Melky takes himself out of batting race

Looks like San Francisco baseball fans — and the rest of the baseball world, for that matter — can finally stop talking about outfielder Melky Cabrera and the honor of being the National League batting champion.

The Major League Baseball Players Association in conjunction with the Office Of The Commissioner released a statement Friday that they would be suspending the rule that would have allowed Cabrera to obtain the batting title for the 2012 season.

SFGiants.com is reporting:

“…the last sentence of Official Baseball Rule 10.22(a) shall not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who failed to obtain 502 plate appearances if such player served a drug suspension for violating the Joint Drug Program. “

Which comes as a bit of shock, considering the Commissioner already said he wouldn’t stand in the way of Cabrera receiving the coveted honor.

The bigger shock: Cabrera is the one that requested that he not qualify. Cabrera reportedly said:

“I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted. I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the Players Association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title. “

Obviously, whoever encouraged Cabrera to give up the possibility of winning the title was not the same person who created the fake website following his suspension.

Commissioner Bud Selig said Friday:

“After giving this matter the consideration it deserves, I have decided that Major League Baseball will comply with Mr. Cabrera’s request.”

Under Rule 10.22(a) a player must have 502 at-bats to qualify for the batting title; although Cabrera only had 501, the rule would allow for “one or more hypothetical” at-bats to compensate for that.

His decision to be disqualified, however, makes the rule moot. Selig added:

“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.”

Prior to the suspension for PED use, Cabrera was batting .346 for season with a .390 on-base-percentage and .516 slugging percentage. He totaled 159 hits in 113 games with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs.