Making sense out of nothing at all: The Melky Cabrera quandary and the ongoing hypocrisy of Major League Baseball

“I don’t care anymore”

-Phil Collins

I’m really getting tired of writing about drug use in Major League Baseball.  So much so that this time around, I’m going to be brief.

I…. don’t …. care.  How’s that?

What our national pastime has presented us with, once again, is enough gray to rival the world’s largest raincloud and an institution that has turned its head on the heroes it once revered, yet never felt the slightest bit guilty about cashing the checks they brought into the game.

Let the hypocrisy continue with Melky Cabrera.

I haven’t watched a single San Francisco Giants game this year yet, from what I understand, Cabrera was having himself quite the season.  He has 159 hits, which led the league as of August 18th, and a .346 batting average, second only to Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, who Major League Baseball has to be secretly hoping wins the NL batting title.  Why?  Because Cabrera is eligible to win the batting title even after his fifty-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Keep your fingers crossed, Bud.  We’re all rooting against you on this one.

The next person to make sense of this head-scratching predicament will be the first.  Let’s say I became the top salesman at my job, yet broke company policy to do so, would I still be eligible for my bonus or have it swept out from under me?  Major League Baseball wants to pretend it’s penalizing its athletes for wrongdoing, yet rewards them in the very same breath.

I can picture it now, Bud Selig at his desk, phone pressed against his ear, chatting away with the person on the other end of the line.  One of Selig’s assistants walks in to his office and tells him that Cabrera failed a drug test.  Selig responds listlessly, paying more attention to the phone call than to the HGH bomb just dropped in his lap.  “Suspended!  Yea, yea!” Selig shouts as he signs off without a care.

“So, Boss, do we keep him eligible for the batting title?” asks the intern.

“Sure, sure,” Selig replies as he dismisses him from his office to finish his phone call, only to realize later what he had just done…  another wishy-washy stance on an issue that has plagued the game under his watch.  So much for professional sports’ most stringent drug policy.

Look, I don’t care either way.  Give him the award or don’t, but take a damn stand.  Either suspend the guy and make him ineligible for post-season recognition or let it slide, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not.  If Melky was juicing, wouldn’t his numbers reflect the fact that he was cheating by the standards you yourself have set?  Why would baseball choose to honor his accomplishment if they’re taking a new hard line?

To paraphrase J.A. Adande on a recent episode of Pardon the Interruption, Major League Baseball has yet to answer for previous MVPs who have admitted to steroid use the very same year they won the award.  Furthermore, with every ticking second, we inch closer to the day Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens become Hall of Fame eligible.  It’s as if Selig is hoping these issues will just go away.  But they won’t.  And the buck has to stop somewhere.  Just not anywhere in Selig’s zip code.

I don’t blame Melky Cabrera for trying to get an edge, even if he knew what he was doing was wrong.  He’s in a contract year and was obviously doing everything to ensure success, as well as a future payday.  He broke the rules, yet may still have a batting title to show for it.  So where’s the punishment?  It might soon rest comfortably aside his Silver Slugger award.

Major League Baseball’s hypocrisy is reaching record-setting heights, even by its own pathetic standards.  The saddest part is that its fan base now cares as little as its Commissioner.

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38 Replies to “Making sense out of nothing at all: The Melky Cabrera quandary and the ongoing hypocrisy of Major League Baseball”

  1. Pingback: Making sense out of nothing at all: The Melky Cabrera quandary and the ongoing hypocrisy of Major League Baseball - BallHyped, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. So Melky’s stats thus far can stand and may well merit his being voted for in the NL MVP . This is all so asinine ! Players will not see any suspension as a deterrent until they get hit financially in the pocket with a stiff monetary penalty. Let me pose this question , when will it occur to putz like Selig his stance on the issue is way too soft ? 50 game suspension the first time around is like a slap on the wrist . The real issue with MLB is that they’re still running scared because of the power of the MLBPA (union). If the fans can’t see that then it shows their complete lack of intelligence .

    The federal government are now in the process of having three separate agencies investigate this matter simultaneously . How fu##ed up is that ? The FDA , Justice Dept (Criminal Division) and the FBI . Hell we can’t go after Obama’s fat cat bankers who fu#ked up the financial system with their egregious malfeasance but we now his administration can waste taxpayers’ monies and valuable resources on this bull#hit !

    Go figure ! Who’s wagging the flea bitten dog’s tail within his administration ?

    Is it possible there will come a time when Selig has one of his subordinates remove either heads or male reproductive organ from his sphincter ?

    There’s no other way to describe it , other than being god-damn awful

    Tophatal ………….

  3. I’m a Giants fan. Have been since I was 7 years old when they moved to San Francisco… A “through thick and thin” fan. I absolutely hate this. My love of the game has cooled significantly since all of this PHD use came to light and my extreme dislike of the people who control the game (the owners and their lackey commissioner) has gone through the roof… It’s bad enough that teams which happen to reside in a big market are given an unfair advantage on the revenue front, cheapening the game by having teams like the Yankees perrenially in the hunt for the playoffs because they can pay more to their players while small market teams (Kansas City, etc.) flounder. Now we have the drug enhanced players, the numbers of which were allowed by the owners to fester, while those same owners reaped the benefits of drug enhanced players breaking some of baseball’s long-time records. It’s no surprise teams like the Yankees have had so many “drugies” on their roster…

    The solution? Come down HARD on the violators, no exceptions. Sit a player for a full year and don’t allow the violators’ year in question to count in the record books. If there’s a second violation ban them from the game, again, no exceptions.

    I’ll leave you with this: Forget the individual records. How many championships have been won as a direct result of drug enhanced players?

  4. Al…

    As a general rule, I’m okay with a 50-game suspension. The 50-100-life rule is pretty severe.

    I guess my point is, why would baseball still recognize his numbers if they know they were a product of his juicing?

  5. Dwin…

    That’s Major League Baseball’s biggest dilemma in my opinion.

    Guys our age who grew up idolizing the game and its players, memorizing every statistic on the back of each baseball card, eventually became disillusioned with the game, first because of the strike and then because of the drugs.

    That’s what any future commissioner will have to combat to even think about regaining our interest.

    I’d have to look at your question more closely but I would imagine, if a fair amount of the players were juicing, then most of the championships won had someone on their roster doing so, no?

  6. Most fans don’t care they just want to be entertained. In the meantime young men will damage their bodies and some will die, but we don’t care. We just want to see baseballs fly out of the park.

  7. It’s a sad commentary on what use to be… back-in-the-day … a national treasure.

    While no expert, by any means, I blame the huge salaries … which spurs on the competition & pressure on players.

    The other Q is how has Selig remained Commish heading a sport has sunk in ratings, fans, turn-out & general interest?

    I don’t understand but it’s a very sad commentary on a sport that yr Grandparents & Uncles loved & you were raised around.

    Juicing … is just one of many it’s problems. Don’t you agree SC?

    Good but sad post.

  8. I DON’T EITHER! Bud “Light” Selig has zero credibility. He makes David Stern likeable. Bottom line is that the majority of steroid cases in MLB happened during a time when steroid use WAS NOT ILLEGAL. What’s the big deal? More to the point, Who gives a shit? So what if hitters were juicing. So were pitchers. It evened out across the board. As for now, getting suspended for 50 games is bullshit. Those same players are the ones responsible for putting asses in the seats. That’s the bottom line in professional sports. We just want to be entertained. The biggest problem in this whole steroid issue are the sports writers. Most of those assholes go all out making sports to be on par with a religious experience. Get real Woody Paige, Bill Plaschke, et al. Its not your sport, its ours. All of those phonies were cheering when Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds were hitting 70+ home runs. Now they’re vilifying those guys who gave us all of those thrills. Oh, and Bud Selig is still a douche bag.

