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Friday, September 21, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Melky Cabrera ruled ineligible to win batting crown

Melky? Melky who?

In an unprecedented agreement between Major League Baseball and union officials, suspended Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera will be ruled ineligible to win the 2012 NL batting title, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Cabrera asked to be removed from consideration on Wednesday, when his representatives sent a letter to union officials. The Players’ Association worked out a one-time amendment to Rule 10.22(a) with MLB officials on Thursday, one day after Commissioner Bud Selig said publicly that he was not likely to take action on the matter.

The elusive Robert Denby Posted: September 21, 2012 at 02:53 PM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: disappeared, giants, steriods

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   1. Scott Ross Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4242366)
Dumb.
   2. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4242382)
Way to stay strong Bud!
   3. BDC Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4242383)
This is kind of like ruling Death Valley ineligible for Highest Temperature.
   4. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4242384)
#1 - Why is it dumb? He doesn't have enough PA's to qualify and has to take advantage of a silly technicality in the rule book to be eligible anyways. What's the difference between that and this new silly technicality in the rule book that makes him ineligible?
   5. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4242385)
So will there be an asterisk by the guy who does "win" the batting title?
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4242386)
So, will plate appearences by Melky be wiped off the pitcher's records when deciding who wins the ERA title?
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4242390)
So, will plate appearences by Melky be wiped off the pitcher's records when deciding who wins the ERA title?


No, he will finish one at bat short, and not take advantage of the 0-fer rule to get to the requisite number.

I can't see how to hold MLB or Bud at fault here. Bud just said yesterday MLB wasn't going to do anything, then Melky requested this.

More important, I wonder how Sean will handle this.

   8. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4242391)
#1 - Why is it dumb? He doesn't have enough PA's to qualify and has to take advantage of a silly technicality in the rule book to be eligible anyways. What's the difference between that and this new silly technicality in the rule book that makes him ineligible?

It was a new punishment above what the drug testing agreement provided for.

It's ridiculous that the MLBPA apparently went along with this. They went along with a player being punished to a degree more severe than the drug-testing agreement, negotiated within the CBA, permitted.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4242392)
So, will plate appearences by Melky be wiped off the pitcher's records when deciding who wins the ERA title?

They're not removing any PAs. They're just not adding the 0-fer to get him to the min PAs.
   10. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4242394)
This is kind of like ruling Death Valley ineligible for Highest Temperature.


If Melky had enough PA's to qualify, I'd agree. You can't deny math. But in this case he doesn't, so all this is doing is denying him the benefits of a dumb exception rule that shouldn't exist in the first place. Making an exception to the exception, basically.

I guess his fans could argue that he only lost on a technicality, but again, he was only going to be eligible on a technicality anyway, so it doesn't seem too outrageous to me.
   11. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4242395)
#4 -- How is it a silly technicality? I wasn't aware of this rule until the other day, but after hearing about it, it seems totally reasonable.

Plus, even if we grant that it is a silly technicality, the big difference is that this "new silly technicality" is being done ex post facto.

This is really dumb.
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4242396)
   13. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4242398)
I object to it being called a "silly technicality" because I don't want Tony Gwynn's batting title from 1996 to go away.
   14. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4242401)
So will Melky's BB-ref page be one of those 404 error placeholders now?
   15. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4242407)
I think the 0fer rule is great - that's how Joey Votto will lead the NL in OBP this year!
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4242409)
And before anyone jumps in and says something about "They don't do it for pitchers!", just a reminder that you can have an infinite number of runs scored against you in 0.1 IP, but you can only strike out once in 1 PA.
   17. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4242410)
Dicking around with the rules to create "exceptions" like this is a baaaaaad idea.
   18. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4242411)
just a reminder that you can have an infinite number of runs scored against you in 0.1 IP


Yes, but this only applies to Chris Volstad.
   19. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4242417)
Yes, but this only applies to Chris Volstad.

And there's my spit-take for the day...
   20. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4242421)

Wow. A few thoughts:

1) This sets quite a precedent for other players down the road, although the use of Rule 10.22(a) means that you won't be able to do the exact same thing for every player who has been suspended in-season.

