Further controversy has been avoided in the case of suspended San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was disqualified from winning the 2012 National League batting title under an agreement he reached Friday with Major League Baseball.
As first reported by CSNBayArea.com, the MLB Players Association, acting on Cabrera’s behalf, agreed with MLB to amend a section governing batting-title rules that would make the Giants centerfielder ineligible for the achievement based on plate appearances. Under the agreement, Cabrera would fall one plate appearance short of qualifying for the title.
Cabrera, 28, was having his finest season this year as he was batting .346 when he was suspended for 50 games after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy for taking testosterone.
MLB batting-title rules “permits a player to be recognized as the official winner if extra hitless at-bats are added to his average and it remains higher than any qualifying player,” according to CSNBayArea.com.
While that section of the rules normally applies to suspended players, the agreement reached between MLB and Cabrera means the clause is not applicable to the centerfielder. The move to make a one-time amendment to the rules is unprecedented, according to the website.
The website said Cabrera’s insisting that he not be awarded the batting title should his .346 average hold up as the best in the National League “is a clear attempt to rehab his public image and market value.”
The Giants outfielder’s reputation took a hit after his Aug. 15 suspension when it was revealed he tried to dupe MLB in an elaborate scheme involving fake websites and a phony product in an attempt to prove he could not be blamed for taking a banned substance.
The websites were used to create fake evidence proving Cabrera unknowingly took a false substance.
“There was a product they said caused this positive,” a source told the New York Daily News, which broke the story of the scheme. “Baseball figured out the ruse pretty quickly.”
The scam was revealed a few days after Cabrera announced he would not fight the suspension. At the time, he was lauded for being the first player facing a suspension to accept the punishment without using excuses.
But it was later reported that Cabrera went that route only after MLB notified him that it had uncovered the scam.