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Thursday, August 16, 2012

MELKY CABRERA: WHEN SUNSHINE TURNS TO DARKNESS

I have expressed an appreciation for how Melky Cabrera’s road through the Major Leagues has been.  I like success stories.  I like when my kid can come up to me and say “I like that Melky guy now, he can hit!  I don’t like it when I then have to wait for him to come up to me and say “What’s illegal substance mean?”  At that point, I want all these athletes who knowingly take PEDs to call my house. I want to put them on the phone with my 9 year old and have them explain to my kid who worships athletes that cheating isn’t the answer.  Why? I’ll tell you why…what happened to Melky Cabrera yesterday should not have happened, read HERE.) He had the talent, he just needed to play ball…that’s it. 

Look, I’ve stated my position on PEDs. I hate the topic. It makes me queasy.  There is no winner.  You have these players who may have “knowingly” or “not knowingly” dabbled in performance enhancing drugs and then you get stuck in the weeds trying to figure out what really happened. In the end, Major League baseball says it’s wrong, they test and leave it at that.  Enter Melky Cabrera, whom I expected more from, or maybe not.  There was no doubt Melky did this on purpose and then got caught. He admitted it in a statement yesterday, read below:

 "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."

I’m disappointed, but maybe I’m not surprised. Why? Because Melky Cabrera was out to prove something.  He wanted everyone to know that he could be a great ballplayer and so, he looked for a short cut, he cheated.  When he won the MVP at the All-Star game, I was thrilled for him. When he did his “Crotch-chop” in Atlanta, I was quickly disappointed and I wondered “What’s up with the arrogance in this guy?”   
The guy just seems too immature to handle any of his recent fame and popularity and that’s the first thing that came to mind yesterday when I read about him failing the test.  He just doesn’t get it.

I try to tell my kids, don’t cheat and they get that, but what’s to say they’ll get it when they hit high school and some dude has a barrel full of protein mix in their locker. Or in college if they’re so lucky to continue playing and there’s a guy with a substance that will make them run faster and “no one has to know”…then what?   As a parent, you guide your kid, but you can’t hand them their towel in the locker room after a big college game, you know what I mean?  You teach values, but how do you make sure those values stick when Melky Cabrera or ARod or Rafael Palmeiro pops up? Interesting question, I think I have an answer.


Now, in fairness to Melky, he admitted it, much like Alex Rodriguez, much like Andy Pettitte and in the public eye, it seems to help…but it’s always in the back of people's mind…mine included. Many of us like when people admit wrongdoing, but it still sticks.  I think about it a lot, but there I go again, wondering what happened and if it was done intentionally or by mistake.  There are guys that probably took it and were never tested and guess what…we don’t know if it really happened or not, we just speculate. I hate all of this, but not because they did what they did to their bodies or the baseball records or all that crap, but for my kids.  Why the hell should I have to explain to my child about some other man’s mistakes? Why? So here’s my solution…

You want to make a real punishment for these players? Here’s a tip, in addition to a 50 game suspension from Major league baseball for testing positive on their first offense, they also must record a message that should be posted on the MLB website and also cut into a Public Service Announcement for television and radio of the player who failed the test. In that Public Service Announcement, it should simply state (and I’ll use Melky Cabrera as an example):
My name is Melky Cabrera, I was an All-Star outfielder with the San Francisco Giants this season, but I tested positive for drugs and cheating.  I am now suspended for 50 games.  What I did was wrong.  Don’t be like me. I am not a role model. A role model works hard to achieve their goals.”   

MLB should have to spend the money on the ad space with money the player must pay when they're fined, plus their own dough.  After all they make millions, they can afford it.

Yeah, you want players to stop using PEDs? You will see a dramatic drop in PED use with this punishment, because I’ll tell you why… nobody likes to be publicly humiliated and this is a public shaming that needs to start happening.  Stop tip-toeing around this issue…  address it Major League Baseball, because it’s clear, the 50 game suspension isn’t even working.  Don’t believe me? Talk to Melky Cabrera who knew what he was doing…and clearly didn’t care.  And while you're at it, I'll give you my phone number, he needs to call my son and apologize.

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1 comment:

  1. Good solution, however I firmly believe in a lifetime ban. The union would never in a million yrs allow it to happen, but it would be a pretty strong deterrent.

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