  9. P.S. I think ALL players in ALL sports should be allowed to use ANY and ALL drugs. Better living through chemistry. If you have ever used drugs (and you know who you are), then to deny an athlete his drugs makes you a hypocrite. Never forget that sports is just entertainment. To even think about taking away any athlete’s records because of illegal drug use, you have to start with Babe Ruth, who was one of the most famous drinkers during Prohibition. Yes, alcohol is a drug and it was illegal during most of Babe Ruth’s career.

  10. It is frustrating to still have this drug problem hovering over MLB. We remember when we saw Melky Cabrera in this year’s All-Star Game and how we were still shocked to see this guy ripping the ball like he did. To see Melky Cabrera fail the drug test shows signs of others doing it too, but just not getting caught. You don’t know who’s doing what anymore. Baseball needs a facelift for sure.

  11. Chris

    A 50 game didn’t deter Manny Ramirez did it ? The MLB hierarchy is far too soft and this comes from the fact they’re scared sh##-less because of the power of the MLBPA (union)

    As for the advocacy for the use drugs within the game. Only a fool would consider the risk worth. Long term repercussions such as renal failure , impotency obviously doesn’t occur to these individuals as a cause for concern .

    How bad does things have to get for the Rays before Maddon realizes that the team’s offense isn’t worth crap. Their current inconsistency will come back to bite them in the proverbial a#s at the end of the regular season .

    So the Bucs can’t get 75,000 fans inside of the Ray J to guarantee a sellout for the game against the Pats this Friday ? WTF !

    Oh I forgot, the Glazers have been devoting more time to Man Utd after the team’s listing on the London Stock Exchange as well as on the NYSE . They hope to raise in excess $375 million of which part of the monies will be sued to pay down part of the remaining $675 million debt still on the books .
    Make sense doesn’t it ? Go with the winning brand , rather than the franchise that continues to remain inconsistent .


  12. Two questions nobody has given me a good answer for:

    1) Why is one form of cheating determined to be so much worse than any others?

    2) Why is this such an issue in baseball, but PEDs are rampant in other sports and nobody cares?

  13. Aer…

    I think there’s still a small portion of Americans that are genuinely offended by steroid use in baseball but I think at this point, not that many of us care anymore, or at least not as much as we used to.

  14. M…

    I don’t want to act all “Woe is us” for losing the game we grew up with. It’s just changed, that’s all.

    Big money, big business. Besides, it’s not like baseball players were saints back in the day either.

  15. BS…

    I actually thought the 50/100/life policy would deter drug use in the sport.

    I was obviously mistaken, although, how many guys have made it to the second or third steps of the program?

    Did Manny receive a 100-game suspension? No one’s been banned for life yet, right?

  16. Al…

    These guys are willing to sell their souls in the long-term for success in the short term. If they can do something that will guarantee them a hundred million dollar contract, they’ll worry about the renal failure later.

    I see the Rays are up to their old tricks again, not providing any run support for the smoking hot David Price last night.

    Really, guys? A 1-0 loss in ten innings to the Royals after your bats have been smoldering? I hope someone bought David Price a nice dinner afterwards because he certainly got screwed beforehand. Three hits and eight strikeouts through eight and no W to show for it.

    And the Bucs can’t get 75,000, Al? Try they can’t get 45,000!

  17. Dub…

    Let me start by trying to answer #2 first.

    My take on that is… it’s baseball. It’s our pastime. It’s what we all grew up with, and there was no anything else. And yes, baseball thinks it too high and almighty for its own good because of that very fact.

    It took advantage of that role and the way we all felt about it. We treat our baseball legends, DiMaggio, Ruth, etc., as if they’re national treasures.

    So because of that, drug use to get an edge in baseball is, or at least was, almost seen as a crime, like you’re assaulting a piece of our rich history, which of course, is total bullshit.

    Baseball is responsible for building this monster and like I said in the post, it appears Selig is just hoping it all goes away.

