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Nov 27, 2012 9:47pm
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NEW YORK —Melky Cabrera lost the right to play baseball by failing a drug test
and now he has given up his chance to win the National League batting title. Kevin Walter Jersey . Cabrera was
disqualified from the NL batting honour at his own request when Major League
Baseball and the players association agreed Friday to a one-season-only change
in the rule governing the individual batting, slugging and on-base percentage
champions. Serving a 50-game suspension, the San Francisco Giants slugger
entered Friday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of
Pittsburghs Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera, the all-star game MVP, was suspended Aug.
15 for a positive test for testosterone and is missing the final 45 games of the
regular season. Cabrera had 501 plate appearances, one short of the required
minimum, but would have won the title under section 10.22(a) of the Official
Baseball Rules if an extra hitless at-bat were added to his average and he still
finished ahead. With Fridays agreement, that provision wont apply this year to a
player who “served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program.” The
process for the change was set in motion Wednesday evening when Cabreras agent,
Seth Levinson, sent an email to union head Michael Weiner with an attached
letter from Cabrera in English and Spanish. “I ask the Players Association to
take the necessary steps, in conjunction with the Office of the Commissioner, to
remove my name from for the National League batting title,” Cabrera wrote in the
letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. “To be plain, I
personally have no wish to win an award that would widely be seen as tainted,
and I believe that it would be far better for the remaining contenders to
compete for that distinction,” Cabrera wrote. “So too, the removal of my name
from consideration will permit me to focus on my goal of working hard upon my
return to baseball so that I may be able to win that distinction in a season
played in full compliance with league rules. To be plain, I plan to work hard to
vindicate myself in that very manner.” Lawyers from Major League Baseball and
the union finished drafting the change on Friday. “Major League Baseball will
comply with Mr. Cabreras request,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said. “I respect
his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward, and I
believe that, under these circumstances, the outcome is appropriate,
particularly for Mr. Cabreras peers who are contending for the batting crown.”
On Wednesday morning, Selig had said “we generally dont interfere” in the
batting title issue. Cabrera then took the initiative. “It goes without saying
that the last couple of months have been painful for Melky and he has certainly
paid a significant price for the mistake that he made,” Levinson wrote in the
email, also obtained by the AP. “He wants to show the baseball world that he is
remorseful and worthy of a 2nd chance. He understands that it will take both
time and action to restore his good name and to prove that his love and respect
for the game is unequivocal.” Qualifications for the batting championship are
contained in the scoring section of the Official Baseball Rules, and Article 18
of baseballs labour contract says that if management and the union dont reach an
agreement on proposed scoring rule changes that “significantly affect terms and
conditions of employment” then the changes cant be put into effect until after
the next complete season—which in this case would delay a modification until
2014. But MLB and the union can change the rule at any time if they agree. “I am
grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honour my request by
suspending the rule for this season,” Cabrera said in a statement. “I know that
changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players
Association and MLB for finding a way to get this done.” Baseball rules state a
player needs to average a minimum 3.1 plate appearances for each of his teams
games to become a batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion. 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.” The provision came into
play for the first time in 1996, when San Diegos Tony Gwynn won his third
straight NL batting title, and his seventh overall. Gwynn hit .353 in 498 plate
appearances and won when four hitless at-bats were added and his average still
topped that of Colorados Ellis Burks, Gwynns closest pursuer at .344. As the
agreement is worded, the only way Cabrera would qualify for the batting title is
if the Giants had a rainout and played only 161 games, in which case 499 plate
appearances would be sufficient. Such a situation is unlikely this late in the
season. Weiner praised Cabrera, saying “we commend Melkys decision under these
circumstances.” So did McCutchen, who played down the chance to take the batting
crown himself. “It was him saying—he was just manning up and saying he was
wrong and he took himself out of the race,” McCutchen said. “It was man of him
to do that. I guess he thought that was the right thing to do and I commend him
for doing that.” Arian Foster Jersey . With the 20-25, 25-22,
25-21, 25-23 victory Sunday, the U.S. team went undefeated in the competition.
It is their third gold medal in the sport. Brazil, the top-ranked team in the
world and two-time gold medallists, settled for the silver. Andre Johnson Womens Jersey . While others
perceived an improved Canadian performance over last weeks win over the U.S.
Eagles, the former All Black saw his rugby team pay the price for abandoning its
game plan. http://www.shopthetexans.com/owen-daniels-jersey
. —Sounders FC forward Roger Levesque announced he will retire following
Seattles exhibition against European champions Chelsea. Matt Schaub Jersey . Louis Cardinals placed
have outfielder Allen Craig on the 15-day disabled list on Friday because of a
left hamstring strain, along with reliever Kyle McClellan due to an elbow
strain. Andre Johnson Jersey . Contreras was injured
Friday. An MRI scan Saturday showed he tore his ulnar collateral ligament and
flexor pronator tendon. The 40-year-old Contreras had right elbow surgery last
year.DUESSELDORF, Germany—The United States fell to its second straight
defeat at the Team World Cup on Tuesday, while Serbia posted its second victory
in two matches. The Czech Republics Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek both won
their singles in straight sets against the Americans. Berdych fired 12 aces in
defeating Andy Roddick 6-1, 6-2 and Stepanek routed James Blake 6-2, 6-1. Serbia
also took an unassailable 2-0 lead over Russia. Viktor Troicki lost only seven
points on serve as he raced to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Dmitry Tursunov. J.J.
Watt Youth Jersey
. Janko Tipsarevic secured Serbias victory by
defeating Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-1, 6-3. Russia fell to 0-2. Defending champion
Germany made a winning start to its second Blue Group match as Florian Mayer
dismissed Croatias Ivan Dodig 6-1, 6-1. Argentina took a 1-0 lead over Japan in
a Red Group match when Leonardo Mayer defeated Japans Tatsuma Ito 6-4, 6-4. ’ ’

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