give me a freakin’ break, Selig. Man up and make the move. Cabrera should absolutely not be allowed to win the NL batting title, based on three things:
1) Common sense
2) The integrity of the sport
3) More common sense
All I know is that this is an awful idea. And that Selig would not want this to be his last move as Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
End, rant. Let us know what you think about Melky Cabrera’s likely NL batting title in a PED-tainted season in the comments below. And VOTE in the poll!
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– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)