My jaw only drops in certain instances where what I’m seeing or hearing is absolutely unbelievable. Today, I was stopped in my tracks when the news of Melky Cabrera’s positive testosterone result came back, and the concurrent 50-game suspension handed down by MLB:
Before we get any farther, let me contextualize the blog – YES, I’m a Dodgers fan. And NO, I’m not happy that Melky is out for the rest of the year.
I have a steamy romance with baseball, and I was hoping this era was completely over after the Ryan Braun saga last season. Finding out PED use still goes on among the biggest names in the sport is like getting punched right in the balls, regardless of the jersey of the prognosticator.
And it’s even worse that the player in question straight up admitted to doing it. Basically, what Cabrera said when announcing the decision wouldn’t be appealed, was “Yeah, I cheated. Oops.”
The way I see it, Cabrera slapped the sport that made him famous (not to mention all the coaches, teammates and fans in San Francisco) right in the face. It was shocking, selfish and disappointing. But what does this mean for Cabrera, his team, the NL West, and baseball as a whole?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Cabrera screwed himself over. It’s a contract year, and he was sure to be one of the hottest commodities in the free agent market with his play over the last two seasons. Now, his future contract is entirely in doubt.
Will any team even take a flier on a guy who nonchalantly admitted to cheating during the only season he’s been a true super star? Probably. But he certainly won’t be paid well.
And now teams will hesitate to look at bringing in a guy who essentially abandoned his teammates in the heat of a playoff race. Someone who clearly cares more about his own statistics than the success of the entire entity that is the Giants.
Speaking of the Giants, they have held a slim lead in the National League West since about mid-July. Cabrera has been a huge part of that. We can close the book on Melky’s final line in 2012, because he’s suspended for the remainder of the regular season, plus some: .346 average, 11 homers, 60 RBI, 13 SB and good defense in the outfield. Not to mention he was leading the world in hits.
How can the Giants replace that kind of production? Even with Hunter Pence in the fold, the already inconsistent lineup now faces a major challenge. That being said, this 2012 version of the Giants is a much better team than the squad that won it all in 2010.
The Giants still have fantastic starting pitching, big bats in Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, and a seasoned manager. Though the Dodgers might be the team to beat on paper now, the Giants are still a legitimate contender. And if they get back and win a post season series (a very good chance, considering their pitching), Cabrera would be eligible to return to the team after five playoff games.
If the Giants want him back.
So…this happened. On a day that was capped off with such an incredible pitching performance, the Melky Cabrera suspension news is slightly buried. And that’s just how I like it.
Fans are sick and tired of players getting on the juice, getting caught, being suspended. It needs to end. It must end. Please make it end.
Hey Melky – Ryan Braun will take that All-Star Game MVP trophy if you don’t mind.
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)