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Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG
The phenoms of 2013 2013's rookies and first-year players full of phenoms making a crop that is the best in years, including Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole and Hyun-Jin Ryu. /mlb/lists/2013-rookies-first-year-players-phenoms-best-in-years-yasiel-puig-evan-gattis-wil-myers-gerrit-cole-hyun-jin-ryu-061713 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/07/060613-MLB-Yasiel-Puig-PI-AA_20130607011200341_136_102.JPG
MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG
Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records /boxing/lists/Most_Embarrassing_Sports_Records http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/02/wallace2_20121202145912105_136_102.JPG
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MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31274496 Chad Johnson Chad+Johnson MLB

The Wideout Formerly Known As Ochocinco was arrested this month on a domestic-violence charge after allegedly head-butting his bride of five weeks. The next day, he was cut by his new team, the Miami Dolphins.

 

The Melky Excuse: You guys don’t think reality television actually portrays reality, do you? That arrest, that made-for-TV moment of getting cut that was shown on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” — they were all part of the script! Just wait for the next episode, when Johnson actually catches a touchdown pass. The way it’s filmed, it actually seems real.
 

Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G2_20120821092711644_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G2_20120821092711644_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31273844 Brett Favre Brett+Favre MLB

The final season of one of the greatest quarterback careers in NFL history was interrupted by the revelation of some ill-advised text messages from a couple of seasons before — including alleged photos of Favre’s nether regions texted to a New York Jets employee.

 

The Melky Excuse: That ain’t No. 4’s junk! That’s Brett’s buddy’s junk. Trust him: There are “distinguishing characteristics” down there.
 

Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G3_20120821092711647_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G3_20120821092711647_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31273845 Michael Vick Michael+Vick MLB

The current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback spent nearly two years in federal prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring that was discovered when he was the Atlanta Falcons’ starting quarterback.

 

The Melky Excuse: Look closely, and you’ll see that Bad Newz Kennels was clearly not a Michael Vick business. It was a Ron Mexico business. And everybody knows Michael Vick is not Ron Mexico. Instead, Vick was the guy who ran the boutique dog-grooming studio next door, Good Newz Poodlez.
 

Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G4_20120821092711643_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G4_20120821092711643_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31272801 Nick Diaz Nick+Diaz MLB

The UFC fighter tested positive for marijuana metabolites after losing to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 in February. The famously interview-phobic Diaz offered a plausible excuse — that he uses the drug to deal with ADHD — but the Nevada State Athletic Commission still suspended him for one year.

 

The Melky Excuse: Diaz and his brother, fellow UFC fighter Nate, are famous for their insular, tight-knit group of buddies from Stockton, Calif. But wait — could those buddies actually be part of a secret reggae band? And Nick, of course, bankrolls the band. So it was hanging out with the Stockton Wailers — the MMA Maytals? Rasta in the Octagon? — that caused Nick’s positive test. Contact high, swear to Jah.
 

Kelvin Kuo - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G5_20120821092711646_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G5_20120821092711646_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31272807 Ben Johnson Ben+Johnson MLB

The Canadian sprinter failed his drug test after winning gold and setting the world record in the 100-meter dash in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In the most high-profile Olympic drug scandal ever, he was stripped of his gold medal two days later.

 

The Melky Excuse: Any of you Americans know what a Timbit is? What about Scrunchions? And any idea what’s actually in that crazy-delicious Canadian dish called poutine? (And would you really want to know?) Yes, our cousins to the north are a little bit odd in their food choices. So if Johnson wants to tell us he had a tainted dish of poutine, or some scrunchions whose provenance he wasn't entirely sure of, who are we to argue?

RON KUNTZ/AFP - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G6_20120821093136656_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G6_20120821093136656_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31272808 Tonya Harding Tonya+Harding MLB

In one of the strangest moments in American sports history, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee with a baton at the US Figure Skating Championships in 1994. The attack had been planned by the ex-husband of Kerrigan rival Tonya Harding in an attempt to knock Kerrigan out of the competition — but public sympathy allowed Kerrigan to make the Olympics anyway, and she won silver.

 

The Melky Excuse: It is simply implausible that a woman of Harding’s impeccable character could ever get wrapped up in such a sordid affair. Harding should have immediately filed a libel lawsuit to protect her good name. (Forget that her future — the sex tape, the drunk-driving citation, the celebrity boxing match against Paula Jones, the time she was charged with assaulting her boyfriend — might do a bit of damage to her good name, too.)
 

Clive Brunskill /Allsport - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G7_20120821093136654_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G7_20120821093136654_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31274500 Bobby Petrino Bobby+Petrino MLB

The head football coach at the University of Arkansas was dismissed this spring after a harmless Harley-Davidson crash left him injured — and helped expose an extramarital affair with a 25-year-old employee of the athletic department.

 

The Melky Excuse: Call the website fabricators. Just look up the nonprofit organization “Hog Rides With the Top Hog.” Yes, Petrino has quietly been raising money for Razorback athletic scholarships with his fledgling organization, where he takes top donors on Harley rides around scenic Northwest Arkansas. The donations all go to worthy causes, which ought to defuse any of the Arkansas anger directed at the thousands of text messages exchanged between Petrino and his Hog-riding companion over the past seven months.
 

