In an unexpected piece of news, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area is reporting that suspended Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera will be ineligible to win the National League batting title this year.
Cabrera reportedly asked the players union to remove himself from consideration on Wednesday, and the players union worked out an amendment to rule 10.22a (which gives extra at bats to players shy of the 502 minimum for the batting title) that would make suspended players ineligible for the extra at bat provision.
Now, I realize that Cabrera asked to be removed from consideration, but this precedent is…dangerous. If suspended players are no longer eligible for the extra at bat provision, what about players that qualify with 502 at bats or more, and *then* get suspended? Those players would be OK to have the highest average in the league? What about players who aren't suspended, get extra at bats to win the crown, and then later admit to using? What about players in the past like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who were linked to positive PED tests and won MVP and Cy Young awards?
Opening this door may be creating a Pandora's Box of future rule changes and other sanctions due to PED use. It could get ugly, and it could get ugly quickly.
[h/t: CSN Bay Area]