Giants' hopes don't die with Melky Cabrera's suspension 

click to enlarge While Melky Cabrera was an All-Star and a valuable contributor to the Giants, if the rest of the lineup stays healthy and the starting pitching continues to be effective, the postseason may not be far out of reach. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images file photo
  • While Melky Cabrera was an All-Star and a valuable contributor to the Giants, if the rest of the lineup stays healthy and the starting pitching continues to be effective, the postseason may not be far out of reach.

Melky Cabrera’s incredibly selfish and idiotic decision is going to cost him an ungodly amount of money, but there’s no reason it should cost the Giants a shot at returning to the postseason.

It’s certainly not going to be easy without the Melk-Man, whose final delivery of the regular season came in the form of a mea culpa news release issued through the players union, but consider the
following:

— Monday’s disabled-list activation of Pablo Sandoval added an All-Star to a lineup that on Wednesday lost an All-Star. Sure, it’s overly simplistic to suggest it’s a wash, but the recent addition of Hunter Pence, another All-Star-caliber player, could in theory make it so, especially if Pence is at his best going forward.

— Brandon Belt’s white-hot August — he was batting .472 for the month entering this weekend’s series against the San Diego Padres, when Buster Posey was batting .439 — suggests he could very well be turning a corner of sorts, and if he is, that also could soften the blow of losing Cabrera.

Oh, and then there’s this. ...

— The Giants intended to be, have been and will continue to be largely dependent on their starting rotation. Pitching wins divisions, pennants and rings.

This is bad news for the Giants. No question about it. But a team’s hope doesn’t die with the loss of one hitter, especially if the hitter in question isn’t a 30-homer/120-RBI
guy.

More than any other professional sport, baseball is a streaky game, and if, say, Pence — a very streaky hitter — can get on a hot streak and Belt can maintain his own current streak to an extent, the Giants will be right there when it’s all said and done.

RETURN ENGAGEMENT? Ask 100 baseball fans from around the country to name the player they most closely associate with steroids.

The answer you’ll get at least 95 percent of the time? Barry Bonds.

Thus, the Giants are the team most closely associated with steroids.

Thus, there’s no way in hell the Giants will entertain the notion of bringing Cabrera back into the fold next season.

Doesn’t matter how cheap he’d come. He’d come with the same type of baggage the Giants were distancing themselves from when they opted to not bring back Bonds, who was still the most feared player in the game when he hit free agency back in 2007.

Not gonna happen. Nor should it.

The A’s? Different story. They can’t afford to be as judicious as the Giants can, for obvious financial reasons. Billy Beane has to be open to rolling the dice on players with warts, as he did with Frank Thomas in 2006 and Manny Ramirez this spring.

Sure, the A’s are another team very closely associated with steroids and other performance enhancers, but they can’t afford to care. Cabrera, for the money, will represent a heck of a deal, and Oakland should absolutely explore making one with him for 2013.

SHOW ME: Want to gain the public’s trust when it comes to the performances of baseball’s top players? Make the results of every single drug test public.

Josh Hamilton hits four homers on Thursday? Wouldn’t it be nice to know he had to pee in a cup the previous Saturday and came away clean?

Invasion of privacy? Save it. If you’ve got nothing to hide, why hide it?

The only way to make people believe what they’re seeing is real is to offer evidence in the form of full transparency.

Mychael Urban, a frequent co-host of The Wheelhouse (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.

About The Author

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban

Bio:
Mychael Urban has been covering Bay Area sports for 25 years and has worked for MLB.com, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR (680 AM).
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