Beth Hall - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G8_20120821093136657_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G8_20120821093136657_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31274499 Tiger Woods Tiger+Woods MLB

A crazy one-Escalade accident on Thanksgiving night 2009 led to the embarrassing public revelation of Woods’ spider web of mistresses — not to mention the end of his marriage to Swedish beauty Elin Nordegren, the destruction of his mild-mannered public image and the divorce settlement rumored to be worth $100 million.

 

The Melky Excuse: The scale and details of this one would confound even a seasoned con man such as Melky. But, wait: Late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was known for having body doubles, men who’d undergone plastic surgery to look like Saddam, make public appearances and dissuade assassination attempts. Surely, Tiger could afford to pay someone a few million to get plastic surgery and keep all the groupies away from Real Tiger, sleeping with all of those groupies while allowing Real Tiger to stay faithful to his bride.

Allan Henry - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G9_20120821093136655_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G9_20120821093136655_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31272810 Sam Hurd Sam+Hurd MLB

Last year the Bears wide receiver was arrested for attempting to purchase large amounts of cocaine and marijuana for distribution in the Chicago area. However, he purchased the drugs from an undercover federal agent. Oops.

 

The Melky Excuse: Every big American city has drug problems and cops trying to bring them to an end. So why is it only Baltimore that gets its own critically acclaimed television show documenting the cat-and-mouse game between cops and dealers? This was merely part of Sam Hurd’s pilot episode for “The Wire: Chicago Edition.”

Dennis Wierzbicki - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G10_20120821093136658_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G10_20120821093136658_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31273846 Shoeless Joe Jackson Shoeless+Joe+Jackson MLB

One of the finest players of baseball’s early years, Shoeless Joe's reputation was forever tainted by his association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which he and his 1919 Chicago White Sox teammates conspired with gamblers to throw that year’s World Series.
 

The Melky Excuse: Those days — 1919 — were pre-Internet, so no fake websites. They were pre-television, so no going over game tape to prove Shoeless Joe actually played his best during the World Series in question. How about blaming the mob? The mob was a potent force in those days in Chicago. Say the mob was after Shoeless Joe’s family — that the mob told him they’d hurt those closest to him if he didn’t throw the Series. The empathy card would be enough to reinstate Shoeless Joe to the game.
 

APA - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G11_20120821093136653_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G11_20120821093136653_107_80.JPG
MLB 49 43 Others who should've followed Melky Cabrera's way 31274497 Got Melk? Got+Melk%3F MLB

It is true that Melky Cabrera now looks like a fool after getting caught with synthetic testosterone in his system. Months before likely getting a guaranteed contract that would make him a bazillionaire, he tested positive, was suspended 50 games and became the butt of all-too-many jokes.

 

But let’s not forget the one amazing accomplishment surrounding Cabrera’s unfortunate mishap. He set the standard for professional sports' most outrageous excuse for a mistake. According to the New York Daily News, an associate of Cabrera "created a fictitious website and a nonexistent product to prove he inadvertently took the banned substance that caused a positive test."

 

If true, the maneuver did not work. And now Melky’s not just a drug cheat but also the Stephen Glass of Major League Baseball. But one has to wonder how sports history might have changed if other scandal-ridden athletes had taken a page from the Book of Melky.

 

What follows is an alternative history of sports scandal. If only these athletes had associates like Melky’s, how would their fates have turned out? — Reid Forgrave

Lenny Ignelzi, File - AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G1_20120821092711645_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/08/21/082112-scandalous-athletes-OB-G1_20120821092711645_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/11/12/PI_20131112025841974_136_102.JPG Athletes and auctions Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabi... Sports figures auctioning big-ticket memorabilia, including Gold Gloves, World Series rings and game-worn uniforms. Turns out you can own some pretty hefty pieces of sports history . . . but you’ll need a pretty hefty wad of cash to get in on the action. Nov 12, 2013 7:02 AM ET 1 18 /cbk/lists/athletes-sports-figures-auctioned-big-ticket-memorabilia-world-series-rings-cy-young-awards-jerseys-101612
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/06/07/060613-MLB-Yasiel-Puig-PI-AA_20130607011200341_136_102.JPG The phenoms of 2013 2013's rookies and first-year players full of... 2013's rookies and first-year players full of phenoms making a crop that is the best in years, including Yasiel Puig, Evan Gattis, Wil Myers, Gerrit... These guys have big hype or big numbers -- or both. Either way, this rookie class appears to be something special. Nov 3, 2013 9:56 PM ET 1 18 /mlb/lists/2013-rookies-first-year-players-phenoms-best-in-years-yasiel-puig-evan-gattis-wil-myers-gerrit-cole-hyun-jin-ryu-061713
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2013/09/27/092713-MLB-RED-SOX-ORTIZ-PEDROIA-BRADLEY-JR-CELEBRATE-DC-PI_201309272311548_136_102.JPG MLB playoff team Power Rankings Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playof... Shawn Ramsey ranks the 10 major league playoff teams 1 through 10. Boston made quite a turnaround from last season, but can the Sox conclude the year with their third title since 2004? Oct 2, 2013 3:10 AM ET 1 18 /mlb/lists/playoff-team-mlb-power-rankings-red-sox-cardinals-braves-dodgers-oakland-as-100113
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fscom/img/2012/12/02/wallace2_20121202145912105_136_102.JPG Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Most Embarrassing Sports Records Oct 1, 2013 7:23 AM ET 1 18 /boxing/lists/Most_Embarrassing_Sports_Records