    And in regards to your first question, you raise a very valid point, which we could probably point/counterpoint on our podcast until our heads explode.

  18. I say let Joe Redner of Mons Venus , offer pre game and half time entertainment at the Bucs’ home games and the Ray J would be packed to the rafters . Got any problems with that ? The kids can be bussed to some nearby amusement that’s child-friendly . Again got any problems with that ?

    Price would sell his soul and offer up a bodily organ if it’d guarantee run support for the Rays .

    So Clemens is making another comeback ? He gives the perception that he’s disinterested in returning to the Big League but the Astros send several of their scouts to watch him pitch . Isn’t Jose Canseco doing something special in the Bay area this weekend ?

    There’s no quarterback controversy in Seattle but Matt Flynn is crying foul because rookie Russell Wilson is now making him look redundant . The same can’t really be said in Arizona because both aren’t players fit to be called quarterbacks ( Kolb & John Skelton) .

    My Bulls#it is just as good as his, and it smells twice as good ….

    There’s no other way to describe it , other than being god-damn awful

    Swoosh, nothing but net baby !

  19. Al…

    My only problem with your Redner proposal is that they don’t serve liquor there. Hey, a man has his priorities.

    I don’t get the whole Clemens thing, man. He’s 50 years old and probably has more money than he knows what to do with, unless donuts are suddenly becoming expensive.

    So why the comeback? For his love of the game? To clear his name and show he’s still got it? Or both?

    And Seahawks football, Al? Really? We have enough issues right here in Tampa that I need to start looking at, rather than quarterback controversies three thousand miles away.

  20. You were saying about the first time penalties are tough enough ?

    Bartolo Colon is the latest ##s to get busted .

    Bartolo Colon tests positive 50 game suspension now awaits .

    Still believe that first time deterrent is a strong enough penalty ? You’ve got to be kidding ?

    What’s wrong with a quarterback controversy nowadays ?

    Allow Redner the opportunity to promote an event at the Ray J. Guys can BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) or pay the price for the liquor and whatever else is on tap . Not unlike attending one of the numerous and renowned swingers’ establishments within the Bay area .

    I say that the Rays’ management </a. and the front office offer an inducement to the Rays’ batters ! $10k for every home run , $2,500 for a single , $4k for double $7,500 for a triple , as a way of improving run production from the team . Your thoughts ?

    Rocket is coming back because he craves the limelight . And anyone who doesn’t think that he doesn’t want to play in the Majors even at his age , has to be naive . There’s a reason why the Astros sent a couple of scouts and coaches to see Clemens pitch . I know that they’re a bad team but with Roger there at Minute Maid Park , it’d pique the interest even of the non-observer and the homeless in greater Houston area . These are desperate times for team owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow . Remember next season , everyone who’s anyone in the AL West will be whipping up on the Astros’ sorry a@s when they move there in 2013 . Need I say anymore on the matter ?

    Tophatal ………

  21. 50 game suspension in baseball is like Lindsay Lohan spending a week in rehab for her issues . . Laughable at best . The MLB hierarchy is being ran by a bunch gutless and spineless morons ! Bud Selig , an act flatulence would give him a damn aneurysm .

  22. Well, Al, at least we now know that PEDs aren’t slimming. Or what did Dubs Tweet earlier? That he was surprised Colon hadn’t tested positive for burritos?

    Colon’s career was pretty much over anyway. Perhaps he should have ingested earlier.

    Dude, the Bucs organization wouldn’t touch Redner with a ten foot stripper pole. They’re probably just jealous his product is a bigger draw in the Bay area.

    Is that true about the Rays offering financial incentives for their players to hit. A) is that even legal and B) where’d they find the coin for that.

  23. It’s not a lot. But it’s obvious that it’s not been enough of a deterrent . Never mind the fact that the union doesn’t speak out openly on this matter and neither have any of the prominent players within the game . Instead they’re like a bunch of listless as#holes sitting around waiting for a solar eclipse .

