Whether it was a public relations move or a sign of immense regret, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera asked Major League Baseball to remove his name from consideration for the National League battling title on Wednesday.
One day later, the Players' Association made it official.
Rule 10.22 (a) states that if a player is short the required amount of at-bats to win the batting title, at-bats can be added to fulfill the requirement, albeit with no extra hits attached.
Under the amendment, suspended players are not granted this luxury.
Cabrera was one at-bat short of fulfilling the requirement before being given a 50-game suspension by MLB for testing positive for testosterone. With a .3464 batting average, his average would have dropped to .3456 with the extra at-bat attached, still ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen (.339) and teammate Buster Posey (.335).
But the amendment takes Cabrera out of contention entirely.
This, of course, came after he asked to be taken out of contention. Whether it was a gracious move or a PR stunt, it was the right move and it gives Cabrera some semblance of dignity in what has been an embarrassing final stretch for a player who was loved and respected by Giants fans before the suspension.
It would have likely caused a ruckus throughout baseball if Cabrera was actually allowed to take home the batting title anyway, but it's nice to see him take full responsibility for his actions.
Even when the news came out about Cabrera testing positive for testosterone, he immediately accepted the punishment and apologized to the organization and his fans. While what he did was wrong, it's refreshing to see a player admit his mistake and move on.
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