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Name: Jim MonaghanHeight: 5'8"Weight: 150
Prior to joining WDHA, Jim spent a number of years as part of the New York/New Jersey sports media corps covering the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Devils and Rangers. Jim has over 25 years of experience coaching and playing baseball. He spent two years in baseball management with the Newark Bears. and coached the Don Bosco Prep freshman baseball team to back-to-back Bergen County championships for the only time in the school's history. He's also an instructor with Professional Baseball Instruction in Bergen County.
The news broke last week that former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera had tested positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance, with the result being a 50-game suspension. Quickly, Cabrera owned up to the transgression and accepted the punishment levied by Major League Baseball. His response was a far cry from the dog & pony show that followed the revelation that 2007 National League Rookie of the Year and 2011 NL Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun had tested positive for a PED.
That is, until the New York Daily News broke a story over the weekend that said a fake website had been set up by a Cabrera associate in an effort to creat doubt about whether Cabrera knew he was taking a banned substance.
The song in the link to the video clip above (the band is called the Baseball Project, featuring former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck) asks why, and the answer is so simple - money. Lots of money.
Playing with the Yankees in 2007, Melky Cabrera made the Major League minimum which at the time was a little over $430,000. This year with the San Francisco Giants, his salary was in the $6 million neighborhood. That's a pretty big salary jump in just a few years. As a free agent after the 2012 season, he was figuring to cash in on that REALLY big payday that most of us can only fantasize about. Some people around baseball are conjecturing that Cabrera was looking at a $100 million multi-year payday. Do the math; follow the money.
Two things immediately came to mind after the news about Cabrera broke. 1) Players will do whatever it takes to get to the highest level of their profession and stay there. 2) No one - NO ONE - can be above suspicion at this point. For what it's worth, I'm not buying the Melky-ARod-PED connection some have been throwing around, but that doesn't mean I'd be shocked if it turned out to be true.
I was never convinced that Cabrera was much more than a 4th outfielder. Despite the whole "Melkman delivers!" and "That's the Melky way!" hyperbole of Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, I saw a player who could hit a little but was really a product of the lineup around him, and an average defensive outfielder. He also had a reputation for enjoying the New York City nightlife a little too much, often accompanied by 2nd baseman Robinson Cano. I didn't find it surprising at all that the Yankees moved him to Atlanta after the 2009 season. For that matter, it didn't strike me as odd that in 2012 Cabrera was playing for his 4th team in as many seasons.
Melky's negotiations in the free agent market could easily be one of the higlights of the upcoming offseason as we ponder how much money he might have lost.
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