Aftermath of the Cabrera calamity

Three thoughts about the Melky Cabrera suspension:

1) It’s good news for the Dodgers. However, it hardly ensures that they will make the playoffs – or that, as some have written, they should.  One player doesn’t decide a season – and that’s without even knowing what will happen to other players in the remaining 44 games.

2) I’ve seen it written where you could tell from Cabrera’s dramatic improvement compared with 2010 that something nefarious was up.  Yes, that looks as neat and tidy as a bow … until you consider him alongside Matt Kemp, who is six weeks younger than Cabrera. Look at these OPS stats:

Player 2006-10 2011-12 Change
Cabrera	.709	.849	19.7%
Kemp	.808	1.009	20.0%

My point, I hope it’s clear, is not to accuse Kemp of anything untoward (nor is it to imply at all that OPS is a definitive stat), but merely to illustrate that the revelation about Cabrera doesn’t justify making assumptions about every ballplayer who shows dramatic improvement.

3) Some people can’t understand how people can be dumb enough to violate the MLB drug policy when they know they’re going to be tested. The explanation is that laws are broken every day, sometimes by stupid people, sometimes by smart people, sometimes rationally, sometimes not.

  • http://twitter.com/RobertTiffin Robert Tiffin

    1) Am I late to the “Mark Ellis looks like Woody Harrellson” party?
    2) To be as optimistic as I am now given my low expectations in March feels unreal, but I’m not even going to talk about playoff roster’s until Sep. 30th. We could tank just as easily as anyone over the next 40.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Off topic but WBB and KT will be very relieved to know I fixed my “Ice Cub” typo before.  Pretty funny–he sounds even more benign that way.  Please forgive me!
    http://jasonschaeffer.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/ursus-maritimus-with-cub1.jpg
    vs.
    http://assets.rollingstone.com/assets/images/artists/304×304/ice-cube.jpg

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      ^_^

  • Anonymous

     Excellent post, Jon.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent points, but what can also possibly be gleaned is that because of players with a talent level like Matt Kemp’s, players like Melky Cabrera feel that they need PEDs to keep up.

    • Anonymous

      It’s just flatout wrong to suggest that PEDs are something mediocre athletes use in order to keep up with the gifted ones. Just think about all the top athletes who have tested positive (regardless of the administrative outcome).

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Deadspin just published a story inferring that the drugs may have not helped him much at all, but that his success this year is based on his higher percentage of ground balls and more fit physique. 

    http://deadspin.com/5935216/did-performance+enhancing-drugs-actually-help-melky-cabrera

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t steroids used to help get a fit physique? 

      • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

        They mentioned how he lost 20 lbs going into last season, I have no idea if his testosterone supplements helped him lose that weight.

        • Anonymous

          Well, they basically trick your body into thinking you are 15.

          I weighed less when I was 15.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1305081641 Rick Romero

        Took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/major-league-baseball-hgh-program-has-a-loophole-no-in-season-testing/2011/11/30/gIQAuFbyPO_story.html

    Basically pitchers can juice with their HGH all summer, but the roids for the batters… not so much.

    Do (ex-)pitchers run the MLBPA?

     

    • Anonymous

      article dated last December, has anything changed for the 2012 season?

      first comment posted at the linked article: “No one cares! Baseball is boring, and only old white people watch it. If drugs make it less boring, than let them inject drugs into each other’s buttocks.”

      • Anonymous

        The article was about the testing regime which has been in effect as of this season.

        Also, greenies are out – another thing which possibly helped hitters focus a bit more vs pitchers, especially as summer drags on.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

    17 of our last 26? When did Kemp return? 26 games ago??  :)

    • Anonymous

      29

    • Anonymous

      I notice that Matty has only appeared in 66 games this season, but still manages to be 8th in oWAR in the NL.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7VN5CNNJSLBZQXS3NX7DTIUTA4 jasonu

    If my math is right we are  41-25 with Kemp and 24-28 without him… given the offense surrounding Kemp or Melky they are huge holes to fill when they are gone.

