Melky Vday

Welp. Seems like every member of the Jays’ staff is already on ludicrous ol’ Dunedin time, because it was at 7:01 AM this morning (which is a time that, apparently, exists) that my inbox was hit with a release from the club– and not just any old we sold out the home opener bit of typical PR babble.

As you’ve probably read elsewhere, Melky Cabrera finally talked about PED stuff, then said he was through talking about it. Like, forever-ish. For the sake of completeness, here’s the full statement:

“Last season ended for me when I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted and served my punishment of a 50 game suspension. Since that day, my goals have been to serve my punishment and to put that mistake behind me, and to work hard to be the best baseball player I can be. At the end of last season, when it became clear that I would win the batting title despite my positive test, I asked the Players Association and MLB to make sure a more deserving player won, and I am very happy that my former teammate Buster Posey won that award instead of me.

I also accepted the Giants’ decision not to bring me back for the Playoffs after I served my punishment. Instead, I continued to work hard so I could be ready for the 2013 season. I hoped and expected that I would be allowed to put my mistake behind me and to start this season fresh.

I am aware that in the past weeks, there have been news articles written about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and the MLB and others are investigating those allegations. I have told MLB I will cooperate in their investigation the best I can, just as my legal counsel has told federal investigators.  I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations.  This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season.  I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson, and have served my punishment.   I am here to play the best baseball I can to help the Toronto Blue Jays win a World Championship.”

So… case closed, right?

Not necessarily. For what it’s worth, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports was on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports back on February 6th, and addressed the possibility of a second suspension for Cabrera. (Around the 5:00 mark of the clip.)

“From people with whom I spoke yesterday,” he said, “if records show that there were multiple events, and Melky Cabrera may indeed have had another time that can be linked, MLB will go after those players for a second time. So Melky Cabrera by no means is out of the woods at this point.”

Granted, I suspect that the players’ union would have a whole lot of something to say about a second suspension, if MLB were to really start pursuing it, but the point is, just because Melky is through talking about it doesn’t mean it’s going to go away.

That’s evidenced, too, by the fact that reporters still tried to get him to open up on the subject when, after the statement was issued, he spoke to the media in Dunedin. John Lott has an excellent roundup of the event in the National Post– including comments from Alex Anthopoulos, who says the club did plenty of background work on Cabrera before signing him, and feels comfortable about the deal, even in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal.

“You definitely have to throw out last year,” Anthopoulos said of his $16-million signing. “I certainly understand the suspicions.”

The GM also disagreed with what Passan, and others, have been saying about the potential for a second suspension:

So… there’s that.

Comments (62)

  1. agreed it isn’t going away, but there is 0% chance of a second suspension IMO.

    • Based on?

      • The fact that none of the newly found information has a base after his first suspension.

      • His opinion

      • Based on the fact the Biogenesis client list was written on the back of a napkin

        • The flimsiness of some of the supposed evidence is certainly a fair observation to make. But I was really looking for a reason that anyone would say the chances are 0%.

          • I guess it would come down the exact wording of his initial punishment and allocution but double jeopardy would be the reason. I’m sure if they denied his lawful right to pursue a living, he could sue. I’m no lawyer so that’s just my uninformed opinion.

    • I’d have to say that’s a logical conclusion. If they only caught Melky now and had evidence of whatever he did before AND Biogenesis then he still would have only had a 50 game suspension.
      As long as he didn’t do anything since the suspension it’d take some real mental gymnastics to believe that MLB have it in their power to suspend him again.

      • Totally agree. Unfortunately, because of the Florida story, the Jays are going to be dealing with this all year, or at least until MLB puts the story to rest. Let’s hope they act fast or this is going to get really annoying..

  2. I read this morning that AA was quoted as saying that ( I paraphrase) when the new allegations came out that it was unlikely that MLB would suspend him again.
    If it’s good enough for AA , it’s good enough for me.
    Ya gotta think that AA and his posse looked into this possibliity before they signed Melky.
    Like to know who Passan spoke to.

    • They didn’t know about the new stuff when he was signed.

      • No but according to tweets by both Chisolm and Wilner and their discussions with AA, it seems to suggest that further disipline is unlikely.
        This was from today.

        • Gregor Chisholm ‏@gregorMLB
          Anthopoulos reiterated that he does not expect any further punishment for Cabrera by MLB stemming from this offseason’s report in Miami.

          Mike Wilner ‏@Wilnerness590
          AA:The way (potential for Melky to face additional discipline) was conveyed to us (by MLB), I haven’t even thought about it since

          • For fuck’s sake ,you’re quick Stoeten.
            Just seen you editted the original post.
            Now I feel like an idiot.
            And don’t tell me I am one.

      • “They didn’t know about the new stuff when he was signed.”

