URL Weaver: Mea-lky Culpbrera

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants

Are you familiar with the term “paid their debt to society”? If so, you clearly aren’t a baseball fan. For baseball fans, it seems, refuse to let go of past indiscretions – especially when it appears the indiscretions which landed the player in hot water are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Melky Cabrera tested positive last season as a member of the San Francisco Giants, sat out a 50 game suspension and was subsequently left off the Giants post-season roster – watching from the sidelines as his team went on to win the World Series.

Cabrera wore this PED albatross around his neck into the off-season, signing a deeply discounted two-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, looking to re-establish some value and his good name in the greater baseballing world.

Then the Miami New Times report on the Biogenesis clinic thrust Cabrera’s name to the forefront of the PED controversy once again. Looking to close this chapter sordid chapter of his life, Cabrera issued a statement through his new clubs, saying the matter is behind him and will not be discussed again during the 2013 season.


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.”

This statement comes on the eve of Cabrera’s return to the public eye, as the switch-hitting outfielder prepares to begin his season at the Blue Jays spring facility in Dunedin, Florida. Should he face the music, conducting a press conference where he can speak directly to quotes and accusations? Some reporters might believe so but, given the language barrier and sensitivity of the subject matter (re: federal investigation) it doesn’t seem realistic.

Cabrera’s cone of silence goes up the same day as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports kicks out more dirt from under baseball’s drug rug. Passan reports the Boston Red Sox former trainer handed out Toradol shots like candy for years before being fired by the team before the 2012 season, part of a larger training team overhaul.

The use of Toradol is not illegal in itself, though its administration via injection by a team trainer is against the law. Toradol is not a performance enhancing drug in the “Popeye’s spinach” sense of the world but it is a strong painkiller with reported links to damaged organs and internal bleeding.

Toradol use is rampant in the NFL, where a recent profile of former Miami Dolphins lineman Jason Taylor detailed his regular use just to get on the field every Sunday. In the linked Passan piece, Curt Schilling uses his Curt Schilling English-to-hyperbole translator to convey the wonderdrug properties of Toradol, going from an immobile stiff neck to striking out 17 en route to a one-hitter.

They all enhance performance. Any drug that turns a player from a drooling invalid to a strikeout machine over 100 minutes MUST be considered on the same terms as something believed to increase strength and mobility. But it won’t. The Popeye drugs are bad, painkillers are just lubrication to keep the show on the road.

Until we can square these two issues, there is no hope of achieving a realistic or helpful drug policy in North American sports. Until then, it is just PR victories and back alley fixes for those desperate to gain an edge on the competition. All in the name of fun and games.

And the rest

Topical humor is a nice reprieve from amateur chemistry.

Speaking of Mike Trout, apparently he’s now enormous? Looking forward to him opting out of the nitrogen cycle and learning out to breath arsenic. [Angels.com]

Don’t write off Dom Brown, Phillies fans. That’s Ruben’s job, a job he accomplished last year. [High Cheese]

Start your morning right! Learn about Carl Pavano rupturing his spleen.

Speaking of mea culpas, this is what happens when you post something ugly and petty on your blog and are forced to backtrack.

Baseball Prospectus releases their playoff odds report. Git yer pitchforks, Blue Jays fans! [BP]

The Cardinals extended the contracts of both manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak. Despite not being about him, Tony LaRussa approves! [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Joey Votto? Good. [Fangraphs]

B.J. Upton‘s swing? Holey. Not holy, despite being paid like a God. Holey, full of (three) holes. [Baseball Analytics]

The Aristocrats!