Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cabrera's Website is as Fake as His Artificially Enhanced Body

After Melky Cabrera tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and received a 50 game suspension from Major League Baseball, he was praised by many (including me) for at least making a forthright admission of guilt, in contrast with most PED cheaters; it turns out that Cabrera is in fact not only a cheater but also a liar as well: he only offered his heartfelt confession and apology after first coming up with an elaborate and yet ridiculous scheme to give himself plausible deniability. Cabrera and some of his associates constructed a fake website about a fake supplement to try to create an alibi after MLB's drug testers discovered Cabrera's elevated testosterone levels.

ESPN's Tim Keown declares that this sordid saga proves two things:

1) MLB's drug testing program works
2) PEDs work

The potential payoff for PED cheaters is staggering; Keown, echoing a point that I made in my original article about Cabrera's suspension, declares, "And make no mistake: Cabrera shook the dice, blew into his hands and let fly. Had his testosterone enhancement gone undetected, it's possible he could have been in line for a nine-figure free-agent heist in the offseason." That at least calls into question Keown's first assertion; perhaps he is right that the drug testing program works and that PEDs are so effective that some players are reckless enough--or stupid enough--to risk getting caught but one could also plausibly argue that guys like Cabrera, Manny Ramirez and Ryan Braun (who tested positive but was cleared on a procedural technicality) represent just the tip of a massive iceberg of PED cheating. Keown's second point is indisputable: PEDs work and that is why so many unscrupulous athletes take them.


Anonymous said...


they should let ped run rampant in mlb everyone gon cheat. babe ruth and willie mays probably had advantage in they day. bonds rod riquez sosa mcgwire ramirez cabera palmero bruan and many others cheated clemens pettite. the only legit sluggers are griffey and pujols and thome and they he probbly used so pujols and griffey AND BONDS who was top 15 all time steriods are not prob top 10 those three are the best hitters last twenty thirty years. it is cool tho david. there always gon be people cheating

David Friedman said...


I could not disagree more vehemently. I don't think that cheating is "cool" and I don't buy the excuse that everybody was doing it. Should murderers not be arrested and convicted because some people have gotten away with murder? Laws exist for a reason and if they are not enforced then chaos and anarchy ensue. I am not equating PED use with murder, of course, but the point is that society has to be governed by rules or else anything goes.

I cannot imagine what "advantage" you think that Ruth and Mays had that is equivalent to taking drugs that have been outlawed by the federal government and banned by responsible sports leagues around the world.

My suspicion is that Griffey and Frank Thomas may have been the only clean elite sluggers of the past two decades (depending on how one defines elite). I hope that Pujols is clean but don't know enough about him to form an opinion one way or the other. As I have said in the past, if Thome is clean then he may be the greatest slugger ever because his home run numbers are right up there with all of the admitted and/or proven cheaters of the "Steroid Era" (in other words, I don't think that Thome is clean because I doubt that he was the lone clean slugger putting up those kinds of numbers).

Griffey and Thomas had consistent production curves and stable (though vastly different) body types, so I believe that they were clean.