2) How will Baseball-Reference and other statistical providers deal with this? Will they still show Cabrera as the batting average leader?

3) This gives Braun an outside chance at the Triple Crown, right? It was highly unlikely he was going to bat .346, but now the target is .339 and more importantly the target can come down if McCutchen has a bad week.
   21. Gamingboy Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4242425)
We have always been at war with Eurasia.
   22. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4242427)
#4 -- How is it a silly technicality? I wasn't aware of this rule until the other day, but after hearing about it, it seems totally reasonable.


Well, the silly part is certainly debatable. But you've really never heard of this rule? Gwynn used it to win the batting title in 1996.

Normally I'd agree with everyone that ex post facto decisions are the wrong ones. This one doesn't seem too illogical or unfair to me, though. They're not ignoring undeniable math. They're just using one exception to cancel out another.
   23. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4242431)
Maybe Melky declared himself ineligible to give his teammate Posey a chance to win the batting title, knowing it would enhance his chances of winning the MVP Award.
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4242436)
Cabrera asked to be removed from consideration on Wednesday, when his representatives sent a letter to union officials.
   25. Ron J2 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4242438)
As I said in the other thread, Dave Smith and Sean Forman may make this ruling moot. Be interesting to see how Sean handles listing the BA leaders. It's not impossible that he'll go along with this one since he's opted to follow eligibility rules in the past.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4242439)
2) How will Baseball-Reference and other statistical providers deal with this? Will they still show Cabrera as the batting average leader?


My request to Sean is that it display Cabrera as the leader. Whether or not he is awarded the "Batting Title" an accurate reflection of what occurred is that his batting average will have been higher than anyone else's and I think BBRef should reflect that. If I open up Baseball Reference and events that actually took place are not there then it sort of becomes pointless.
   27. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4242442)
I object to it being called a "silly technicality" because I don't want Tony Gwynn's batting title from 1996 to go away.


Agreed and withdrawn. But only cuz of Gwynn. Screw Melky.
   28. booond Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4242443)
Bud should've ignored it. Why does Melky get to determine the rules of baseball?
   29. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4242447)
Normally I'd agree with everyone that ex post facto decisions are the wrong ones. This one doesn't seem too illogical or unfair to me, though. They're not ignoring undeniable math. They're just using one exception to cancel out another.


I don't agree. Either ex post facto decisions are a bad idea or they are not. Why doesn't this one seem too illogical or unfair to you? Is it because he was suspended for steroids? If you want to argue that either 1) the exception rule is a bad one and should be changed (thus negating Gwynn's 1996 batting title) or that 2) a rule should be instituted that forbids steroid suspended players from getting the batting title, then fine. I'm not hearing either of these arguments being made, however.

And they are ignoring undeniable math. It is undeniable that with ONE more PA, Melky would qualify for the batting title and that assuming he had that PA and failed to hit, he would still lead the league in batting (assuming no one catches fire and eclipses .346).

The concept that a player needs X number of PAs to qualify for the batting title is in itself an "exception" -- a completely reasonable one. The Rule 10.22 "exception" also seems very reasonable and apparently has precedent that nobody seemed to quibble with at the time or since.

This new exception is all-together unprecedented and done for what reason? To avoid some bad publicity?

Awful decision.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4242453)
Oh for crying out loud. This will stand up over the course of history as much as Frick's asterisk did.
   31. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4242457)
Does the fact that Melky himself asked to be removed from consideration affect anyones opinion at all about whether or not this is fair? Honestly wondering.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4242460)
This will stand up over the course of history as much as Frick's asterisk did.

Except the asterisk didn't actually exist.
   33. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4242463)
Well, here's hoping McCutchen or Posey goes on a tear and finishes above .346 to make all this moot...
   34. Guapo Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4242472)
It's OK. Melky's buddy is working on an alternative version of baseball-reference.com that will take care of all this
   35. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4242473)
Does the fact that Melky himself asked to be removed from consideration affect anyones opinion at all about whether or not this is fair? Honestly wondering.


