I can’t say I am shocked to hear the news that Melky Cabrera tested positive for PED use today. Having watched Melky play for the Yankees, I always thought of him as a fringe starter at best. When he left New York and put up a line of .255/.317/.354 in Atlanta, that seemed about right to me.
But then something happened. Last season he hit .305/.339/.470 and then this year he hit .346/.390/.516. It was possible that he suddenly figured everything out, but it also seemed highly unlikely. Now we know.
It will cost him millions, it will also cost him his reputation and it won’t be the last time we hear about a player getting suspended. There are things you see in baseball if you pay attention that make you wonder what exactly is going on. Last year a player, I won’t name them because this is entirely my speculation, hit more home runs in one season than he had hit in the other six years of his career combined. That certainly made me wonder if he had been enhancing his performance. There was a pitcher who suddenly threw five to seven mph more than he had ever thrown before. I understand that there are outliers in the world. Certain performances come out of nowhere and shock us, but I am sad to say that in the age of PED’s I won’t be fooled again.
UPDATE Here’s a link to a very depressing article about steroid testing in baseball quoting the infamous Victor Conte. Basically, the new synthetic testosterone boosters can be flushed out of your system in 4-8 hours and don’t trigger the test that MLB normally uses.