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Friday, January 14, 2022

Melky Cabrera retires after 15 seasons

Cabrera began his MLB career 17 years ago as a member of the New York Yankees and spent five seasons in the Bronx before moving on to the Atlanta Braves and then the Kansas City Royals.

Cabrera was on the move again in 2012, joining the San Francisco Giants where he enjoyed the best season of his career, hitting .346 and making the National League All-Star Team where he won game MVP. However, Cabrera was handed a 50-game suspension one month later after testing positive for a banned substance and was forced to miss the rest of the season. He was MLB’s hits leader at the time of the penalty while the Giants went on to win their second World Series in three years.

The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native then signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays where he struggled during his first season but came on strong in 2014 after off-season shoulder surgery, hitting .301 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:20 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: melky cabrera

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   1. salvomania Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:21 PM (#6061105)
The only player to lead his league in batting average over a full season yet not win a batting title...
   2. John Northey Posted: January 14, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6061118)
Good point salvomania - weird thing that - 501 PA adding the extra PA would've still given him it with ease yet everyone lists the leader as Posey with a 336 average vs the 346 that Cabrera hit. Yet Votto is listed as 5th despite just 475 PA (added the 27 PA as 0-27 and he still comes in 5th). Pretty dumb how MLB handled it that year. Much like pretending what happened didn't. Should the record books list 61 as the HR record then? Sigh.

Not a great player, but was useful at times. Just shy of 2000 hits but obviously no shot at the HOF - he'll get on the ballot but that is as far as it goes - I'd be surprised if he gets a single vote.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:05 PM (#6061122)
The only player to lead his league in batting average over a full season yet not win a batting title...

he should party with Willie McGee, who in 1990 hit .324 but won the NL batting title ahead of Eddie Murray's .330.

McGee hit .335 in the NL, then got traded in August to the AL, and he hit only .274. but with more than 502 PA in NL, he got to wear the crown.

better still, party with Eddie Murray, "The only player to lead THE MAJORS in batting average over a full season yet not win a batting title" (Brett led the AL at .329)
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6061125)
Pretty dumb how MLB handled it that year.


I think it's dumber the way BBRef has handled it.



he should party with Willie McGee, who in 1990 hit .324 but won the NL batting title ahead of Eddie Murray's .330.

McGee hit .335 in the NL, then got traded in August to the AL, and he hit only .274. but with more than 502 PA in NL, he got to wear the crown.


That made sense in the pre-interleague play era.
   5. Jaack Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6061126)
Another strange Melky thing - his best season (2012) was his only one in San Francisco, and his second best season (2011) was his only one in Kansas City.

Can't think of any player of similar caliber that is true for.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: January 14, 2022 at 07:26 PM (#6061128)
Can't think of any player of similar caliber that is true for.


Kevin Brown was close. His best season was his only campaign in San Diego. His next was one of the two he spent in Florida.
   7. Brian White Posted: January 14, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6061135)
Sometime after the 2010 season I bet someone on this site that Melky would have less than 150 ABs left in his career.

I, uh, was kinda off the mark there. I suppose the steroids helped a bit, but man, what a weird and unpredictable career.
   8. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 14, 2022 at 09:01 PM (#6061137)
Good on Melky for a long career. I think there were rumors of him and someone else (Cano?) enjoying the NY nightlife as young players. That, and the fact that he was never in great shape, are not ingredients for a 15 year career, but ther you go. He also had a homer (the Yankees’ only run) in the Midge game in Cleveland.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2022 at 09:04 PM (#6061138)
Another strange Melky thing - his best season (2012) was his only one in San Francisco, and his second best season (2011) was his only one in Kansas City.

Tried for Reggie Sanders: his second-best season by OPS+ (1999) was his only one in San Diego, and his third-best season by OPS+ (2003) was his only one in Pittsburgh.

he played for seven different NL teams in seven seasons from 1998-2004, with no midseason trades. one team each season. only the Braves, in 2000, didn't give him every-day AB (he sucked and might have been hurt). have bat, will travel.

Sanders' best season, alas, was 1995 with the Reds, before the annual changing of the uniform. was only traded twice, and settled down for his last seasons in Missouri - two with the Cardinals and two with the Royals.

this part is fun:

October 31, 2000: Granted Free Agency.

