Skip to content

No, you don’t take Melky Cabrera’s batting title away if he wins it

Aug 17, 2012, 9:18 AM EDT

Melky Cabrera Reuters

We went over the silliness of attempting to scrub history last year when Ryan Braun‘s positive test for testosterone was revealed after winning the MVP, but apparently we have to go over this again. Dejan Kovacevic, specifically, thinks that Melky Cabrera, should he finish the season with the highest average, should not be considered the NL batting champ:

There’s no sane thought process in which he would be allowed to claim a batting crown … But even if Selig wants to keep baseball’s asterisk-free approach to history, he has an easy escape hatch: Forgo the Tony Gwynn Rule in this one instance. Let Cabrera forever linger one plate appearance shy. His hits remain intact, but he’s disqualified from the crown.

Selig’s got the authority within the famous “best interests of baseball” clause, and it’s imperative that he uses it.

Not after the fact, either.

Right now.

This is yet another example — see yesterday’s — of people wanting to take an orderly and routine punishment process and turn it into some system of emotion-driven post-hoc righteous reactionary retribution. And it is, by definition, reactionary and emotion-driven. If it was something other than that, something borne of logic and reason, it would have been considered before the fact.  This is all about people seeing something that should have been quite foreseeable — a top player in the hunt for an award or a title — testing positive during the season — and getting an immediate jolt of that’s-not-fair-itis.

The thing is, though, that no punishment system worth a damn works on a post-hoc, retributive basis. Melky Cabrera got those hits under the system we have. They actually happened. Taking away a batting title if he wins it does nothing to change that and, more importantly and obviously, does nothing to deter Melky Cabrera.

If you want to change the rule going forward and make a guy ineligible to be the batting champ or home run champ or whatever after a suspension, fine, do it. That’s how laws and rules work: prospectively.  But now, suddenly saying “Melky can’t be the batting champ!” would be nothing more than a revenge-fuled emotional salve.  And that’s not what any of this should be about.

 

Latest Posts
  1. Ervin Santana ready to join Twins after 80-game suspension

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Ervin Santana AP

    Santana has been “rehabbing” in the minors.

  2. Bobby Bonilla’s isn’t the only deferred money deal in the game. And isn’t even the worst.

    Jul 1, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Bruce Sutter

    Bruce Sutter retired when Ronald Reagan was still president. He’s still being paid by the Braves.

  3. What Yasiel Puig being a pain in the butt means. And what it doesn’t mean.

    Jul 1, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Paul Sancya -- Associated Press AP

    A book is coming out which is telling us just how bad a teammate Yasiel Puig has been. Should we care?

  4. Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM

    Jul 1, 2015, 8:07 AM EDT

    Jerry Dipoto Jerry Dipoto

    It seems that if you battle with Mike Scioscia, you’re going to lose.

  5. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 1, 2015, 7:31 AM EDT

    Mike Montgomery Getty Images

    Shutouts are rare in baseball these days. M’s rookie Mike Montgomery has two in a row.

  6. Manny Banuelos expected to make MLB debut Thursday

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    banuelos getty Getty Images

    Banuelos has rebuilt some of his early-career hype this summer with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, Georgia, posting 2.29 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 82 2/3 innings (15 starts).

  7. Video: Dee Gordon hit a three-run inside-the-parker

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:26 PM EDT

    dee gordon getty Getty Images

    Watch as Dee Gordon belts a ball into the right-center field gap and turns on the jets …

  8. Padres recall Jedd Gyorko from AAA El Paso

    Jun 30, 2015, 7:41 PM EDT

    Jedd Gyorko AP

    Gyorko was optioned to the minors on June 10 after batting .210/.282/.311 over his first 131 plate appearances …

  9. Matt Cain to make 2015 debut on Thursday

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    Matt Cain AP

    Tim Lincecum will be placed on the disabled list with a forearm bruise to open a rotation spot.

  10. The Chicago Sun-Times wants Ozzie Guillen to manage the White Sox again

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT

    ozzie_guillen_090817

    Let us use this column to talk a bit about how rumors got started back in the day and how they get started now.

  11. Sonny Gray scratched due to illness

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Sonny Gray Sonny Gray

    Chris Bassitt will start in his place.

  12. Daniel Murphy returns from disabled list, Mets send Dilson Herrera back to minors

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:31 PM EDT

    Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda AP

    No one is quite sure when All-Star third baseman David Wright will be back.

  13. The lineup card for A-Rod’s 3,000th hit game is up to $810 at MLB Auctions

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:48 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

    Not that anyone really wants you to know it’s up for bid.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Matz (4035)
  2. B. Harper (3896)
  3. H. Ramirez (3801)
  4. J. Hamilton (3687)
  5. G. Stanton (3365)
  1. M. Moore (3017)
  2. Y. Puig (2927)
  3. J. Ellsbury (2637)
  4. F. Freeman (2610)
  5. M. Cain (2581)