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Report: Giants won’t bring back Melky Cabrera in postseason

Sep 14, 2012, 10:38 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

While the club isn’t commenting on the situation, CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly says all indications are that the Giants won’t bring Melky Cabrera back should they advance in the postseason.

According to Baggarly, Cabrera recently reached out to Giants officials to find out when and if he should report to the club’s minor league complex to prepare for the postseason. Cabrera’s 50-game PED suspension will include the first five games of the postseason, but he’d be eligible to return afterwards, presumably for the NLCS and World Series if the Giants advance.

As is, it sounds like the Giants would rather go it without him, even though they’ve yet to come up with a regular left fielder in his absence. It’s also worth noting that they’re currently using Guillermo Mota out of the pen even though he served a 100-game PED suspension as a repeat offender this year.

If he’s given the chance to face some live pitching in the couple of weeks leading to a potential NLCS, one presumes Cabrera would be an upgrade for the Giants. The free-agent-to-be hit .346/.390/.516 in 459 at-bats prior to his suspension and he seems set to claim the NL batting title unless Andrew McCutchen heats back up.

  1. pipkin42 - Sep 14, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    God, can you imagine the collective chicken the Outraged Crew will crap if he does come back? It’s almost worth how annoying it will be just to get Craig the pageviews.

    • pjmarn6 - Sep 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Don’t you knotheads understand? He got to this point B.A. etc because he cheated and you don’t reward cheaters?

  2. jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    If he’s not injured, his suspension is over, and there are no charges brought against him yet for fraud or some other crime related to the ridiculous website gambit, what exactly would the Giants’ reason be for keeping him off the postseason roster? Of course they have the right to pick any 25 of their eligible players for a given postseason series, but once Melky has served his time, wouldn’t they be the subject of an MLBPA grievance if they keep the guy who is just as likely as anyone else to be the NL batting champion off the field?

    • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      Both Manny Ramirez and Edinson Volquez have played in the postseason after previously serving a 50 game suspension for usage of banned substances in the same year. Given that as established practice, it seems highly unlikely that the Giants would simply state that Melky isn’t ready to come back, without actually giving him the opportunity after 40 games are served to work himself back into game shape in Arizona. They couldn’t keep him off the roster for disciplinary reasons either. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this.

    • dwrek5 - Sep 15, 2012 at 1:01 AM

      Wasn’t there that story how the team was upset he didn’t apologize? The team is rolling and will take the club house chemistry into account more than the fans will. Not agreeing or disagreeing, just saying…

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 1:10 AM

        Yes, the story is circulating that the team was thoroughly miffed because he didn’t even show up after the announcement of his suspension, whether to apologize, to wish his teammates the best of luck in his absence, or just to tip the clubby. Very poor comportment, that.

        But still, there is no precedent for keeping a batting champion off the postseason roster just because he is a lousy human being and nobody likes him.

      • bigdicktater - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        I wonder if Baer, Sabean, or Bochy thought about polling the players to see how they felt about bringing Melky back? Make it a secret ballot. The prospect of a World Series ring and bonus for the players is substantial, because they are a legitimate shot to win it all.

      • Brinke - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        dead on accurate. Giants do NOT need him. He’s played his last game for SF.

  3. qbcoach9 - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Extended Douche Bag Suspension

    And I don’t blame them, sure the guy’s a stud, but he’s also a clown (do I have to TM Bryce Harper?)…anyone who is dumb enough to create their own website for a product when they know their in deep S—- is a moron and I don’t blame the Giants for basically, cutting ties with him. He’s a PR nightmare…they already have the cult legend, Smokey Lincecum

    • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      Which of those is a legitimate reason to prevent a guy from plying his trade? Dumb doesn’t keep you out of the league.

      What if according to his contract he gets a bonus for being named a League Championship or World Series MVP? Wouldn’t he have a legitimate beef if the Giants don’t let him play?

      • qbcoach9 - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Being as the Giants are an organization, always concerned about reputation with the fan base and the future, and Melky is a player who only has a short shelf life, they are making the best public relations move. Sure Melky can complain and be upset that he’s not playing, but he is an employee and will do whatever the Giants say until he signs elsewhere in FA…You’re right, dumb won’t keep him out of the league, but its going to keep him from ever being a Giant again, and it looks like that line has been drawn, regardless what that piece of trash wants.