January 11, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

November 6, 2001: Granted Free Agency.

January 8, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants.

October 31, 2002: Granted Free Agency.

March 10, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

October 27, 2003: Granted Free Agency.

December 19, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.

October 28, 2005: Granted Free Agency.

January 6, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.

October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.

   10. BDC Posted: January 15, 2022 at 01:02 PM (#6061166)
Can't think of any player of similar caliber that is true for

Milton Bradley's best season was his only one with Texas. Second-best was with either Cleveland or LA, though, where he stayed just a little longer.
   11. salvomania Posted: January 15, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6061175)
Pretty dumb how MLB handled it that year.

MLB stripped the "title" from Cabrera due to his PED suspension.

Normally they would have added 1 hitless PA to his total to get to the requisite 502, and if the resulting avaerge was still highest he would have been recognized as the "batting champion."

But as he was in the midst of his 50-game suspension when the season ended, they decided they didn't want to reward a cheater, and Cabrera publicly agreed with the decision.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6061177)
The report at the time was Melky asked MLB to remove him from the batting title race, rather than it coming from MLB. Of course, that was after first trying the phony website gambit, so who knows if the official version was accurate or if MLB was really behind it.

I don’t know why BBRef and others play along with the foolishness.
   13. PeteF3 Posted: January 15, 2022 at 07:36 PM (#6061194)
I'm for guys like Bonds and A-Rod in the HOF, but I have no problem with Melky being stripped of the batting title that year. A 50-game suspension would essentially serve as a reward in that specific regard, with him not having to maintain that average through slumps, aches, pains, adjustments, and injuries over the final 49 games of the season.
   14. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 15, 2022 at 08:58 PM (#6061198)
... "the phony website gambit"?
   15. Bhaakon Posted: January 15, 2022 at 09:03 PM (#6061199)
The only "issue" I have with the way MLB handled it was that they didn't have a rule in place beforehand. A league leader getting caught by a PED test seems like an entirely foreseeable outcome, and even a likely one if you believe the drugs in question are effective. And it's part of a deeper issue with prestige titles that are both awarded honors and entirely objective measures. There's always going to be a potential problem if there is no mechanism at all in place to stop a participant from gaming the system. Whether that gaming is as trivial as sitting out the last 10 games of the season to protect a rate stat, or as serious as hiring a goon to kneecap their competition.
   16. Brian White Posted: January 15, 2022 at 10:03 PM (#6061202)
... "the phony website gambit"?


When arguing his PED suspension, Melky noted that he received a supplement off of a website, and the supplement had been spiked with whatever he tested positive for.

Turns out Melky (well, actually his agent I guess) had set up the website himself to try to provide an alibi.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:06 PM (#6061236)
But the "batting title" is not an official award of MLB or the BBWAA or anybody else. It's simply a statement of fact that "so and so had the highest qualifying BA" no more an "award" than most sacrifice flies or highest fielding percentage. I'm not sure you even get an official certificate. Melky hit for the highest BA that season. Bonds and McGwire not only led the league in HRs, they hit more in a season than anybody else. The Black Sox won the 1919 AL pennant and the Reds won the 1919 WS. Melky's numbers aren't even expunged from the official record (as in the Olympics and TdF), his seasonal totals are still right there in all the record books saying he hit 346. We've just all agreed to pretend that 346 is not higher than 336 that one time.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:24 PM (#6061238)
But the "batting title" is not an official award of MLB or the BBWAA or anybody else.


That's my main objection. The batting title isn't awarded.

He could have removed himself from MVP consideration, or any other distinction that was voted on. But he was the batting champion based on the rules in place, both then and now. And the fact that MLB engages in this silliness is no reason for Sean to do so.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:41 PM (#6061241)
But the "batting title" is not an official award of MLB or the BBWAA or anybody else. It's simply a statement of fact that "so and so had the highest qualifying BA" no more an "award" than most sacrifice flies or highest fielding percentage. I'm not sure you even get an official certificate. Melky hit for the highest BA that season. Bonds and McGwire not only led the league in HRs, they hit more in a season than anybody else. The Black Sox won the 1919 AL pennant and the Reds won the 1919 WS. Melky's numbers aren't even expunged from the official record (as in the Olympics and TdF), his seasonal totals are still right there in all the record books saying he hit 346. We've just all agreed to pretend that 346 is not higher than 336 that one time.

