By his own request, the Giants' Melky Cabrera will be ineligible for the National League batting title.
Cabrera, who leads major league baseball with a .346 average, was suspended on Aug. 15 after testing positive for testosterone. He asked Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to be made ineligible, and a one-time amendment was made to Rule 10.22(a).
Cabrera will finish one plate appearance shy of the 502 required to qualify for the batting title, but by rule would have been given one hitless at-bat to bring him to the qualifying mark.
According to Major League Baseball, the rule will not be applicable for the 2012 season for any player who served a drug suspension.
"I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted," Cabrera said in a statement. "I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win. I asked the players association and the league to take the necessary steps to remove my name from consideration for the National League batting title.
"I am grateful that the players association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. I know that changing the rules midseason can present problems, and I thank the players association and MLB for finding a way to get this done."
Major League Baseball could not unilaterally disqualify Cabrera. It could only change the batting title rules for this year with an agreement from the union.
As the agreement is worded, the only way Cabrera would qualify for the batting title is if the Giants had a rainout and played only 161 games, in which case 499 plate appearances would be sufficient, the Associated Press reported.
Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday that he didn't anticipate interfering with the batting title race. But Selig reconsidered after Cabrera made his request.
"I respect his gesture as a sign of his regret and his desire to move forward, and I believe that, under these circumstances, the outcome is appropriate, particularly for Mr. Cabrera's peers who are contending for the batting crown," Selig said in a statement.
In Cabrera's absence, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (.339) and Giants catcher Buster Posey (.335) top the National League in average.
Cabrera, 27, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He has had his image marred by the positive steroid test as well as an attempted cover-up that included a fake website.
Cabrera, suspended for 50 games, is eligible to return after the fifth postseason game. However, club sources have indicated there is little interest in bringing Cabrera back.
The Giants are 23-10 in Cabrera's absence and could clinch the National League West crown today.