Cabrera pulls out of batting-title race

MLB • Suspended S.F. Giant doesn't want award to be "tainted."
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By his own request, the San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera will not be eligible for the National League batting title.

Cabrera, who leads Major League Baseball with a .346 batting average, was suspended Aug. 15 after testing positive for testosterone. He asked Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to be made ineligible, and a one-time amendment was made to Rule 10.22(a). Cabrera will finish one plate appearance shy of the 502 required to qualify for the batting title, but by rule would have been given one hitless at-bat to bring him to the qualifying mark.

According to Major League Baseball, the rule will not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who served a drug suspension.

"I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted," Cabrera said in a statement. "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."

MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday that he didn't anticipate interfering with the batting title race. But Selig reconsidered after Cabrera made his request.

In Cabrera's absence, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (.339) and Giants catcher Buster Posey (.335) top the National League in average.

Cabrera, 27, is a free agent at the end of the season, and has had his image marred by the positive steroid test as well as an attempted cover-up.

Cabrera, suspended 50 games, is eligible to return after the fifth postseason game. However, club sources have indicated there is little interest in bringing Cabrera back. Entering Friday, the Giants were 23-10 in Cabrera's absence. They are closing in on the NL West title.