Enough with the PED spin
February, 18, 2013
By Buster Olney | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Matt SlocumMelky Cabrera and other players who say they "want to help" have shown no proof of that.TAMPA, Fla. -- A longtime player chatted recently about watching Melky Cabrera in the All-Star Game last summer. "Remember when he hit that home run?" the veteran said, referring to the laser Cabrera mashed over the left-field wall, among the many hits he got the last two seasons.
"I couldn't believe it," the player said. "That was a bullet. I couldn't believe it. Because I remembered what he was before. He wasn't a very good player, and then he's one of the best outfielders in the world? Please. It just pisses me off."
That is the same Melky Cabrera who worked from a written statement the other day:
- "Last season ended for me when I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted and served my punishment of a 50-game suspension. Since that day, my goals have been to serve my punishment and to put that mistake behind me, and to work hard to be the best baseball player I can be.
"At the end of last season, when it became clear that I would win the batting title despite my positive test, I asked the Players Association and MLB to make sure a more deserving player won, and I am very happy that my former teammate Buster Posey won that award instead of me."
To paraphrase: Aren't I a good guy for not accepting the batting title? (But please don't ask about the $4 million I took away in salary, even after you account for the $2 million or so I lost through the suspension.)
- "I also accepted the Giants' decision not to bring me back for the playoffs after I served my punishment. Instead, I continued to work hard so I could be ready for the 2013 season. I hoped and expected that I would be allowed to put my mistake behind me and to start this season fresh.
"I am aware that in the past weeks, there have been news articles written about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and the MLB and others are investigating those allegations. I have told MLB I will cooperate in their investigation the best I can, just as my legal counsel has told federal investigators. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations.
"This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season. I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson, and have served my punishment. I am here to play the best baseball I can to help the Toronto Blue Jays win a world championship."
A "mistake"? Would someone who embezzled money from his company say he made 'a mistake'? Would someone who used somebody else's ATM card to take millions claim he made "a mistake"?
Note to players who are linked to PEDs: If you get caught, please, enough with the statements that are supposed to convey contrition and sorrow and a desire to fix the problem of drug use in baseball. Just save it. Please, say nothing at all.
Nelson Cruz had this the other day, in addressing the recent report that tied him to Tony Bosch's clinic.
- "I want to be honest. When it's done I will address you and tell everything I know. ... I want to speak and I want to talk, but my lawyer told me I couldn't say anything right now."
Let's get this straight: Cruz's lawyers work for him, not the other way around. He can say anything he wants. If he wants to clear the air and give a full explanation, the world is waiting, and nothing is stopping him except him.
Yasmani Grandal, busted last fall for a positive drug test, offered up his own prepared statement the other day. From the Associated Press:
- "I have taken full responsibility for my actions and apologized to my teammates, the fans and the San Diego Padres organization," Grandal said, taking less than 2 minutes to read his statement. "I plan to put that mistake behind me, serve my suspension and continue working hard to be the best player and teammate I can be."
As for Biogenesis, Grandal said "I am aware of the various press reports about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and that Major League Baseball and others are investigating those allegations.
"I intend to cooperate fully in their investigations. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations," he said. "Based on that legal advice, I will have no further comment."
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