Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reported that All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera was ruled ineligible Friday to win the National League Batting Title after disqualifying himself. Cabrera's representatives sent a letter to union officials Wednesday after Cabrera asked to be removed from consideration.
He had 501 plate appearances and a .346 batting average before getting suspended 50 games on August 15 testing positive for testosterone. Under section 10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules, the last sentence reads, shall not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who failed to obtain 502 plate appearances if such player served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program. A player needs 502 plate appearances to automatically qualify for a batting championship.
10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules also states, he would have won the batting title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remained higher than that of any other qualifying player.
"I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted, Cabrera said in a statement. "I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the Players Association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title. "I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. 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."
Major League Baseball technically could not have disqualified Cabrera this season unless it could change the batting title rules for this year with an agreement from the union.
With Cabrera now out of the picture, the race for the NL batting title will come down to Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (.339) and Giants catcher Buster Posey (.335).
Barry Bonds was the last Giant back in 2004 to win the batting title batting an incredible .362 capturing his fourth straight MVP during the year.
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