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Melky Cabrera in Blue Jays camp: 'I know I made a mistake'

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Melky Cabrera said Friday that he accepts responsibility for the failed drug test that cost him a 50-game suspension and a chance to play in the World Series with the Giants.

"I know I made a mistake," Cabrera said after arriving in Blue Jays camp, in his first public remarks since he was suspended last August. "It's in the past."

Cabrera was cautious in his remarks, saying that his lawyers advised him not to say more. Cabrera's name was in records of the Biogenisis clinic in Miami, and while the Blue Jays don't believe he's in danger of a further suspension, he is still part of the MLB investigation into the clinic.

Cabrera did speak briefly about his time with the Giants, saying he was happy that the won the World Series even without him, and also saying he wasn't sure whether he would receive a World Series ring. He said he hasn't heard from the Giants, or been asked for his ring size.

"I feel like I deserve a ring," he said. "I gave everything to that organization. If they decide not to give me a ring, I'd understand that, too."

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As it turns out, he will get one. Giants executive Staci Slaughter told the San Francisco Chronicle that the team does have Cabrera's ring size, and will have a ring made for him.

Cabrera also addressed the Giants' decision not to add him to the roster during the postseason, after he had served his suspension.

"I wish I could have played," he said. "But I understand their decision."

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the Jays understand that Cabrera's numbers last year (he was leading the National League with a .346 batting average at the time of his suspension) were drug-aided. He said there's no way to know for sure what Cabrera will be capable of if he plays drug-free this season.

"If I knew with certainty, I'd probably have done a longer deal," Anthopoulos said. "There are absolutely no guarantees, and there's an element of risk."

The Blue Jays signed Cabrera to a two-year, $16 million deal.

Cabrera also issed a statement on Friday:

"Last season ended for me when I admitted taking a banned substance and accepted and served my punishment of a 50 game suspension. Since that day, my goals have been to serve my punishment and to put that mistake behind me, and to work hard to be the best baseball player I can be. At the end of last season, when it became clear that I would win the batting title despite my positive test, I asked the Players Association and MLB to make sure a more deserving player won, and I am very happy that my former teammate Buster Posey won that award instead of me.

"I also accepted the Giants' decision not to bring me back for the Playoffs after I served my punishment. Instead, I continued to work hard so I could be ready for the 2013 season. I hoped and expected that I would be allowed to put my mistake behind me and to start this season fresh.

"I am aware that in the past weeks, there have been news articles written about so-called patient files from a Miami clinic, and the MLB and others are investigating those allegations. I have told MLB I will cooperate in their investigation the best I can, just as my legal counsel has told federal investigators. I have been instructed by legal counsel not to answer questions relating to the pending investigations. This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season. I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson, and have served my punishment.

"I am here to play the best baseball I can to help the Toronto Blue Jays win a World Championship."

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