With Giants' outfielder Melky Cabrera suspended for 50 games, the Arizona Diamondbacks will not have to face a batter that has been killing them offensively. Cabrera has hit Arizona pitching at an absurd rate, a .462 average, two homers and six driven in. But now, with nine games left against San Fran, Cabrera is done.
Manager Kirk Gibson had strong words about it, too. Aside from how his Arizona team has been affected by players tied to performance enhancers (Cabrera's .462, Ryan Braun destroyed Arizona pitching in 2011 and Manny Ramirez was a wrecking crew all by himself in 2008), Gibson is concerned. "Part of me says that alright, enough already," he said before his team's game Wednesday. "We've made a commitment to stopping that type of activity and we still, from time to time, find people are still trying to fool the system."
He also believes that the punishment for such offenses should be racheted up -- a year suspension for the first time and a lifetime ban after that."Obviously there's not a big enough deterrent if it continues," he said.
He's right. There is no excuse at this point for this to continue happening. Baseball has tried very hard to get this out of the game. It is embarrassed at what has happened over the past couple of decades.
Gibby's suggestion is actually perfect. This isn't dealing with general substance abuse -- like the Steve Howe situation of long ago. This is dealing with players trying to cheat the system. For that, baseball need to drop the hammer.
Until that happens, this will be something that will happen again and again.
Suspend them a long time the first try and take the game away for any other issue after that. There really isn't any other option.
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