BY BRANDON J. SMITH & WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com bloggers
• MELKY CABRERA: As you might have heard, he was officially suspended 50 games today for violating the drug policy by testing positive for testosterone. This is obviously significant because the San Francisco Giants are in the thick of the NL West race with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cabrera was leading the NL in hits and runs, while being the second best player on the team besides Buster Posey.
What isn’t significant to me is the idea that Cabrera’s high .346 batting average and subsequent stats is a direct result of him taking this substance. This is something impossible to judge based on how all players regardless of skill have been caught under the new program. It’s easy to sit back and say “well, of course Cabrera was cheating, why else would he be hitting so well?” Sure, Cabrera was hitting well above his career averages until this point, and I doubt anyone really believed this spike in performance was permanent. Don’t forget that he had 210 hits with 18 HRs for the Royals last season and hit over .300, Were there any doubts then?
It’s pretty well known he wasn’t in the best physical shape during his time with Atlanta, so an increased emphasis on health probably led him to looking for that needless edge. But it’s too difficult to tell without proper medical know-how to definitively say his breakout season was a result of x, because if I knew those reasons, I would be a doctor and not an unemployed blogger *sad face*. And it’s not me saying what he did was right, which it wasn’t because he broke an explicitly stated rule and policy that’s been in place for several years now. (more…)