# The Melkman Sinned

As a huge Yankee fan I remember Melky Cabrera as a good fourth outfielder when he played for the Yankees. That fourth outfielder, I watched play for the Yankees, is now a superstar for the Giants. He was chosen to the NL All-Star team and was selected as the MVP of the All-Star game. He is batting .346 and in contention for the batting title. Millions of dollars were in his reach with next year’s contract. Everything was so right for Melky in 2012.

It all changed when it was announced that Melky failed baseball’s drug test. Melky then admitted he had used a certain banned substance. By baseball’s drug rule, he was suspended for 50 games and consequently his .346 batting average is his final batting average for 2012. He has 501 plate appearances which is one short of the minimum needed to be considered for the batting title. However, baseball allows one out to be added giving him 502 plate appearances. His .3464 batting average becomes .3456.

This raises the following question: If he has the highest batting average at the end of the year does he win the batting title? In my first post about breaking records I favored not using the asterisk next to any baseball record. Since winning a batting title is an award for just one year, it can never be broken. Consequently, winning a battle title is not the same as setting a baseball record.

Since Melky failed the drug test and admitted he cheated, it would dishonor the game of baseball to declare him the batting champion. If a student gets the highest score on a test and it is proven the student cheated, would a school give him an award for this achievement? The answer is a resounding NO.

If his .346 average turns out to be the highest batting average for 2012, baseball should not declare Melky the batting champion. Instead, the batting title should be awarded to the player, who without cheating had the highest batting average.

What happens to Melky’s .346 batting average? Unlike the case of a test in a school where the student would be given a zero for cheating, we cannot declare Melky’s batting average as zero. What we can do is place an ASTERISK next to the .346. At the bottom of the page the explanation will be given.

I am interested in what you think? Also, what do you think we should do about his All-Star MVP Award?