Melky Cabrera has been disqualified from the National League batting title at his very own request.
Cabrera asked the players’ association to convey his wish to the commissioner’s office, and a pact to make him unsuited was reached last Friday.
MLB couldn’t unilaterally disqualify Cabrera. It might only change the batting title rules for the current year with an agreement from the union.
“After giving this matter the consideration it merits, I have chosen that MLB will obey Mr. Cabrera’s request,” said commissioner Bud Selig declared in an announcement. “I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to progress, and I think that, under these circumstances, the end result is acceptable, particularly for Mr. Cabrera’s peers who are saying for the batting crown.”
Serving a 50-game suspension, the Giants slugger entered with a league-leading .346 average, 7 points before Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive test for testosterone and is missing the last 45 games of the regular season. NFL betting lines
Selig had said “we generally don’t interfere” in the batting title issue.
“Melky Cabrera, through a written request to me, asked for the Union’s assistance in removing him from consideration for the 2012 National League batting title,” MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner expounded in the joint Major League Baseball news release. “We complied with Melky’s wish and brought the matter to the Commissioner’s Office, which agreed to suspend the rule. We commend Melky’s decision under these conditions.”
Qualifications for the batting championship are contained in the scoring section of the Official Baseball Rules, and Article 18 of baseball’s work agreement claims that if management and the union don’t reach an understanding on suggested scoring rule changes that “significantly affect terms of work” then the changes can’t be put into effect until after the next complete season – which in this example would delay a modification till 2014.
But Major League Baseball and the union can change the rule at any time if they agree.
Cabrera has 501 plate appearances, one less than the required amount if the Giants play 162 games. Under section 10.22 (a) of the Official Baseball Rules, he would win the batting title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remained higher than that of another qualifying player.
That rule came into play for the 1st time in 1996, when San Diego’s Tony Gwynn won his 3rd straight National League batting title, and his 7th overall. Gwynn hit .353 in 498 plate appearances and won when 4 hitless at-bats were added and his average still topped that of Colorado’s Ellis Burks, Gwynn’s closest pursuer at .344.
Baseball rules state a player wants to average 3.1 plate appearances for each of his team’s games to become a batting, slugging or on-base percentage champ. But the last sentence of 10.22 (a) says: “Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement of minimum appearances at the plate, any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship, as the case may be.”