Melky Cabrera removed from NL batting title contenders
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Suspended San Francisco Giants slugger Melky Cabrera has requested that his name be removed from list of contenders for the National League batting title after he was tested positive for testosterone.
“I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted,” Cabrera said. “I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the Players Association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title.”
Cabrera was suspended 50 games for testing positive for testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance.
Acting on Cabrera’s request, the Commissioner’s Office and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to suspend for this season part of a rule that could result in the Giants’ slugger winning the batting title despite being one plate appearance shy of automatically qualifying.
“I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. I know that changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players Association and MLB for finding a way to get this done,” Cabrera said.
Before he was suspended Aug. 15, Cabrera had 501 plate appearances and a .346 batting average. The requirement to win a batting title is 502 plate appearances — a total based on 3.1 plate appearances per game.
A section of Rule 10.22(a), however, allows an exception by adding one or more hypothetical at-bats to a player’s statistics in order to reach 502 appearances. If the player would maintain the league lead after such a calculation, he would be named the league champion.
Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn won the NL batting title in 1996, with a .353 average in just 498 plate appearances after the rule was applied.
“After giving this matter the consideration it deserves, I have decided that Major League Baseball will comply with Mr. Cabrera’s request,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward, and I believe that under these circumstances, the outcome is appropriate, particularly for Mr. Cabrera’s peers, who are contending for the batting crown.”
After Cabrera, Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates has the next highest average in the NL with .339 while Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants follows with a .335 average.