Programming note: Catch complete coverage of the Melky Cabrera story tonight on Giants Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m., and get a recap of all the day's news on SportsNet Central at 6, 10:30pm and midnight, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
Melky Cabrera is playing his bad hand as best he can, but turning down a batting title the rules clearly say he has merited is a bad idea that should have been rejected.It hasnt been, because as Comrade Baggarly reports, the players union and MLB have agreed not to let Cabrera have his batting title because he was suspended for using performance enhancers and using a web site as a masking agent.What this is, essentially, is approving the use of revisionist history to let everyone feel good. And revisionist history is always wrong, without exception.The facts are the facts, the events are the events. Pretending they dont exist to protect the sanctity of the record book when (a) there is no such thing, and (b) baseball is and should be living the consequences of its 30-year lie about PEDs is perpetrating a falsehood, and a hoax.REWIND: Cabrera suspended 50 games for positive testosterone test
And no, we wont be listening to anything about the hoax Cabrera foisted by using the testosterone-in-a-tube. He got caught, he got punished, and the punishment was the suspension. To say he can no longer be eligible for a batting title he is clearly eligible for means that Mark McGwires records dont exist either, so anyone who votes for him for the Hall of Fame is voting for a unicorn that helps the Easter Bunny distribute eggs.Cabrera is the games history, just as McGwire is, and Rafael Palmeiro is, and the Black Sox. And for that, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, and all the good things that have happened in baseball, too. Its the history of the game, good and bad, and it mirrors the history of the nation. Good. And. Bad.This cheap little parlor trick frankly shames the league, the union, and everyone involved in it. Whether Cabrera asked for this or not, whether the Giants backed it, whether the union signed off on it, it is changing the facts of a story to suit the desired result.Its what politicians do. Its what people who back politicians do. It is a distortion, it is hiding something unpleasant and passing it off as nonexistent when it clearly happened.It is, plainly and simply, dishonest. And dishonesty is the root of everything about the PED scandals. Dishonesty protected lots of the guilty, it absolutely protected the management of the game, and it damaged and still damages the honest who are tarred with the same power painter.Anyone who embraces this is embracing a lie, and baseball has had enough lying on this subject already. So shame on everyone involved for not learning that essential lesson. Lying destroys the best motives of everyone involved, and this is just another lie designed to make some people feel good, to allow them to pretend that the drugs problem is being solved, when it plainly and clearly is not, and never can be, for the simple reason that the chemists will always be ahead of the testers, and because the ethos of the game is about getting any edge that someone else cant stop you from getting.But thats a lesson baseball continues not to want to learn. Honesty is for this industry never a good policy, let alone the best one, so it will get what it deserves anyway.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com