A big blow for San Francisco Giants fans: the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball just announced in a statement that All-Star Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs:
… Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension is effective immediately.
In a statement, Cabrera said:
“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.”
The MVP of the All-Star game last month in Kansas City, Cabrera is batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco. He was initially in the lineup for the series finale against the Washington Nationals playing left field and batting third.
“We were extremely disappointed to learn of the suspension of Melky Cabrera for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program,” the Giants said. “We fully support Major League Baseball’s policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Giants will not comment further on this matter.”
The 28-year-old Cabrera , who became a marketing phenomenon with nicknames like “Got Melk?”, Melk Man and Melky Way, produced a 51-hit month in May. Cabrera batted .429 in May with three homers, five triples, seven doubles and 17 RBIs. He hit safely in 25 of 29 games. The 51 hits matched Randy Winn for most hits in a month since the club came to San Francisco in 1958.
Cabrera also set the San Francisco record for most hits in May, passing Hall of Famer Willie Mays’ 49 from 1958.
Cabrera came to the Giants in a trade with Kansas City last November that sent left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals. Cabrera–who signed a $6 million, one-year deal to avoid salary arbitration–batted .305 with 44 doubles, 18 homers and 87 RBIs last season.
Last month, rumors circulated that Cabrera might be using performance-enhancing drugs. CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly issued a public apology after he addressed the rumors via Twitter. He wrote at the time:
Let’s be clear: There is no evidence that there is any shred of truth to these rumors. Cabrera knew nothing about it. He contacted the union and his agent. They told him the rumors were unfounded as well. If Cabrera had failed a test, he and the union would’ve been the first to know. The rumor, to my knowledge, is a red herring. Cabrera even suggested to me that Dodgers fans could have made it up as a distraction.
Cabrera’s suspension is sparking some discussion on Twitter: