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The Mass Media

The Sports Spiel

Photo+courtesy+of+Keith+Allison+on+flickr%26%23160%3B%0A

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison on flickr 

 

 

 

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera led the National League with 159 hits and had the second best overall batting average in majors, hitting an impressive .346 (31 points higher than his best season average in 8 seasons) before testing positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and being suspended for 50 games. In only 113 games, Cabrera already had more hits than he’d ever had in any season of his career. The use of PEDs in baseball creates an unfair advantage. 

Just ask the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cabrera batted .462 against the Diamondbacks this year, with 18 hits, leaving them 6.5 games behind the Giants at the time he was suspended. Cabrera also made history, pushing aside Willie Mays, and setting a franchise record for the most hits by a San Francisco Giant in May. 

He helped the National League secure home-field advantage for the World Series, with an All-Star MVP performance that included the only home run of the game. The Giants certainly would not have been as successful this year if it weren’t for their star performer and National League MVP candidate. The use of PEDs does not just create an unfair advantage for a player and his team, but causes irreparable damage throughout the rest of league.

Cabrera compounded his mistake by trying to cover up his unnatural testosterone levels, attributing them to pills he’d bought from a website. It turned out that the website was bogus and the pills were phony. On Aug. 19, the New York Daily News reported that Cabrera allegedly paid a “consultant” $10,000 to create the website, enabling Cabrera to claim he used their product while unaware of the presence of a banned substance. However, MLB investigators quickly unraveled his cover-up. Now, Cabrera has dug himself an even deeper hole, as he is not only guilty for the use of PEDs, but also for possibly trying to cover it up.

Fortunately for the Giants, the only repercussion is the loss of Cabrera for 50 games. But is a 50-game suspension a sufficient penalty? And should his elaborate attempted cover-up invoke additional disciplinary action? 

The Giants have already benefited from Cabrera’s ‘enhanced’ performance, and they can live without him for the next 50 games. Cabrera has since admitted that he acted on his own volition, saying in a statement released by the players’ union, “My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used.” His confession is a step in the right direction, but the damage throughout the league has already been done.