        I think we are “assuming” they didn’t know

        He failed a test, didn’t say where he got it, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t share that info with AA and staff before signing, and that the lawyers didn’t put a gag order on that peace of info?

        • Fair enough.

          • Is there any sort of timeline to suggest this “new story” is “new”? From what I’ve read (not a lot) melky is just being tried for the same crime twice – once for a blood test and once for events that lead to him failing that blood test.

  3. It really depends on the language of the suspension. I think the Union would have an absolute fit over this though, it would set a very bad precedent going forward. Seems like double jeopardy to me.

    • And then … Final Jeopardy.

    • I think that Passan has a point. The Commissioner’s Office can issue a suspension without the need of a further positive drug test, using the best interests in baseball clause or whatever.

      But Pasan fails to mention that further sanctions against someone like Melky, tithout a second positive drug test, would open up a big can of worms. The cold hard truth is that Selig would have a fucking war on his hands from the MLBPA should he exercise a discretionary clause to punish someone like Cabrera a second time (and without a second positive drug test). The MLBPA and MLB have a drug policy that was negotiated and that is the controlling regulatory authority.

      Melky will be under increased scrutiny this season with more random drug tests than ever, including the new HGH blood tests. If he stays clean, as is his promise, he should be okay. If he fails to honour his pledge to stay clean and tests positive, then he would be facing a 100 game suspension.

  4. Really hope Melky has a career year!!

  5. If AA’s not losing any sleep over this, I ain’t gonna worry.

    I like that Melky is the token shady dude on the club. Gives us that edge that will make sure wimpy teams like the Mariners and Rays won’t try to fuck with us.

  6. Jeff Passan or AA? Hmmm, I will listen to AA. Lets hope its all behind him…

    • Yeah, because why bother thinking about what they’re saying. You’ve picked your horse in this race, no need for all that thinkin’.

      • Exactly, why bother thinking about something that I have no control over. Duh?

        • Its pretty dangerous to assume they could suspend him again if proof came out that he did them previous to his other suspension.. Wouldn’t that mean that there was a reasonable chance that any player receiving a first time suspension could have that bargained up to a lifetime ban? I can argue that Melky didn’t just use testosterone the day he got caught; but in fact in days previous to that one! Are we giving out a suspension per day? Does switching ‘doctors’ to get PEDs from a different guy (or even visiting a different person at the same illegitimate place) qualify as a second offense because you appeared in another notebook? I feel there’s a large grey area here not being addressed; you can’t just say that guys can be suspended for ‘past offenses’ and call it a day; all offenses are past offenses if we’re not talking about minority report.

        • Uh Stond Jays Fan. You don’t like thinking about things you have no control of but you’re a sports fan….does not compute.

  7. it would be extremely tough to suspend Melky because of the timing.

    he was caught last year, so any earlier recordings of him doping could be argued that he’s already served that suspension. I mean if you got 2 injections one before the year and one during the year and were suspended, you’ve been caught and served your suspension.

    The only way I see him having to serve is if he took them during or after his suspension. which i hope he’s not that stupid

    • Or well before. I think Passan is referring to prior events. Like, if there’s record he was doing something in 2010, I think what he’s suggesting MLB might pursue.

      In fact, I think both AA and Passan are right here, because they’re not quite saying the same thing– Passan is more about if further discretions come to light, while AA is talking about what’s now known.

  8. Players use the offseason to work on getting faster, stronger etc. right? With the suspension Melky’s offseason was an extra 3 months (including October) longer than any other player. Would it be crazy to think he might actually be faster, stronger etc. now than he was before the PED’s?

  9. The one worry I have is that MLB (and pretty much all of it’s fans) have an absolute hardon to nail ARod to the wall. If they find any proof that Biogenesis has provided any of these guys with Peds I think the hammer will come down hard.
    If they throw the book at Arod (and I think the Steinbrenners and Cashman would welcome it) they’d need to nail everyone to appear impartial.

  10. The point is that it is against the rules to take PEDs but, as far as I know, it isn’t against the rules to buy or acquire them. MLB would not only have to prove that he acquired them but that he also used them and that wouldn’ t be easy. But, perhaps I am wrong on this.

    • Think your on to something there

      • You have to think that the Ryan Braun case showed that a good lawyer can find all kinds of loop holes in these kinds of cases. Even if- as noted below- it is an offense to possess a Performance Enhancing Substance and even if Melky wrote a cheque to the clinic from his personal account they would still have to prove that he took possession. And even then… if he showed up at the clinic and walked out with a package stuffed full of PEDs in full view of security cameras one would think that a sharp lawyer could find ways to cast sufficient doubt on what was in the package and whether it constituted possession.

