Suspended San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has saved Major League Baseball from another potential PED-related headache, asking to be removed from contention for the National League batting title. As first reported by CSNBayArea.com, Cabrera sent a request to the players' union -- who brokered a deal with MLB -- to remove him from contention. Currently banned for 50 games after a positive test for testosterone, Cabrera's .346 average currently leads the Senior Circuit.
"I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted," Cabrera said in a statement released via MLB. "I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the Players Association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title."
Days before Cabrera was removed from contention, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig indicated that his office was unlikely to interfere. A source familiar with the situation informed The Associated Press that Selig would have been unable to disqualify Cabrera without an agreement with the union.
"We'll see how it all plays out," Selig said earlier this week. "We generally don't interfere in that process. We'll take a look at it at the end of the year."
While there has been no shortage of previous MLB award winners linked to performance-enhancing drugs, Cabrera winning the NL batting crown at the end of the season would have marked the first time that a player would be honored while actually serving a ban for failing an MLB drug test.
"You can't change records because once you get into that it would never stop," Selig said when asked during an interview by the YES Network about retroactively altering records set during the Steriod Era. "It would create more problems than it would solve."
What about this move?
"After giving this matter the consideration it deserves, I have decided that Major League Baseball will comply with Mr. Cabrera's request," Selig said when MLB announced Cabrera's disqualification from the race. "I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward, and I believe that, under these circumstances, the outcome is appropriate, particularly for Mr. Cabrera's peers who are contending for the batting crown."
MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATE PRESS:
NEW YORK (AP) — A person familiar with the discussions tells The Associated Press that Melky Cabrera has been disqualified from the National League batting title at his own request.
The person says Cabrera asked the players' association to convey his desire to the commissioner's office and that an agreement to make him ineligible was reached Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
CSNBayArea.com first reported the disqualification.
Major League Baseball could not unilaterally disqualify Cabrera. It could change the batting title rules for this year only with an agreement from the union.
Serving a 50-game suspension, the San Francisco Giants slugger entered Friday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.