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Melky Cabrera removes himself from batting title race [updated]

September 21, 2012|By Dan Loumena
  • Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had never had a batting average higher than .280 before hitting .305 for the Kansas City Royals in 2011.
Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had never had a batting average higher… (Ben Margot / Associated…)

Suspended Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has asked to be disqualified from the National League batting title race.

Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP who is serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for the banned substance testosterone, will finish the season with 501 plate appearances, one less than he needs in a 162-game season to be eligible for the batting title, and a .346 average. But under arcane baseball scoring rules, he could be given one more hitless at-bat to make him eligible.

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is second in the NL with a .339 average entering Friday's play. If the Giants had a game rained out, Cabrera would then have the required number of plate appearances to be eligible.

Cabrera decided to take high road by sending a letter to the players' union to initiate the action to have himself removed from consideration. CSNBayArea.com first reported the action and Associated Press later confirmed it.

"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 said in a statement released Friday afternoon. 

Commissioner Bud Selig said earlier this week that MLB doesn't interfere with the batting title, but on Friday agreed to work with Cabrera and the union.

"Major League Baseball will comply with Mr. Cabrera's request,” 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. Cabrera's peers who are contending for the batting crown.”

Cabrera broke into the majors in 2005 with the Yankees and played his first full season in 2006. The 28-year-old never hit higher than .280 before last season, when he hit .305 with the Kansas City Royals.

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