After Sunday's 6-3 win over the Yankees, Padres SS Everth Cabrera said he couldn't talk about the looming spectre of a performance-enhancing drug suspension. But he did have a message for the fans who may be missing him.
"I love San Diego fans and I'm very sorry," said Cabrera on Sunday. "I have this situation right now and I'm very sorry (to) all my fans. I'm sorry (to) my organization."
On Monday Cabrera was, indeed, suspended for 50 games for his involvement with Biogenesis, the Florida-based lab that has been the subject of a MLB investigation.
He was having a breakout year. He made his first All-Star team and was hitting .283 (28 points higher than his previous season-best) with four home runs in 95 games (he had hit five in his previous 296 games) and 31 RBI (tying his career-high for an entire season).
Cabrera missed all but two games of the 2011 season with an injury. Just 26 years old, it had seemed like Cabrera had simply figured things out. From now on, his success will be questioned, and the Padres are left without their starting shortstop and leadoff hitter.
"I love my team mates," said Cabrera. "I love this organization because that kind of situation is tough for me and they asked a couple of questions, and they've got my back. I love that."
The team released this statement on Monday afternoon:
“The Padres fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game. The club will continue to stand behind the Commissioner’s Office to ensure the integrity of baseball.”
In the early 2000's, when baseball went through its revelation that steroids are a big problem in the game, few players spoke out against the guys who were juicing. I don't know if that's because it was more widely accepted or they didn't want to cause a stir in the clubhouse.
But, today more and more guys are condemning the used of performance-enhancing drugs.
"I love the fact that players today are gaining a little bit more of a voice," said former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman.
"They're having an opportunity to be heard from the clean side, saying 'We're tired of this. We want stiffer penalties.' There's no place in the game for it."
Padres OF Will Venable was outspoken in an interview with the Associated Press.
"My personal opinion is that the penalties need to get back to the contracts," said Venable. "I believe that if you cross over and decide that you are going to use the banned substance, you also should forfeit the support of the players' association."
Everth Cabrera was going to make $1,270,000 this season. This 50-game ban, during which players are not paid, will cost him nearly $392,000.