Melky Cabrera’s National League MVP hopes dashed by positive PED test
This post is a bit late, but I’ve been in Singapore and Bangkok, thus causing me to fall behind in the recent news.
It’s a disappointing time to be a Giants fan.
Last week news broke that Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera used performance enhancing drugs and will be suspended 50 games. The first-year Giant was having the best offensive season of his career. He was batting .346, with slugging percentage of .516 and an on-base percentage of .390. He had 11 home runs, 60 RBIs, 84 runs, 13 stolen bases and a 4.5 WAR. Cabrera was leading all of baseball with 157 hits, including 10 triples. A team known for its incredible pitching staff over the past few years, Cabrera had provided the Giants with the offensive lift it so desperately needed. The Giants were battling with the Dodgers for first place and were in serious contention for the Wild Card Race.
But now the Giants are in trouble. Not only are we losing the center of our offense, the overall Giants success is in question. How much of Cabrera’s (and the Giants) success was due to the PEDs? How will losing Cabrera affect the rest of the Giants’ season?
Sure the Giants added Hunter Pence to the line-up before the trade deadline. Sure Buster Posey is back from his injury and picking up right where he left off from last season. Sure Pablo Sandoval has continued to play at a consistent level despite being placed on the disabled list twice this season. Sure the Giants’ pitching has continued to be dominant. But can the Giants do it without the offense Cabrera was producing? My thought is no.
It’s disappointing to see the Giants play quality all-around baseball for the first time in years, only to have the chair pulled out from under us like some joke. What Cabrera did was not only morally wrong and unfair, it was selfish. And with all the measures put in place to prevent doping and all the measures put in place to catch offenders, how could he think he would not get caught?
Here’s what my dad had to say in an email he sent me:
I understand how discouraging this can seem — and I don’t underestimate his contribution to the team and its offense — but the rest of the team could well step up. Hunter Pence seems to finally be hitting his stride; Buster is ho;, Belt is starting to find his swing (I think it’s Belt, but I could be thinking about Crawford); and Pablo is back. What’s too bad is that the Dodgers just loaded up with more big bats, so we certainly don’t match up with them on paper without Melky. The good news is that the game isn’t played on paper, so, who knows? That’s baseball.
As for Melky himself, how disappointing and selfish for him to have taken a banned substance knowing how much attention has been paid to this topic in recent years, knowing how much scrutiny there is and how likely he was to be tested, and knowing how discovery and the ensuing, certain suspension would hurt his team and its chances for the playoffs. I would shun him, not because he chose to take a banned substance, but because he did so knowing that his teammates would suffer the consequences. What a self-centered, selfish attitude to have and how dismissive of his team, his teammates, his and the team’s fans, and the game itself!
My dad is right: it’s time for the rest of the team to step up offensively. We can’t let the weight of our whole team rest on one, two, three or even four players. There must be contribution from everyone. So hopefully the Giants don’t let this suspension affect the team. Hopefully it lights a fire under their asses, as we head into the final stretch of the season and fight for that No. 1 spot in the West and playoff berth.