Contrary to what some would have you believe, Melky Cabrera’s failed drug test didn’t exactly rock baseball to its core. It gave sports talk show hosts fodder and sort of reignited the doping in baseball debate, sure – but Cabrera’s specific role in the scandal was not at all surprising.
Like we said when the news originally broke: this is a guy who went from not sniffing .300 for six seasons to surpassing it twice en route to MLB All-Star Game MVP honors. Anyone who didn’t notice something shady was going on there probably just didn’t care enough to look.
In the immediate aftermath of his positive test result going public, Cabrera owned up and took responsibility for what happened. He didn’t try to deny the charges. He didn’t try to lie about them. He accepted everything in a brief statement, and then he shut his mouth. A number of commentators commended him on at least not compounding his mistakes.
That was last week.
This week, however, we found out Cabrera reportedly did in fact try to compound his mistakes – we just didn’t know about it because he failed miserably in his efforts.
According to the New York Daily News, Cabrera apparently attempted to start a website featuring a fake product that he was preparing to blame his failed drug test on. The whole ill-conceived plan fell apart pretty quickly, but not before at least one of the people involved had time to leak news of it to the press.
Citing an anonymous source close to the case and a Cabrera associate who told the newspaper he was "accepting responsibility for what everyone else already knows" concerning the fake site, the Daily News reported famed investigator Jeff Novitzky and agents from MLB's investigative arm have begun looking more closely at Cabrera and the scheme purportedly hatched in July as they seek the source of the synthetic testosterone found in his urine.
"There was a product they said caused this positive," the source told the Daily News of Cabrera and his representatives. "Baseball figured out the ruse pretty quickly."
Juan Nunez, who has been described by Cabrera's agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, as a "paid consultant" of their firm but not an "employee," is alleged to have paid $10,000 to purchase the fake website, according to the report.
Why go through all that trouble? Well, because as per baseball’s idiotic collective bargaining agreement, players who can prove that took banned substances accidentally don’t get punished for their deeds. Therefore, if Cabrera had actually succeeded with pinning his failed test on a fictitious product, he wouldn’t have to sit out 50 games.
But he didn’t succeed. Which means that on top of still having to miss the rest of the year, forfeiting his chance at a big payday this summer, and likely costing his team a shot at winning the NL West, Cabrera will also go down in the history books for hatching one of the dumbest sports fraud plans in recent memory.