NEW YORK – Major League Baseball appears unlikely to interfere if Melky Cabrera wins the NL batting title while serving his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.
The San Francisco Giants outfielder began Wednesday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.
Cabrera has 501 plate appearances, one fewer than the required amount if the Giants play 162 games. Under section 10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules, he would win the batting title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remains higher than that of any other qualifying player.
"We'll see how it all plays out," baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of "CenterStage" for the YES Network. "We generally don't interfere in that process. We'll take a look at it at the end of the year."
Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive test for testosterone and is missing the final 45 games of the regular season.
During the YES interview, scheduled to air for the first time Sept. 27, Selig was asked whether records set during the Steroids Era should be revisited.
"You can't change records because once you get into that it would never stop," Selig said. "It would create more problems than it would solve."
Selig did say he was pleased an agreement was reached Tuesday to suspend Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar for three games for wearing eye-black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish during a game last weekend against Boston.
"When something like that happens, it's disappointing," Selig said.
Selig would not indicate whether he was closer to making a decision on the dispute between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Oakland wants to build a ballpark in San Jose, which is part of the Giants' territory, and Selig appointed a committee in March 2009 to evaluate the issue.
"The committee has been working very hard," he said.