Melky Cabrera Suspension: Proof Positive That PED Use Still at the Forefront

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2012

August 5, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.  The Giants won 8-3.  Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

You can't fix stupid.

That was a phrase popularized by comedian Ron White in his album with the same name that rose to the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart in 2006.

In skits performed across the world, White elaborated on that phrase.

You can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever.

That is a phrase that would certainly apply to San Francisco Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera right about now.

It was revealed on Wednesday afternoon that Cabrera tested positive for testosterone (via USA Today) and will be suspended for 50 games.

That covers the rest of the regular season and the first five games of the playoffs, if the Giants make it that far.

Cabrera was indeed having a magical season in his first year with the Giants, posting a .346 batting average, leading the majors with 159 hits and leading the National League with 84 runs scored. Cabrera was the medicine that the doctor ordered for a sagging Giants offense when they traded for him last offseason.

However, it appears now that it was more than medicine that may have attributed to Cabrera's offensive surge.

Cabrera took responsibility for his positive test, issuing a statement on Wednesday afternoon (per through the MLB Player's Association.

“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”

Letting them down? Dude, you may have just sunk the Giants' hopes of postseason glory.

The Giants in turn released a statement of their own via their official website:

“We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Giants will not comment further on this matter.”

Disappointed would be a vast understatement. You can bet the Giants are steaming right about now.

Locked in tight battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the top of the NL West Division, the Giants were finally starting to find an offensive rhythm with both Cabrera and the surging Buster Posey (who is now hitting .331). Combined with one of the best pitching staffs in the majors, the Giants were poised for an exciting stretch run and possible postseason berth.

Now, they have to deal with the aftermath of Cabrera's massive stupidity.

Not only that, it's now pretty obvious that the PED issue will not go away quietly.

I have no idea what kind of substance Cabrera took that caused such a high testosterone level to be recorded in his positive test, but are players really that stupid not to research the substances they're putting into their bodies without first checking whether or not it might be such a good idea?


Cabrera was a legitimate MVP candidate in the National League, and the All-Star Game MVP. He took what was becoming a magical season and just turned it into mush.

Not to mention what the positive PED test now does to his free-agency status.

PED use in baseball has dominated discussion for much of the 21st century thus far, with a host a high-profile players who were either accused or admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in some fashion.

Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and Jason Giambi are some of those high-profile players who admitted to PED use at some point during their careers.

Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez and others have been accused, but have never admitted to any use of PEDs.

With the testing now taking place in Major League Baseball and the stiff penalties imposed on players who test positive, one would think that the PED era was effectively dealt with.

Apparently not.

Last year's National League MVP, Ryan Braun, was also caught, so to speak. His test showed an usually high level of testosterone in his body, but really good lawyering got his suspension overturned.

We may never know if Braun indeed took PEDs.

Unless he practices the same type of stupidity employed by Cabrera, that is.

Cheating is a part of sports, plain and simple. Baseball has never been immune to that. Between sign-stealing, spitballs, pine tar, the use of greenies that was wildly popular in another era and now PEDs, players will seek whatever edge they can find to get the upper hand.

As much as science tries to keep up with detection methods, there always seems to be something new that science has to catch up with.

But stupidity still rules the day.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig and his band of merry cronies can do all they want to try and deal with the PED issue, but there is one simple fact that remains.

You can't fix stupid.

And Melky Cabrera will now bear the weight of that stupidity.

Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.


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