One of the perks of my job as a sportswriter is the chance to interview somewhat famous people from time to time. I’m not sure Enos Cabell, a former Detroit Tiger who actually spent more seasons with the Houston baseball team and currently works in the front office for the Astros, would qualify as “famous,” but he did make a pretty good living hitting a baseball.
He was a member of three teams that made it to the division finals during his 15-year career, though he failed to taste the sweet taste of the World Series. He played for Detroit in 1982 and 1983, but re-signed with Houston as a free agent after 1983, missing by one season the Tigers’ World Series championship.
“That was only because I wanted a raise,” Cabell told me a couple of weeks ago when I chatted with him prior to his appearance at a West Michigan Whitecaps’ game. “If you go back and think about it, I was probably one of the highest paid players on the team at the time. All the kids had just arrived … (Alan) Trammell, Jack Morris, all those guys were there. I understand why (they didn’t resign me), but at the moment, I hit .311 and I played really well. We probably would have won (the division) if Baltimore hadn’t played so well.”
At THIS moment, however, most of the talk around baseball is around steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Cabell is something of an expert in that regard. In February, 1986, Cabell was one of seven players, including well-knowns Dave Parker and Keith Hernandez, who were suspended after admitting to using cocaine. They were allowed to play that season, however, by agreeing to donate 10-percent of their salaries to drug-related community service, submitting to random drug testing and doing 100 hours of drug-related community service.
“(Drugs) do help,” Cabell said with we chatted about Alex Rodriguez and many of the other players who were suspended by Major League Baseball. “Look at some of the numbers some of these guys are posting. The record books have gone to hell the last 10 years.”
Rodriguez, aka ARod, among others, was suspended for the rest of this season, but for 2014 as well. Cabell doesn’t think that suspension will stick.
“He admitted (to using PEDs), but he never failed a drug test,” Cabell said. “The basic agreement (between players and owners) says you can’t suspend anyone for more than 100 days. They all signed it, so I think it will be reduced to 100 days. Bud (Selig, baseball’s commissioner) can’t go ahead and overturn an agreement that everybody signed.”