In what was an expected move, new Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera was met upon arrival at Spring Training with questions pertaining to his 5-game suspension in 2012 and his involvement with the Biogenesis facility in Florida. And as expected, Cabrera was less than thrilled to talk about these items, issuing a short statement during a press conference this morning.
The statement read as follows:
“Last season ended for me when I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted and served my punishment of a 50-game suspension. Since that day, my goals have been to serve my punishment and to put that mistake behind me and to work hard to be the best baseball player I can be. At the end of last season, when it became clear that I would win the batting title despite my positive test, I asked the Players Association and MLB to make sure a more deserving player won, and I am very happy that my former teammate Buster Posey won that award instead of me.
I also accepted the Giants’ decision not to bring me back for the playoffs after I served my punishment. Instead, I continued to work hard so I could be ready for the 2013 season. I hoped and expected that I would be allowed to put my mistake behind me and to start this season fresh.
I am aware that in the past weeks, there have been news articles written about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic and the MLB and others are investigating those allegations. I have told MLB I will cooperate in their investigation the best I can, just as my legal counsel has told federal investigators. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations. This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season. I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson and have served my punishment. I am here to play the best baseball I can to help the Toronto Blue Jays win a world championship.”
While the Blue Jays are likely happy with the statement, the media and fans are less likely to let it go. In a roundabout way, it answers the question of whether Cabrera feels he will see any further punishment over his involvement with Biogenesis or if that was served during his 50-game ban. However, the question will loom as long as Major League Baseball is investigating the firm and the players purported to be involved. His cooperation in the investigation will likely go a long way toward how the commissioner’s office views that status.
However, the statement does give fans some solace. Cabrera acknowledged his mistakes and the changes that he will be undergoing to ensure that they never happen again. He acknowledged his desire to move past those issues and to become the player that Toronto is hoping for. Cabrera is resolved to help this team and put forth his efforts as a team player.
The Blue Jays are investing two-years and $16 million in hopes that Cabrera is true to his word. Today was a start on the return of that investment. The rest is carried out through action on and off the field.