Melk Man delivering Sour Milk

 

Last week, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone in his system. With that failed test, Cabrera will miss the remaining 44 games in this season for a Giants team who is in a dogfight with their Southern California rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On the surface, there are a few ways to interpret the loss of a player of Cabrera’s magnitude. As of the day of his suspension last week, he was putting together a career year. Don’t forget this is the same player who was castoff the Yankees and then Braves in back to back seasons, and then was forced to sign with the Royals last year. Melky always had potential but something just wasn’t clicking, and until he signed with Kansas City Royals last season, he looked like a player possibly on his way out. Out of nowhere, Melky had the best season of his young career, posting a .305 avg./.339 on-base percentage/.470 slugging percentage line over the course of the season. In the process he set career highs in batting average, slugging average, hits (with 201), doubles (44), and homeruns (18). He also set career highs in runs scored, RBI, stolen bases, and many others. It was a revelation, something we never saw coming.

He then parlayed that into a trade to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez. I will be the first to say, I thought the Royals were getting a steal in this trade. I felt Sanchez had a much higher upside than Cabrera because of the shadow he was in while playing for the Giants. Boy was I wrong. Melky came out this season scorching hot and in 113 games this season was hitting .346/.390/.516. Not to mention he garnered All-Star Game MVP honors with the game being played in Kansas City of all places. As of the suspension, he was first in the NL in hits with 159, 2nd in batting average, 1st in runs scored, and had an impressive 4.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement, a stat that measures a players value against a replacement player).

There is no doubt about it, Cabrera was having an impressive season for the Giants and was on the way to leading them to the playoffs. But then comes the failed test. What is worse, Cabrera was about to cash in this offseason, after signing one year deals for the last few seasons, he was ready to get his big payday. But having a PED suspension surely will hurt his market value, just ask Manny Ramirez.

If you thought things could not have gotten any worse for Cabrera, there is now news spreading that an associate of Cabrera purchased a website and attempted to fabricate evidence to support a claim that Cabrera inadvertently took a substance that caused the failed drug test. The associate, Juan Nunez, purchased the website for $10,000 and attempted to alter it so Cabrera could claim that the topical cream Cabrera obtained from the website was the reason for the positive test. Does he really think Major League Baseball is that stupid?

Where does Cabrera go from here? Well his career season has just been thrown out the window, hurting the Giants playoff chances in the process as well. It could not come at a worse time for Cabrera as a player, because not only will teams shy away from him in the offseason but his credibility is gone as well. Tough break. Just last month he was on top of the world and now he is looked at as damaged goods.

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