When the Miami New Times broke the story of Biogenesis this week, including dealings that the Jays’ big off-season signing, Melky Cabrera, had with the allegedly corrupt anti-aging clinic, it seemed as though nothing terribly new was uncovered.
The earliest date associated with Melky’s use in the original New Times story was in December of 2011. Cabrera, we know, was found to have elevated levels of testosterone during the 2012 season, was suspended for the violation of MLB’s drug policy, and has already served his fifty games.
Today, however, while we don’t have anything new linking the All-Star Game MVP to particular substances or regimens, we see that his relationship with the clinic may go back farther than was initially reported. The New Times has published what they call The Melky Files– a chronicle of all the times that Cabrera’s name appears in notebooks obtained from the clinic– and it turns out that the first notebooks he’s mentioned in were labelled “2009″.
The overlay in the image above came from one of these notebooks, along with two other similarly non-specific mentions of his name in 2009 and one more in 2010.
So, what do we make of this?
As evidence of PED use goes, without specifics we’re left wondering what the purpose of his name being there might be. It’s not nearly as compelling, or obvious, as what we see when looking at the 2011 and 2012 notes on him (also included in The Melky Files)– and let’s be clear, not even that stuff is necessarily beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt. Cabrera could have simply come in for a consultation at that point, or he could have been having treatment that was perfectly legal and within MLB’s rules.
The information on Alex Rodriguez from 2009, for example, looks far more elaborate.
In the court of public opinion, though– especially among the crowd that gets real righteous about what evil souls these filthy cheaters must have– you can probably guess how unquestionably damning it all looks. Especially given that, when he first seems to have made contact with the clinic, Cabrera was still a Yankee teammate of the scoundrel A-Rod.
No matter that Melky wasn’t particularly good in the 2009 season that followed his first mention in the notebooks, and sucked and was out of shape with the Braves in 2010, right?
So… does that suggest Melky didn’t start using until 2011, as originally documented? Did he start farther back and his transformation is attributable to something else?
Who knows? I’m sure all kinds of narratives can be concocted in the absence of actual evidence of what took place in those years. But right now we just can’t say for sure. And you can be certain that Cabrera is hoping that absence of evidence continues, just in case anything yet to come to light indicates violations that aren’t covered by the suspension he’s already served. I’d suspect the players’ union would be rather quick to fight any attempt at retroactive suspension in his circumstance, but you never really know.
As for his new club, I doubt this changes anything. They knew what they were getting into when he signed him, and very obviously they’re a liiiiiiitle more blase about the whole issue than they’d prefer to lead on, and than many fans would like them to be. Maybe the possibility of additional years of use will cause some pangs regret, but– like I say– if it took two years of PEDs before his game actually transformed, that probably suggests it was something else that transformed him, which entirely bodes well.
We shall see…
UPDATE: Turns out that the date in the image above– Wednesday, February 23rd– didn’t actually happen in 2009. There was, however, a Wednesday, February 23rd in 2011. Same goes for Wednesday, February 16th– another date where Cabrera’s name appears in the “2009″ notebook.
Those are the only dated entries in either the “2009″ or “2010″ notebooks. So… what does this mean? Was the notebook mislabeled? Was this whole damn post a complete waste of effing time?
Uh… yeah, maybe. Of course, like so much in this scandal, at this point, we just don’t actually know.
Crotch grab in the direction of @Simontwelliott for pointing me in the direction of Bob Nightengale’s piece in USA Today, which doesn’t actually link to the Melky Files, but references it in passing.