    • Anonymous

      41-24 in his starts which makes your argument a bit stronger

  • Anonymous

    Hadn’t realized that Melky was that young and a contemporay of the Bison.  Seems that he has been around for a while.  I guess that happens when as a 21 year old you manage to get  500 PAs for the Yanks.  Matty didn’t do that with the Dodgers until he was 23.

    • Anonymous

      Neither did I. Looked at his numbers at BR, I always thought he was decent. Wrong. Until last year best OPS+ year was 95.

      • Anonymous

        I had the same reaction to his numbers.  I guess its all the NY hype. (Don’t let VODF catch you looking at BR!).

        • Anonymous

          I always thought he was better than that too, but it turns out I was thinking of Miguel Cabrera.  :)

        • Anonymous

          The yankees traded him at age 25 for a 33yo pitcher. the braves didn’t offer him a contact after 2010. he took a 60% salary cut for the 2011 season to sign with kansas city for $1.23M. This year was his first ASG. If you thought his numbers were better than they are I think it most likely comes from not following the AL closely rather than NY hype. Or am I projecting?

          • Anonymous

            I am going to plead general ignorance.  But wasn’t he traded for Javier Vazquez coming off an ERA+ 143 season?  Maybe it was indirect NY hype through the Braves that threw me off.

          • Anonymous

            I didn’t mention the ERA+ as it weakened my point

          • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

            shift 6, shift underline, shift 6

    • Vail Beach

      Exactly.  It seemed like Cabrera’s been around for years, much longer than Kemp. Kemp has matured, and that’s made him a better hitter.  It seemed like a bridge too far for Cabrera, though at his age, maybe not. 

  • Jack Rosenberg

    Does he have to return his All Star Game MVP award?

    • Anonymous

      Yes, just as soon as Braun returns his MVP.

      (Ain’t gonna happen.)

      • Anonymous

        Reggie finally got around to returning his Heisman

  • foul tip

    Jon: “The explanation is that laws are broken every day, sometimes by stupid
    people, sometimes by smart people, sometimes rationally, sometimes not.”

    A local public defender:  “If people didn’t do stupid things, I wouldn’t have any clients.”

    • Anonymous

      Homer Simpson:  “If you’re going to get mad at me everytime I do something stupid, then I’m going to have to stop doing stupid things.”

  • Anonymous

    I am looking forward to the explanations when, later this month, the Gnats reinstate Guillermo Mota from his 100-game suspension.

  • Anonymous

    Jon, don’t you think you are being a little too reasonable?

  • Anonymous

    After Jon’s timely reverse-jinx article about the lack of hitting from our left fielders, this morning would be a good time for a reverse-jinx article about how our #5 starters have failed to win since Lilly got injured.  :)

  • Anonymous

    Jon
    Can the Dodgers put in a claim on Soriano to block the Giants from picking him up?

    • Anonymous

      They have the worse record. However, even if we had the worse record, I don’t think it would be wise to take on $60 mil. or whatever is left on Soriano’s awful contract just to “block” the Giants.

    • Anonymous

      If the Giants want to be hamstrung with Soriano’s contract the next two years, let them. lol

    • Anonymous

      Soriano has cleared waivers and can therefore be traded in the same way he could be before August

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    Posted this on Twitter yesterday, but did anyone catch when Melky was asked about these rumors less than a month ago by a Bay Area reporter he not only lied to the guy’s face, but then suggested maybe it was Dodger fans who perpetuated the rumors as a distraction. http://www.csnbayarea.com/baseball-san-francisco-giants/giants-talk/A-public-apology-to-Melky-Cabrera?blockID=747609&feedID=2539

  • Anonymous

    I’m still in shock about Melky.  So unbelievable on so many different levels.

    • Anonymous

       The only things truly unbelievable were his stat line and his denials.