At his own request, Melky Cabrera will not be eligible to receive the 2012 NL batting title. The San Francisco Giants left fielder is serving a suspension after testing positive for testosterone last month.
BREAKING NEWS: AP source says Melky Cabrera disqualified from National League batting title at own request. Story upcoming.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) September 21, 2012
Cabrera will finish the season one at-bat short of the required number to qualify for the batting title. However, league Rule 10.22(a) allows the batter to claim the title if additional hitless at-bats would keep him in the lead.
With Cabrera only needing one at-bat, his rounded average would stay at .346. He'd currently be ahead of the .339 average held by Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Cabrera asked union officials to intervene on his behalf and remove him from consideration.
Commissioner Bud Selig stated he hadn't planned on taking action in the matter, despite the suspension, but the MLB Players Association and MLB officials agreed on an exception to Rule 10.22(a). This one-time amendment will leave Cabrera one at-bat short of qualifying for the title.
Selig has responded to the request, showing appreciation for the gesture.
MLB confirms Cabrera withdrawal from NL batting race. Selig "I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) September 21, 2012
Speculation is that Cabrera is working on rehabilitating his image following the failed drug test, possibly in an effort to return for the playoffs.
“I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request," Cabrera said in a prepared statement. "I know that changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players Association and MLB for finding a way to grant my request.
Melky Cabrera: I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted.I believe itwould be far better for someone more deserving to win.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 21, 2012
The Giants are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, and Cabrera's suspension would end after the Giants' fifth playoff game should they play that many. However, Baggarly reports that the club in all likelihood won't bring him back at any point this postseason.
The Giants are worried about the distraction of adding a player that would've sat out the last 50 games. He would likely need some time to get back into game condition.