Melky Cabrera issued a statement this morning about his PED suspension, which he says will be the final thing he says about it. It’s below.
I’m not sure what else can be said about it by him, but I’m sure someone will say that he hasn’t been forthcoming or leaves more questions than he does answers or some such nonsense, because that’s how people tend to respond to this sort of thing.
“Last season ended for me when I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted and served my punishment of a 50 game suspension. Since that day, my goals have been to serve my punishment and to put that mistake behind me, and to work hard to be the best baseball player I can be. At the end of last season, when it became clear that I would win the batting title despite my positive test, I asked the Players Association and MLB to make sure a more deserving player won, and I am very happy that my former teammate Buster Posey won that award instead of me.
I also accepted the Giants’ decision not to bring me back for the Playoffs after I served my punishment. Instead, I continued to work hard so I could be ready for the 2013 season. I hoped and expected that I would be allowed to put my mistake behind me and to start this season fresh.
I am aware that in the past weeks, there have been news articles written about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and the MLB and others are investigating those allegations. I have told MLB I will cooperate in their investigation the best I can, just as my legal counsel has told federal investigators. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations. This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season. I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson, and have served my punishment. I am here to play the best baseball I can to help the Toronto Blue Jays win a World Championship.”
On Sunday, we heard from former Ray and current Giants third baseman Evan Longoria. The Rays recently traded pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a prospect and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense outside of a cost-cutting perspective. Longoria said, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”
Today, we’re hearing from a current Ray: center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is set to enter his fifth full season with the club. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kiermaier said, “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It’s one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don’t know the reasoning why. And then you see the team’s explanation and still it’s just like, okay, well, so be it.”
Longoria — formerly the face of the franchise — was traded to the Giants in December and the Rays continued to subtract with their recent moves involving Odorizzi and Dickerson. Odorizzi has a career 3.83 ERA in what has been a solid, if unspectacular, career. Dickerson put up an All-Star season, posting an .815 OPS with 27 home runs in 150 games. Moving either player was not done to fix a positional log jam. In fact, with Odorizzi out of the picture, the Rays are planning to use a four-man starting rotation for the first six-plus weeks of the season, Topkin reported on Sunday. Dickerson’s ouster simply opens the door for Mallex Smith, who posted a .684 OPS last year, to start every day in the outfield.
The Rays got markedly worse after going 80-82 last season. They saved a few million bucks jettisoning Odorizzi and Dickerson. And Rays ownership still wants the public to foot most of the bill for their new stadium.
When it was just one small market team pinching pennies, it was fine. But now that more than half of the league has adopted penny-pinching principles popularized by Moneyball and Sabermetrics (with the Rays among the chief offenders), the game of baseball has become markedly less fan- and player-friendly. This offseason has been less about players signing contracts and changing teams in trades — which helps build excitement and intrigue for the coming year — and more about front offices doing math problems concerning the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold and other self-imposed monetary restraints. Fun. Kiermaier is right to be upset and he’s very likely not alone in feeling that way.