Nov 16, 2012, 2:38 PM EDT
As soon as the news broke that Melky Cabrera is signing with the Blue Jays, several people in my Twitter timeline said things to the effect that it must be the case that baseball’s drug testing system is broken if someone fresh off a PED suspension can sign a two-year, $16 million deal. And I get the frustration I suppose, because no one likes to see cheaters prosper, but whatever you think of this deal, it cannot reasonably be interpreted as an indictment of the drug testing system.
Based on his last two seasons, Melky Cabrera was poised to make something like $40 million bucks in free agency. Maybe more. And now, though he is not going to be hurting or anything, he’s going to make less than half that. Say what you want about the drug testing system, but tens of millions of dollars in lost wages is no small penalty.
Now, that doesn’t mean that Cabrera’s use of PEDs didn’t still somehow help him. I’ll acknowledge that $16 million over two years may still be more than he ever could have got if he never took PEDs. But we don’t know. We simply have no way of knowing how much of Cabrera’s improvement over the past two years was a function of PEDs and how much of it was natural improvement as he reached an age when most players put up their best years. Maybe he would have turned into the player his potential always suggested he might, in which case he’d still be making a good living. Maybe he wouldn’t have. If anyone claims to know this for sure, they’re making crap up, because it’s unknowable with current science and baseball analytics.
But no matter what amount of advantage he still realized, it’s on Cabrera, human nature and the incentives any person — and any team like the Blue Jays — is subject to, not baseball’s drug program. Just as no laws, no matter how tough, can eradicate crime, no drug testing program can eradicate cheating. People will still do it from time to time. And when they do, they run the risk of getting caught. And when they get caught, they are punished. As Melky Cabrera was punished, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
Still not good enough for you? OK, that’s your right to think so. But know that the only logical conclusion to such thinking is to advocate for a lifetime ban for first time drug users. Because that’s the only thing that would have kept a team from taking a chance on Melky Cabrera like the Blue Jays are. And while you may disagree, I think such a thing would be way too damn harsh.
May 6, 2015, 11:34 PM EDT
Hardy was placed on the disabled list before Opening Day after suffering a strained left shoulder in one of the Orioles’ final Grapefruit League games.
May 6, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT
Astros right fielder George Springer made a stellar catch on Tuesday night against the right-field wall at Minute Maid Park, but he looked dazed afterward and is now being placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, per the team’s Twitter account.
May 6, 2015, 9:37 PM EDT
Eddie Rosario was promoted from Triple-A Rochester on Monday and drew his first start Wednesday night against the A’s. Here’s the very first pitch of his very first major league at-bat …
May 6, 2015, 8:42 PM EDT
Joey Votto is probably facing a suspension for this scene Wednesday at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park …
May 6, 2015, 7:56 PM EDT
Some very good news here for the Dodgers …
May 6, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT
Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez had batted either fourth or fifth in his first 26 starts this season, but he is 2-for-25 with 16 strikeouts in his last six games …
May 6, 2015, 6:18 PM EDT
Jeff Samardzija officially dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension on Wednesday, temporarily opening a spot in the White Sox starting rotation.
May 6, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT
Acquired from the Braves as part of the Jason Heyward trade this offseason, Walden posted a 0.87 ERA and 12/4 K/BB ratio in 10 innings for the Cardinals.
May 6, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT
Tough news for “Kitten Face.”
May 6, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT
Diamondbacks, Royals, Indians and Mariners.
May 6, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT
May 6, 2015, 2:33 PM EDT
May 6, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Bonds is a sponsor of a women’s cycling team. And, in cycling, is finding more acceptance and peace than he’s found in baseball in a long, long time.
May 6, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT
Michael Taylor fills in.
May 6, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT
And he’s still only 26 years old.
May 6, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT
There’s a chance for some history on the Say-Hey Kid’s 84th birthday.
May 6, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT
And he is fully justified in being fed up.
Stephen Strasburg left Tuesday’s start after three innings with “discomfort under his shoulder blade”
May 6, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT
“The irritation kind of rattles the cage a little bit.”
May 6, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
Two years ago Hochevar a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 70 innings.
May 6, 2015, 9:36 AM EDT
In my day we called it a benching.
- George Springer placed on 7-day concussion disabled list 0
- Video: Joey Votto ejected, bumps umpire 18
- Carlos Rodon to make first MLB start Saturday 1
- Bryce Harper’s underrated day: Three at-bats, three homers 42
- Tigers, doctors clear Justin Verlander to resume throwing 12
- Brook Jacoby and umpire Doug Eddings were in a “loud, obscenity-laced, nose-to-nose exchange” 57
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 143
- Devin Mesoraco could need hip surgery 11
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (143)
- Torii Hunter doesn’t care what Floyd Mayweather has done outside of the boxing ring (140)
- Some anti-DH counterpoints (102)
- Alex Rodriguez hits a pinch-hit home run to tie Willie Mays at 660 home runs (96)
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights (95)