    Baseball’s hierarchy is a joke along with these docile as#hole players , owners gutless executives within the union’s executive committee !

    We act appalled when kids are being raped but god forbid a player chooses to break the rule of law and we’re making f##king excuses for their dumb behavior . Is this what the country this has country now become about ? In the meantime these very same players are the ones that fathers take their sons to watch at the ballpark ? This is all so asinine with the lame a#s excuses being placed within the public debating forum !

    Perhaps we need to have one or two players die from a damn heart attack before someone actually takes this matter seriously .

  24. Chris

    Well the say things to group themselves in threes , in the world it’s been Phyllis Diller and noted director Tony Scott ( Director of Top Gun & Unstoppable , Taking of Pellam 123[remake] and Man On Fire [Denzel Washington]). So who’s next on the list amongst the entertainment world luminaries ? And with that in mind who’ll be i next in the world of baseball infamy ? We’ve had Melky and Bartolo . So what now ? Still convinced those tame slap on the wrists are enough ? In minors there have been more players that have fallen afoul but no one cares about what happens in the Minors to begin with . It’s mere apathy and stupidity at all levels of the game anyway in sport that is now lacking in morals , integrity from the very beginning .

    And you know what with each season Selig trotting out Jackie Robinson’s name as social crutch it’s an embarrassment for what he’s alleged to stand for then the league hierarchy simply hasn’t the backbone to take a real tough stance against the cheaters within the game . Perhaps we really do need major tragedy such as a death before those as#holes in Selig’s office actually sit up and take notice as well as apathetic fans within the game . Hell these are the very same ones who don’t even decry the very fact as to the gross negligence shown by the NFL in their mistreatment of the NFL veterans . Baseball and the NFL simply only pay these issues lip service , like anything else !

    My bull#hit is just as good as his and it smells twice as good

    Bustin’ out some Meek Mill ..feat’g Drake at present “Amen”

    Tophatal ………….

  25. With the rapid pace of the A’s stadium situation getting resolved, I’m actually surprised baseball has even implemented a testing policy after two decades of roids in the game. Kudos to Bud for having his finger on the pulse of all the problems going on with his league. I don’t think he should get his batting title, but then again I don’t really care a ton if he does. Braun was a fraud last year when Kemp clearly deserved it…

  26. Chris,

    Just to touch on your reply, nope… no one hasn’t been banned for life yet. With Melky Cabrera doing what he did, it goes to tell you that this whole 2nd/3rd stage of punishment doesn’t work. The players are not scared and someone needs to get hit hard for MLB to set an example. The game is being ruined by all this drug use.

  27. Al…

    I think most would agree with you that the fifty-game suspension is not enough if Major League Baseball really wants to clean up the game, however, I’m not sure there’s an athlete out there that’s taken PEDs and that’s been able to shed the user label.

    They wear it as their scarlet letter for the rest of their careers. I mean, is there an athlete out there that we’ve forgiven or disassociated from drug use?

  28. Al…

    Tough to project who the next user outed will be. Selig has to be hoping it won’t be anyone this year, but at this rate, who knows.

    And on a side note, you gotta hand it to Joe Maddon. That Tampa clubhouse is clean and devoid of any such rumors of PEDs.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go knock on wood.

  29. Chap…

    Canseco was a fraud the year that Greenwell deserved it.

    In fact, I remember Greenwell saying publicly that he wanted, and should rightfully been awarded, Canseco’s MVP that year once he admitted to using steroids.

    Nice, huh?

  30. Yeah I DO remember that, but as I recall, steroids were legal at that time no? I try to block out that 88 season and Kirk Gibson’s homer…

  31. Pingback: Sports Chump » Armstrong strong-armed, banned from cycling for life

  32. Bleed….

    Snake drinks a lot of Crown Royal, and on off days, takes random excursions with his hot wife on their Harleys.

    I figured you two would get along.

    P.S. He’s a Celtics fan.

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