Aug 15

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.

Aug 15

Giants outfielder Cabrera suspended for 50 games

With the Dodgers and Giants tied for first place in the National League West, San Francisco outfielder Melky Cabrera, who has a .390 on-base percentage and .516 slugging percentage this season, has been handed a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone in violation of the MLB drug policy. The suspension will end Cabrera’s regular season and potentially extend five games into the playoffs.

It’s the biggest suspension in the division since Manny Ramirez of the Dodgers was sidelined for the same number of games in the 2009 season. Los Angeles, of course, still managed to go to the National League Championship Series that year.

“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used,” Cabrera said in a statement. “I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and 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.”

Dodgers at Pirates, 4:05 p.m.
Kershaw CXLI: Kershaw Vie en Rose
Shane Victorino, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, 1B
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P