Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon have issued apologies, after being suspended for using synthetic testosterone steroids.
These hollow apologies to me are more about them being caught, than they are about being sorry. They knew what they were getting into, when they started taking the illegal substances.
Cabrera is currently No.2 in NL batting average with a .346 mark and only three points behind first place Andrew McCutchen at .349. Cabrera finished the season with 501 plate appearances, which is one short of the needed 502 appearances to qualify for the batting title.
2010 was the worst season of Cabrera’s career when he hit 4 home runs and drove in 42 runs for the Atlanta Braves. He did bat exactly 200 more times in 2011, for the Kansas City Royals and hit 18 home runs and drove in 87 runs. His batting average in 2010 was .255 for the Braves, then jumped to .305 in 2011 for the Royals. He had a personal high of 201 hits in 2010 and was on his way to another 200 hit season this year, at the time of his suspension.
Cabrera batted 114 times in 2010 to hit a home run, while in 2011 it took only 36 at bats per home run. He has 69 home runs in his eight year major league career, but 29 of those home runs were hit in the last two seasons.
I remember reading that Cabrera had lost weight, which made him a better hitter, but now I am wondering if weight had anything to do with it.
His San Francisco Giants may currently be in first place in the NL West, but they have to miss not having the No.2 hitter in the NL for the rest of the season. That is where the selfishness comes in. Cabrera had to know he was at risk of being suspended, yet was willing to jeopardize the season of the San Francisco Giants. It would be interesting to know the timeline, of when he started taking the synthetic testosterone. Was it before the 2011 season or before the 2012 season?
With Cabrera being a free agent after the 2012 season, it is almost a certainty that the Giants will not re-sign him under any conditions, after he put his personal interests ahead of the team.
Will any team even risk signing Cabrera, not knowing how much of his performance over the last two seasons was enhanced by steroids?
Bartolo Colon of the Oakland Athletics was already being watched due to his stem cell surgery, which generated attention from MLB, especially since it reportedly increased his velocity from 87 MPH to 93 MPH. He had a 10-9 record this season which ties him with Tommy Milone for most wins on the team.
Colon had five no-decisions during the season, with the Athletics winning four of those games. He had won four of his last five starts and was 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA for the month of August. He had lost only two starts since June 17.
The steroids and/or the stem cell surgery may have added velocity, but his strikeouts per 9 innings fell from 7.39 in 2011 to 5.38 this season. His 10 wins in 2012 are the most wins since his 21-8 season for the California Angels in 2005. His 3.43 ERA this season is his lowest since 2002, when he posted a combined 2.93 ERA for the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos.
This is probably the end of the road for Colon at the age of 39. I can’t see a team taking the risk on him, since he will be 40 next May.
Summation: As long as players like Cabrera and Colon put themselves before their teams, we will see players cheating.
Victor Conte of Balco Laboratories fame said synthetic testosterone can’t be detected eight hours after being ingested. Cabrera and Colon got caught anyway, so they apparently weren’t too worried about being caught.
Their suspensions once again make us question their records and those of other players who may or may not be using steroids, who have had sudden spikes in their numbers.
Derek Jeter’s name came up on ESPN’s First Take program yesterday, when Skip Bayless questioned why Jeter is having one of his best seasons at the age of 38. I can’t see Jeter jeopardizing his career and Hall of Fame chances and most of all jeopardize the 2012 season for the New York Yankees by using steroids, since after all the team should come before individual accomplishments.
But then in this steroids era, who can we trust and have the record books been rendered meaningless by players looking to enhance their records and thus their salaries by trying for better living through chemistry?