Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dunce Cap Award: Melky Cabrera & Chad Johnson

This time, we have two winners of the coveted Dunce Cap.

Until he signed with San Francisco as a free agent after the 2011 season, Melky Cabrera wasn't an everyday player. He came up with the Yankees, but he's on his 3rd different team in as many years, having gone from the Bronx to Atlanta to Kansas City to San Francisco. On the surface, he was having the season of his life, among the National League leaders in batting, and leading in hits & runs scored. On Wednesday, however, everything came tumbling down.

Wednesday, before the Giants' matinee vs. Washington, Major League Baseball announced that Cabrera had been suspended 50 games for violating the league's joint drug prevention program. He'd tested positive for testosterone. Cabrera, of course, was contrite and apologetic, taking something he shouldn't have. The Giants were tied for 1st in the NL West before losing to the East-leading Nationals, and now they lose Cabrera for the rest of the regular season. Should they advance to the playoffs, Cabrera's suspension will still be in effect. If they don't make the post-season, Cabrera will have 5 games left to serve to start the 2013 season.

Meanwhile, the last of the NFL's "diva" wide receivers, Chad Johnson (nee Ochocinco), hit rock bottom big time.

First, Johnson was arrested on a domestic assault charge when he head-butted his new bride, who subsequently filed for divorce, ending their marriage after 41 days. Next, VH1 cancelled Johnson's new reality show before it even had its first episode broadcast, distancing themselves from the scandal. The last thing VH1, or its parent, Viacom, needed was another reality show stained by scandal. On Tuesday night, HBO's Hard Knocks documented Johnson's release from the Miami Dolphins. You have to believe that 1st year coach Joe Philbin had to feel a wee bit uncomfortable notifying Johnson of the team's decision with the cameras rolling.

Johnson is one of a generation of players who live for the cameras, putting themselves ahead of their team. The Cincinnati Bengals tired of his act, so they cut him loose. He didn't fit in with the New England Patriots last year, and his inactivity, in this writer's opinion, cost the Patriots dearly in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants. While fellow me-first receivers Braylon Edwards & Terrell Owens have landed in Seattle, what are the chances of Johnson joining them there? I just don't see it. These guys become vagabonds because all they're interested in is 1) padding their stats, 2) getting face time on camera, and 3) making money, not specifically in that order. This latest episode, to me, says that it's way past time for Johnson to do something he should've done a long time ago. Grow up.

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