No matter how free of performance-enhancing drugs Melky Cabrera may truly be when he reports to Blue Jays’ training camp in 2013, the all-star left fielder will still have trouble running from his past. Renewed steroid controversy surfaced, stemming from a Miami New Times blockbuster last week linking Cabrera and other current players to a south Florida anti-aging clinic and a PED hustler named Anthony Bosch.
Baseball is investigating the allegations. Cabrera was named as one of many players alleged to have had dealings with the now shuttered Biogenesis clinic, between 2009-12. It seems like piling on since he has already served a 50-game suspension for a failed PED test in 2012. Double jeopardy?
The fact is questions surrounding Cabrera should have always abounded, questions that may had been obscured by a sense of fan euphoria in November when the Jays announced the All-Star Game MVP and the league’s leading hitter had signed a two year, $14 million Jays’ deal. It was the biggest free agent contract in franchise history. The New Times piece has been a splash of cold water.
Why did Cabrera remove his name from the Dominican roster for the World Baseball Classic? Could there be further sanctions and suspensions against him from MLB if the investigation proves that Melky was indeed a Biogenesis client, even if it was via the third party, Juan Carlos Nunez?
And if Cabrera is now playing by the rules, squeaky clean of any PEDs, what’s to say his Jays’ performance won’t fall off the table without the artificial boost of steroids? It’s happened before. The Jays GM claimed that before signing Cabrera he did a study of players coming off PED suspensions and their on-field performance the next two seasons. Do those numbers support the signing?
The Jays have always stressed character and integrity in bringing new players into the fold. Is the signing of Cabrera a sign that winning at all costs has taken over from family values with the Jays?
The messy details of Cabrera’s suspension from the Giants bear review, if only as a 2013 point of reference. The behaviour of Melky and his defenders was so bizarre and unprofessional that even when his 50-game suspension expired in time for the NL Championship Series, the Giants chose not to reinstate him and not to negotiate with him as a free agent after winning the World Series.