  11. From the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA, “A Player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise
    violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing
    Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.
    1. First violation: 50-game suspension;
    2. Second violation: 100-game suspension; and
    3. Third violation: Permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League
    Baseball; provided, however, that a Player so suspended may apply, no earlier than one
    year following the imposition of the suspension, to the Commissioner for discretionary
    reinstatement after a minimum period of two (2) years.”

    Emphasis on “must test positive” so unless MLB plans to pursue disciplinary action against Cabrera under the conduct detrimental or prejudicial to baseball article of the CBA (and the MLBPA will certainly have something to say about that), I don’t see how this will lead to another suspension. Or if it does, it won’t be a 100-game suspension as set out in part (2) above.

    • Agreed. Aren’t PED suspensions based on failed PED tests after all? It would be incredibly arbitrary to suspend the Biogenesis players without failed tests.

    • Why the emphasis on must test positive, when the subsequent clause reads:

      “or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing Substance” ? (emphasis on “or possession”!!”)

      I don’t know jack shit regarding the legalities, but it seems to me that it would remain a possibility that MLB could (hypothetically speaking, because we don’t know what the nature of the evidence is) have grounds to make a case for a second suspension. If, for example — and I’m spit-balling here — they have evidence that he possessed a PED different from whatever they detected last time… He had elevated testosterone levels, right? Was it anything more specific than that? If the Florida info reveals that he bought a banned substance that presents itself some other way than by elevating testosterone levels, might not they have grounds for claiming that this constituted a second incident??

      Mind you, I pray to fucking God that this doesn’t happen. And I think it is a long shot provided the timing precedes his failed test & suspension. I’m just not as confident as some other posters that we can rest assured.

      • Mondesi, you’re right. Cabrera himself didn’t test positive for a banned substance, he was found to have elevated levels of testosterone, I believe. Same with Braun.

        Even if those do count as positive tests, though, it’s possible to suspend without one:

        http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/mlb-suspension-possible-without-positive-drug-test.html/

        • I know this is an old post, and perhaps you know this now, but when a player’s sample shows an elevated level of testosterone, it is flagged and sent for further (more expensive) testing to determine if it is synthetic or natural. Melky was ultimately suspended for using synthetic testosterone, which is an anabolic steroid.

          I don’t actually care about this PED stuff, as far as punishing players, cheating, integrity etc. but I think this is an important distinction. There are lots of people who think players are being suspended for elevated testosterone that MAY be naturally occurring. This is not the case.

      • Ya I was going to point out the “or possession” as well, but even then a lawyer would probably argue that it was conceivably part and parcel of the same act. A failed drug test isn’t the result of a single incident of PED use. The drugs are used as part of a regimen combined with months of exercise. It’s not like you use them once and go 4/4 with 4 HRs the next day.

      • I totally missed the “use” and “possession” bit. Kind of important. I suppose you can argue that elevated levels of testosterone is evidence of “use” of a PED. To hang a “possession” beef against the player, you’d have to have a rock-solid chain of custody case. Seems a stretch to me but as you say, we don’t know what the evidence is yet.

  12. ah 16 million is pocket change for rogers

  13. Stoeten, when the fuck are we lighting up a DJFs shaker?

    If I can find a real donkey to bring to the bar, would you all go? Surely Reyes will come.

  14. Reading Cabrera’s statement, it seems like a very full acceptance of responsibility, and yet the dumbass Star has this headline: “Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera won’t talk about his controversial 2012 season, won’t say sorry”.

    He won’t talk for the justifiable reason that he’s said everything he needs to say, and that he’s been advised not to say more. And why the hell should he say sorry to anyone? Who suffered? Certainly not the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Certainly not anybody else, seeing as we have not lost anything or been harmed, and are not his employers. Who, then, would he be apologising to?

    Jounalists focus on apologies, when what is important is acceptance of responsibility. In that case Cabrera has been unusually frank and open about his acceptance of blame for what he did, and the fact that he is not trying to dodge the results. Saying sorry to people he has not hurt would just be babble.

    • That’s funny, I had the exact same thought and actually tried to comment on The Star article, but would have had to login. Journailists for some reason seem to like make things into a story, instead of reporting the story.

  15. And now he want s a ring to boot. “Gave everything to the Giants.” Didn’t stick to the PR stuff long, did he?

  16. good god people. do not contribute to this nonsense. what a distraction.

    the guy has been way more forthcoming than a lot of other guys…and what…they want to nail the guy to the wall for being more forthright and having more integrity? what kind of message does that send??

    they suspended him. he did his time. he accepted it and seems to have been transparent about it in the end.

    move on.

  17. ‘Your Love is My Drug’ would be a better greeting for this card….like, like the Ke$ha song

  18. If they can’t suspend Braun with a big jar full of dirty pee how could they justify suspending Melky twice for what could have been the same act of cheating? He did his time and admitted he was wrong. Aside just not cheating that’s all you can ask.

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