No because Melky actually did this. As I noted above Melky actually accomplished this feat and pretending otherwise is rewriting history. I could accept barring Melky from receiving votes for an award like the MVP or the Hank Aaron Award but he actually did hit .346. If we are going to make his .346 average ineligible then should we make the Giants ineligible for the post-season and give the American League home field in the World Series?
   36. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4242480)
Does the fact that Melky himself asked to be removed from consideration affect anyones opinion at all about whether or not this is fair? Honestly wondering.


And that the union also looked at it and decided that it was a reasonable outcome?
   37. bunyon Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4242481)
I can't believe that people at BBTF are getting all worked up over a dinosaur stat like batting average.
   38. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4242482)
So, will plate appearences by Melky be wiped off the pitcher's records when deciding who wins the ERA title?

They don't need to be, just like Penn State's forfeited football victories from 1998-2011 don't have to -- and don't -- count as wins for the teams they played.

This isn't a matter requiring elegantly balanced double-entry bookkeeping.
   39. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4242488)
It's ridiculous that the MLBPA apparently went along with this. They went along with a player being punished to a degree more severe than the drug-testing agreement, negotiated within the CBA, permitted.

Boo-#######-hoo. No sport should want a guy suspended for cheating to hold a performance-based championship or award in the year he cheated. Fans shouldn't want that either. This is major league baseball, not pro wrestling or the Globetrotters.

The number that would have warranted him being granted the batting title was obtained through cheating. How could any serious person who cares a whit about competitive integrity possibly think it should count? It's shocking it took this long for the decision to be made.
   40. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4242489)
Well, here's hoping McCutchen or Posey goes on a tear and finishes above .346 to make all this moot...


It would be even better if Braun is the one that goes on the tear and wins the title (at .346 or otherwise), since this latest "agreement" was done solely for "OMG teh Steroids!" reasons.

Edit: typos
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4242494)

Does the fact that Melky himself asked to be removed from consideration affect anyones opinion at all about whether or not this is fair? Honestly wondering.


He is not "under consideration." This isn't the Academy Awards. This is a statistical compilation of what happened, and we can't pretend that Melky didn't get all those hits.

Can we retro-actively revoke Norm Cash's batting title too?

My favorite tweet:

"Everybody knows Melky Cabrera won the batting title. What this book presupposes is.... maybe he didn't."
   42. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4242495)
The number that would have warranted him the batting title was obtained through cheating. Who could possibly think it should count?


I do. But that's irrelevant here. If they want to pass a rule banning steroid-suspended players from receiving awards or "titles" they can do that, and we can debate the relative merits of such a ruling. A one-off exception to a reasonable and well-established rule is dumb for many reasons that have nothing to do with PEDs.
   43. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4242496)
This isn't a matter requiring elegantly balanced double-entry bookkeeping.


For those of us who care about what happened on the field of play rather than spending our time being morality police it does. It's fine if you are bothered by PED usage but when I look at a record of what happened I want the record of what happened.
   44. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4242502)
Melky should also make himself ineligible for suspension.
   45. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4242503)
I could accept barring Melky from receiving votes for an award like the MVP or the Hank Aaron Award but he actually did hit .346. If we are going to make his .346 average ineligible then should we make the Giants ineligible for the post-season and give the American League home field in the World Series?


Well, it's not denying that he hit .346. It's just denying him the use of a different exception rule that makes him eligible for the batting title in the first place. It's saying that he doesn't have enough PA's to qualify, not that anyone who tests positive will have their numbers ignored (which I would never in a million years support). If he'd had one more PA, this wouldn't have been able to happen.

That said, while this seemed like a good idea to me at first and didn't seem too unfair since he was below the PA threshold to qualify in the first place, upon further thought I think I'm gonna withdraw my initial support for this decision. It's gonna create a slippery slope with too many possible future consequences if rules can just be changed on the spur of the moment to held create more desireable results. So cheerfully withdrawn.
   46. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4242504)
It's fine if you are bothered by PED usage but when I look at a record of what happened I want the record of what happened.

There's no record of Ben Johnson's 100m "victory" in Seoul and the official record of Penn State football has them not winning games they "won."

It's really not that big a deal.

He "hit" .346, but he cheated so he didn't really hit .346. Simple as that.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4242508)
For those of us who care about what happened on the field of play rather than spending our time being morality police it does. It's fine if you are bothered by PED usage but when I look at a record of what happened I want the record of what happened.

They're not removing any of Melky's stats from the record book.

You will still see he had the highest BA in 2012; he just won't qualify for the "Batting Title", which is a completely non-existent award anyway.

It's a non-issue either way.
   48. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4242513)
It's saying that he doesn't have enough PA's to qualify, not that anyone who tests positive will have their numbers ignored (which I would never in a million years support). If he'd had one more PA, this wouldn't have been able to happen.

Why not? The rule giving extra PAs to players for the purposes of calculating qualifying BA is enshrined no less officially than any other requirement.

The rule isn't even all that unusual. The rule doesn't really give Cabrera a fictional AB, it just uses a fictional AB to demonstrate that he clinched it. He can't go worse than 0-for-1 in 1 at-bat.

If a team has a 5-game lead at the end of the season but had a rainout, we do the same thing. We add a fictional loss to verify that the team did in fact clinch the divisional title, wild card, etc. That team wouldn't be winning on a technicality - we're just acknowledging that the team could not lose more than a half-game in the standings in that game (whole game if the rainout's against the other team).
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4242515)
He hit .346, but he cheated so he didn't really "hit" .346. Simple as that.


Except baseball isn't saying he didn't hit .346. They're saying he didn't have enough PA for the batting title, but his BA will forever be .346.

I'm with Booey. Upon further thought, I think Bud should have publicly thanked Melky and the union for the gracious offer, but it would be a terrible precedent for MLB to begin granting player-requested exceptions to long-established rules governing statistical matterrs. That way, Melky comes off as a sportsman and baseball will have established, firmly, how it will handle these cases and keep itself from gettig enmeshed in this nonsense in the future.

   50. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4242519)
It's really not that big a deal.

Well, of course you would think that.

   51. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4242520)
You will still see he had the highest BA in 2012; he just won't qualify for the "Batting Title", which is a completely non-existent award anyway.

It's a non-issue either way.


Hey there's a "Chalmers 30" at stake here!
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4242521)
He "hit" .346, but he cheated so he didn't really hit .346. Simple as that.


159/459=.346 simple as that
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4242524)
Except baseball isn't saying he didn't hit .346.

That's because there's a less controversial way to get to the same result. Cabrera should have been DQ'd from batting title consideration weeks ago.

Sports more dedicated to honest competition would have done just that; Lance Armstrong has basically been shunned and barred from all serious competitions -- he can't even run the Chicago and NY marathons.
   54. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4242527)
So, will plate appearences by Melky be wiped off the pitcher's records when deciding who wins the ERA title?


Though I already withdrew my initial approval of this move, this comment here still doesn't really make sense. They're not deleting Melky's numbers, so the above hypothetical would never come into play. They're saying that he doesn't have enough PA's to qualify and they're going to ignore an exception in the rule book that would have allowed him to. That's not suggesting that his .346 didn't happen or that there's going to be a blank line next to his name on the 2012 stat line.
   55. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4242533)
And ya gotta love how the meme pre-testing was that it wasn't "cheating" because it wasn't against the written rules, but now that there is testing and it is against the written rules, people wanting teeth in the sanctions for roiding are the "morality police."

The main source of the anti-anti-roids sentiment is fanboyism and always has been.
   56. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4242534)
He is not "under consideration." This isn't the Academy Awards. This is a statistical compilation of what happened, and we can't pretend that Melky didn't get all those hits.


They're not. They're saying he didn't have enough PA's to qualify and they're denying him access to a technicality that would have made it so he did. No one (k, maybe one person) is saying that he didn't really hit .346

Edit: cokes
   57. GEB4000 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4242536)
I'm anti-PEDs, but I am more against changing rules after the fact. If they want to change the rules for 2013, do it.
   58. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4242546)
Melky wouldn't have the highest average under any circumstances. That would end up being someone who going 1-1 in the last game of the season. I'm not sure what the problem is in altering the way the batting championship is awarded in the course of the season? The idea that Melky, if suspended for cheating, was nonetheless relying on the availabilty of the batting title is ludicrous.
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4242548)
No sport should want a guy suspended for cheating to hold a performance-based championship or award in the year he cheated. Fans shouldn't want that either.

Similarly, Pete Rose's hits in games he bet on shouldn't count toward his hit total?
   60. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4242550)
They're not. They're saying he didn't have enough PA's to qualify and they're denying him access to a technicality that would have made it so he did. No one (k, maybe one person) is saying that he didn't really hit .346


How is clinching a technicality? If clinching doesn't count, then the Twins didn't win the AL Central in 2002.

I'm not sure what the problem is in altering the way the batting championship is awarded in the course of the season?

Because this isn't Calvinball.
   61. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4242553)
They're saying that he doesn't have enough PA's to qualify

Again, by this logic, the 2002 Twins did not have enough wins to qualify for the playoffs as they only played 161 games.

Cabrera *clinched* it. He doesn't need that rainout PA.
   62. salvomania Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4242560)
This is no different from those games in which a pitcher---I remember Joe Niekro, Kevin Gross, there were others---was caught either doctoring the ball or in possession of doctoring materials, and then MLB subsequently moved to not recognize the pitchers' stats for those games, because they were cheating when they compiled them. Remember when that happened?
   63. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4242564)
The official rule has three sentences, and one of the three is the "technicality."

10.22(a) The individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion shall be the
player with the highest batting average, slugging percentage or on-base percentage,
as the case may be, provided the player is credited with as many or more total
appearances at the plate in league championship games as the number of games
scheduled for each club in his club’s league that season, multiplied by 3.1 in the
case of a Major League player and by 2.7 in the case of a National Association
player. Total appearances at the plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases
on balls, times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times awarded first
base because of interference or obstruction. 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.


There's a comment to the rule:

If, for example, Abel has the highest batting average among those with 502 plate appearance
in a Major League with a .362 batting average (181 hits in 500 at-bats), and Baker has 490 plate
appearances, 440 at-bats and 165 hits for a .375 batting average, Baker shall be the batting champion,
because adding 12 more at-bats to Baker’s record would still give Baker a higher batting average than
Abel: .365 (165 hits in 452 at-bats) to Abel’s .362.


   64. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4242566)
Again, by this logic, the 2002 Twins did not have enough wins to qualify for the playoffs as they only played 161 games.


Except that there's no such rule regarding games played WRT to clinching a playoff spot. Similarly, there's no games played/PA rule with counting stat titles like HR or RBI. If a player hit 50 homers in 80 games and no one else hit more in 162 games, said player would still win the HR title.

With regards to rate stats, there does have to be a minimum. No one thinks a player who hit .400 in 100 PA's should qualify for the batting title or have this be considered a .400 season, do they?
   65. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4242567)
Remember when that happened?


No. All of those stats are in the books. Melky's stats will stay in the books.

   66. JJ1986 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4242569)
The rule isn't even all that unusual. The rule doesn't really give Cabrera a fictional AB, it just uses a fictional AB to demonstrate that he clinched it. He can't go worse than 0-for-1 in 1 at-bat.

If a team has a 5-game lead at the end of the season but had a rainout, we do the same thing. We add a fictional loss to verify that the team did in fact clinch the divisional title, wild card, etc. That team wouldn't be winning on a technicality - we're just acknowledging that the team could not lose more than a half-game in the standings in that game (whole game if the rainout's against the other team).


But teams all play the same number of games. Andrew McCutchen's BA isn't going to be calculated for 502 PAs. It's going to be for around 675.
   67. Srul Itza Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4242572)
You will still see he had the highest BA in 2012; he just won't qualify for the "Batting Title", which is a completely non-existent award anyway.


There may not be an "award", but MLB apparently believes there is such a thing as the batting championship, since since they have a rule explicitly devoted to determining eligiblity:

10.22 Minimum Standards For Individual Championships To assure uniformity in establishing the batting, pitching and fielding championships of professional leagues, such champions shall meet the following minimum performance standards:

(a) The individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion shall be the player with the highest batting average, slugging percentage or on-base percentage, as the case may be, provided the player is credited with as many or more total appearances at the plate in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club?s league that season, multiplied by 3.1 in the case of a Major League player and by 2.7 in the case of a National Association player. Total appearances at the plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases on balls, times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times awarded first base because of interference or obstruction. 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.

****

(b) The individual pitching champion in a Major League shall be the pitcher with the lowest earned-run average, provided that the pitcher has pitched at least as many innings in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club's league that season. The individual pitching champion in a National Association league shall be the pitcher with the lowest earned-run average provided that the pitcher has pitched at least as many innings in league championship season games as 80% of the number of games scheduled for each club in the pitcher's league.

****

(c) The individual fielding champions shall be the fielders with the highest fielding averageat each position, provided:
(1) A catcher must have participated as a catcher in at least one-half the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season;
(2) An infielder or outfielder must have participated at his position in at least two-thirds of the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season; and
(3) A pitcher must have pitched at least as many innings as the number of games scheduled for each club in his league that season, unless another pitcher has a fielding average as high or higher and has handled more total chances in fewer innings, in which case such other pitcher shall be the fielding champion.



So when they start singing "We are the champions", Melky will just have to stay in his seat. He may have led the league in batting, but he is just not a champion.
   68. salvomania Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4242573)
Melky's stats will stay in the books.


If his stats are in the books, then he has the highest batting average among qualifying NL hitters.

If he has the highest batting average among qualifying NL hitters, then he led the league in batting average.

If he led the league in batting average, then he's the batting champion.

No semantic wrestling can alter that.
   69. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4242579)
Sure, they can do this, but they couldn't give Galaragga the perfect game.
   70. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4242581)
If his stats are in the books, then he has the highest batting average among qualifying NL hitters.


To go all lawyer on this, there's generally a duty to bring good faith to a matter. You can't get caught cheating under a rule, and then turn in the other direction and expect to get the benefit of your cheating. Institutions are allowed to defend themselves a little.

   71. Walt Davis Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4242584)
but you can only strike out once in 1 PA

Or you could hit into a triple play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth down by 1 run and your WPA title could go up in smoke!

This will stand up over the course of history as much as Frick's asterisk did.

Given how many of us remember Frisch's asterisk despite the fact that it never existed I'd say that it has stood up over the course of history pretty well.

On the other hand, Melky not being awarded the 2012 batting title will never be made into a movie by Billy Crystal. Maybe if Melky was still a Yankee.

On b-r, doesn't it already credit Gwynn with an OBP title not officially recognized due to different definitions of PA (whether sac flies count or not)?

   72. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4242585)
If his stats are in the books, then he has the highest batting average among qualifying NL hitters.

If he has the highest batting average among qualifying NL hitters, then he led the league in batting average.

If he led the league in batting average, then he's the batting champion.

No semantic wrestling can alter that.


Except that the very first sentence of this argument is debatable. He's only a qualifying NL hitter cuz an exception rule says so. Now a new exception rule says that he isn't. It's all just a matter of which exception rule you consider the most valid.

Like I said above, I've come around to the belief that this is a bad idea. But I don't think it's beyond reasonable debate. If Melky had had even one more PA, then I think it would be. But since he needed an exception in the first place to even make this an argument, I don't think it's completely whackadoodle if someone were to consider this new exception rule to be just as valid as the old one. The validity of exceptions are debateable to begin with.
   73. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4242587)
To go all lawyer on this, there's generally a duty to bring good faith to a matter.

Where's the good faith in changing a rule after the fact?

If you're a lawyer, would you think it OK if your client was given the opportunity to plead guilty and receive a sentence more severe than the maximum the law could provide?

Whether or not Melky agreed with it, this was a bill of attainder, a rule change targeted after the fact and at one individual, and the MLBPA was complicit. It's a shame that Marvin Miller isn't in charge anymore, because this is going to happen again, now that the MLBPA is allowing a coerced player to receive a penalty for drug use that was greater than the penalty explicitly negotiated in the CBA.
   74. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4242594)
You will still see he had the highest BA in 2012; he just won't qualify for the "Batting Title", which is a completely non-existent award anyway.


He won't and doesn't have the highest BA among those not qualifying. Currently, he's 7th.
   75. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4242597)
Melky Cabrera: "I have no desire to win an award that would be tainted."

So even he understands.
   76. Morty Causa Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4242600)
Don't all rules have an implicit "fraud" condition? If you cheat you can't win, even if technically you do. It's not about stats, it's about being given an award.
   77. VoodooR Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4242603)
Except that the very first sentence of this argument is debatable. He's only a qualifying NL hitter cuz an exception rule says so. Now a new exception rule says that he isn't. It's all just a matter of which exception rule you consider the most valid.


Booey, I commend you for your willingness to amend your stance upon further consideration. But I'm not sure why you continue to beat this drum. The only way the two things are comparable is because you keep insisting on calling both of them "exceptions." It doesn't appear to me that they are remotely equal. The former "exception" is not really anything of the sort, it is a longstanding part of the official rule. The latter is a one-time "amendment" to said rule for dubious reasons. Weighing which one is "more valid" is impossible. They aren't comparable in any way, shape or form.
   78. Morty Causa Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4242604)
Although it would be neat if MLB went back and awarded Ted Williams the 1954 batting title, since he's the reason for the rule.
   79. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4242610)
As for the silliness of adding 0 fers to see if someone with fewer than 502 PA would qualify and win, consider these fellows, and for simplicity's sake, assume no non-AB PA's:

Player A goes 180/490 .367 BA

The highest batting average among players with 502 or more AB's goes 175/530 .330. The next highest guy goes 220/675 .326.

Without the 0 fer rule, the second guy wins the batting title over the first guy despite having fewer hits in more AB's, and over the third guy despite having many fewer hits in many fewer AB.s. In fact, give player A forty 0 fers to get him the second guys total AB's and he still wins.

Whoever wins this hypothetical batting title, it will be on a technicality.
   80. Morty Causa Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4242612)
Not all of them will win with the taint of cheating, though.
   81. BochysFingers Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4242615)
So what would happen if a major storm made its way to California in the next couple of weeks, cancelling at least one Giants game and giving Melky enough at bats?
   82. tshipman Posted: September 21, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4242619)
This is a joke worthy of the NFL, not Major League baseball.

Why not declare Ty Cobb the hit king retroactively, too?
   83. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4242628)
So what would happen if a major storm made its way to California in the next couple of weeks, cancelling at least one Giants game and giving Melky enough at bats?

Bud Selig would out-Bowie Bowie, sitting in the SF stands wearing cutoff shorts and a straw hat for as long as it takes while hurricane winds buffet his scowling face.
   84. Booey Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4242630)
#77 - I don't see them as being much different, honestly. He wins on a technicality, or he loses on a technicality in my mind.

But like I said, I do think it's a bad idea, so it does seem kinda dumb to keep nitpicking about phrasing. I'll let it go.
   85. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:18 PM (#4242631)
Why not declare Ty Cobb the hit king retroactively, too?

And, and, and .... OMG ... what about teh amps?!?!?!?
   86. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4242634)
So what would happen if a major storm made its way to California in the next couple of weeks, cancelling at least one Giants game and giving Melky enough at bats?


I now find myself rooting for weather.
   87. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4242639)
So what would happen if a major storm made its way to California in the next couple of weeks, cancelling at least one Giants game and giving Melky enough at bats?
Scheduled games, not played games.
   88. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 21, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4242642)
If there was some way the Giants could play six regular season tiebreaker games, and Cabrera got 20 ABs in the 6th one...
   89. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4242659)
I am very confused. Why the hell do any of us care about this "batting title"? What is this thing they call the "batting title"? What difference does it make?
   90. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: September 21, 2012 at 08:19 PM (#4242663)
I am very confused. Why the hell do any of us care about this "batting title"? What is this thing they call the "batting title"? What difference does it make?


Well, we gotta argue about something.
   91. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 21, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4242670)
Has their been any announcement about the criminal investigation of this? I've started wondering if his lawyers aren't advising him to get this into the past tense as quickly as he can.
   92. salvomania Posted: September 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4242689)
He wins on a technicality, or he loses on a technicality in my mind.


Booey, the adding-hitless-AB component is only a technicality if you also agree that the 3.1-PA-per-game requirement is also a technicality. Each is stipulated in one sentence in a three-sentence description of the qualifications for the batting championship.

In that case, every batting champion since the rule hit the books won the title on a technicality. Otherwise the guy who hit .364 in 226 PA would be the 1956 batting champ.
   93. kthejoker Posted: September 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4242720)
Frisch's asterisk


That guy gets blamed for everything...
   94. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4242754)
A dumb and silly move by Cabrera, the MLBPA, and MLB.

All involved should be ashamed, as should those of you supporting this nonsense.

Hopefully Sean does not go along. If he does, it will diminish the integrity of b-r.
   95. Walt Davis Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4242761)
Not a silly move by Cabera, it's good PR for Cabrera and he gains nothing from a batting title (unless there's a clause in his contract).

Hard to see why it's dumb from MLB's viewpoint. From their perspective, Cabrera winning the batting title (and Braun having won the MVP) is just bad PR. This way they get to satisfy the punters while also noting that it was the idea of Melky and the MLBPA.

The MLBPA is the one that's opened a can of worms they'd be better off avoiding. But, in a way, they opened that can of worms by even making nonsense like this part of the official rules (which I didn't think it was). Let Stats Inc or b-r or the BBWAA or whoever decide the rules on "official leaders."

And while SBB is being his usual unhelpful self, it is a fair point that Cabrera violated the rules and (judged by severity of punishment) one of the biggest rules you can break. It would hardly be shocking for a sport to decide that people who violate the rules will not be officially recognized for their achievement by the sport's organizing body. (Note, yes, that's not the rule and it's not fair that Melky should have to abide by a rule that doesn't exist.)
   96. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: September 22, 2012 at 07:17 AM (#4242795)
Gentlemen, you disappoint me. Major League Rule 57.4.(b).8.(a) clearly states:

Ain't giving no batting title to a guy named "Melky". I mean, Melky, for reals? Is that even a real name? Sounds like some greasy Mexican. I mean, LOL!
   97. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: September 22, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4242805)
strange that time and time again the rule allowing Cabrera and Gwynn league leadership rights are referred to as a technicality, as if it were a slight of hand.

it's not. it's the lay of the land. it's part of the rules for determining the league leader in batting average; no technicality needed. it's fair and square, above board, and it's better than previous requirements like 100 games played, 400 at bats, or being Ty Cobb.


edit: half coke to salvomania
   98. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4242838)
Meaningless PR on everyone's part, and a profoundly stupid ruling in substance. I sure hope that Sean doesn't go along with this farce, though I doubt that he will.
   99. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4242839)
Seems to me that some people have the whole "silly technicality" thing backwards. The player who wins a batting title without having the highest batting average in the league is the one who benefits from the technicality, not the player who has a few extra at-bats added to his stats to show that his batting still would have been the highest in the league.

he just won't qualify for the "Batting Title", which is a completely non-existent award anyway.


This is another thing that lots of people seem to miss. There's no actual award. It's just a question of what name is listed at the top of a statistical leaderboard, so why does anybody get so worked up about it? OTOH, one-time exceptions seem like a ham-handed way to deal with statistical leaderboards. If your motivation here is a belief that players caught using PEDs should not receive awards, then I don't know why you'd find this one time, post hoc, ad hoc resolution particularly satisfying.

Gotta wonder what the zealots would have come up with had Cabrera's suspension come one game later.
   100. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4242844)
So what would happen if a major storm made its way to California in the next couple of weeks, cancelling at least one Giants game and giving Melky enough at bats?

Scheduled games, not played games.


Right. So you'll have to root for some kind of cataclysmic event that causes MLB to wipe games off the schedule entirely.
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