Right. I wouldn't vote for Bonds for the HoF or Melky for the 2012 MVP, but deleting or putting an "asterisk" next to their records is just stupid. Do you also then go through all of the box scores and adjust the records for every pitcher they faced? It's perhaps a technical point, but aren't baseball records supposed to "balance"?
   20. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:42 PM (#6061265)
Is Melky the one who someone around here described as a "terrible player and a detestable fatass" at some point? That second insult -- detestable fatass -- has stuck with me ever since.
   21. Sweatpants Posted: January 16, 2022 at 06:58 PM (#6061270)
Yes, it was a classic line:
2. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: October 19, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3668651)
Melky is a great man and a lovable butterball.

4. flournoy Posted: October 19, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3668660)
Melky is a terrible player and a detestable fatass.
That thread also includes the bet mentioned in post #7 of this thread.
   22. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:16 PM (#6061279)
It's funny, I'm not able to search the archives here anymore. I assumed they were gone.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6061280)
I don't know how he found that. The search function here was never good, but I find it totally useless now.
   24. Sweatpants Posted: January 16, 2022 at 07:43 PM (#6061290)
I remembered that line, too, and that it was from the thread from when the Braves released Cabrera. I just looked up the date that they released him and sorted through the archives from when it happened.

All the old threads/entries are still here (https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/blogpen/archives). It's just a pain to actually go in and find them.
   25. Howie Menckel Posted: January 16, 2022 at 09:49 PM (#6061307)
Cabrera had the highest AVG in the NL that year, based on the criteria of the time.

I don't really care what anyone else pretends - it doesn't make it untrue.

if any site wants to inaccurately list results, that's their problem.

Cabrera had the highest AVG in the NL that year, based on the criteria of the time.

Signed,
not at all a Melky Cabrera fan

   26. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 16, 2022 at 10:54 PM (#6061314)
“Detestable fatass” hits a little close to home for me.

And yeah, Melky Cabrera led the National League in batting in 2012.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6061372)
I'm not very successful but I have (for some reason) had more success finding old threads searching through "regular" google rather than the search box on the site. That makes no sense to me but I take what I can get.
   28. jingoist Posted: January 18, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6061462)
I would never qualify as a “fat ass” as I never had much of an ass to begin with and old age has migrated most of what little I once had to my ever expanding waistline.
   29. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: January 18, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6061467)
Braves fans tend to view Melky as decidedly less fun and charming than most other fanbases do, what with Melky being sub-replacement level during his one season with the Braves while looking completely indifferent for a pretty good team that was chasing a division title for most of the year. Capped off by this infamous play.

EDIT: Though that's not even the worse throw of Melky's career. When I Googled "Melky Cabrera bad throw," the first result was a play during his Blue Jays tenure where he threw the ball behind himself.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6061472)
Can we get a link to that CFBF? I can't find it but I really need to see the throw worse than that one.
   31. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6061477)
Here you go -- there's a good replay toward the end of the clip. It's probably technically inaccurate to call it a "throw --" it's more like he dropped the ball while winding up. But his arm was moving forward when the ball fell, so by NFL standards....
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: January 18, 2022 at 12:49 PM (#6061480)
Thanks.
   33. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:34 AM (#6061543)
Young Melky had a great arm. In 2007 (I think), he threw the ball better than any OF I'd watched with regularity since Jesse Barfield.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: January 19, 2022 at 01:08 AM (#6061544)
Young Melky had a great arm.


Melky was part of the best-armed OF of the century (at least, as measured by assists). He, Gordon and Frenchy combined for 47 OF assists in 2011, more than any other starting trio of the past 21 years.

Of course, that pales next to the 1978 Expos group of Cromartie, Dawson and Valentine, who teamed up for a staggering 65 assists.
   35. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 07:53 PM (#6061640)
He, Gordon and Frenchy combined for 47 OF assists in 2011, more than any other starting trio of the past 21 years.


Ah, yes. The notoriously dangerous 2011 Kansas City Royals.

(Their outfield was actually good that year, assists or no.)

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