        Im just amazed people are sticking up for this guy. If he wasn’t a baseball player, he’d be on worlds dumbest criminals…just saying

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        The Giants are very aware of their reputation with the fan base and the future, and they are also aware of what they can and cannot do under league policy, as is clear from Sabean’s statements when reactivating Guillermo Mota recently:

        We’re always concerned about our brand, about how you’re perceived. But we’ve done nothing wrong. The player has done something wrong, faced the music, and under the policy of Major League Baseball we don’t have the right to shut him out. We don’t have the right to further sanction him.

        So if they didn’t have the right to further sanction Mota, what makes anyone think they have the right to further sanction Cabrera? It doesn’t matter whether people generally agree that Melky’s a “piece of trash”; this is about the Giants acting fairly and appropriately under the system that’s in place. If you’re a Giants fan, like me, I think that should matter more to you than making “the best public relations move”. After all, as temporarilyexiled reminds us, the masses are a beast.

  4. btwicey - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    He’s a v good player, regardless. Melky and a little baggage or arias… Just saying.

  5. fuddpucker - Sep 15, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    What’s really sick about the cheating culture in baseball that Melky would even be considered to play again this year, let alone EVER AGAIN!

    • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      You’re in favor of a lifetime ban for first-time violations, then. OK, we can discuss the pros and cons of such a policy. However, that’s not the policy in place.

      • fuddpucker - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Okay, how about making illegal websites to lie about your drug use?

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Sure. If he is charged with a crime, I think the Giants have a legitimate reason to keep him off their postseason roster. “We’re just going to let you step away and focus on your legal issues, Melky.” Or if the league takes disciplinary action related to that, of course the Giants would be bound to respect it.

        But neither of those things has happened as yet. So what’s the Giants’ justification for keeping him off the roster beyond the terms of his suspension?

  6. temporarilyexiled - Sep 15, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    So…which should I pay attention to?

    The previous flood of “Giants are cheaters” comments?

    Or this new pile of “They can’t do this to him” crap?

    No wonder the Giants ignore fan commentary.

    Alexander Hamilton was right.

    The masses ARE a great beast.

    • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      Alexander Hamilton is not an answer to the questions raised above. I’m going to guess that you’re supportive of keeping him off the NLCS roster if the Giants make it that far, and if so I would hope you can offer a rational justification for them doing that. Short of his being charged with a crime (which seems possible eventually and maybe even likely, although investigations of international fraud and conspiracy etc. may not be likely to conclude with charges as quickly as that) what would that explanation be?

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 15, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        He didn’t even have the guts to face his teammates.

        He was obviously trying to back up one lie with another.

        His reputation was already bad to begin with.

        At what point do the Giants have to continue to put up with this shit?

        As I just said, his mere association with the rest of the team has brought forth all kinds of “See, those Giants! What cheaters!” crap.

        And now the Giants are somehow now union-busting goons for saying “Enough!”?

        It may sound lame, but to me, it just continually seems like whatever tack puts the Giants in a bad light, folks like you will be there with bells on, blowing your whistle and trying to act relevant.

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM

        I’m not here to put the Giants in a bad light. If you’d read the rest of the comments, you would know that I am a Giants fan, and my concern is that they behave honorably under the agreement in place with the MLBPA and the contract they entered into with their player. That’s why I’m raising these questions.

      • temporarilyexiled - Sep 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        Okay, once the suspension lifts, let’s say they simply choose not to put him on any of the playoff rosters. It’s not like they haven’t made hard decisions in the past (such as having Sandoval on the roster, but benched). Who would even bat an eyelash? I’m constantly reading about all kinds of “injuries” that lead to roster moves. They do what they want, and they spin it how they want. If he’s officially reinstated, but not one of the 25 (or however many it is they allow postseason), why are we discussing whether the Giants are honoring the agreement with the MLBPA? Do you honestly think the Giants think they can get away with some sort of violation in the midst of public scrutiny? Unless I’m mistaken, what I’ve been hearing is that the team wants no part of him, and will do whatever it takes to not play him…and to not raise your eyebrows any higher with a violation.

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        You’re suggesting that they disguise what is essentially a disciplinary action as a decision made on some other basis.

        Who would bat an eyelash? Anyone who takes the Basic Agreement seriously. See the wording at the bottom of the page: “No Club may take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Player…”

        Given those constraints, it seems almost impossible to me for the Giants to have no part of him at all and get away with it. They could tell him to report to Arizona near the end of the regular season to prepare for his return, and after he works out and faces live pitching for awhile officially decide that he’s not ready for big-league postseason action. That might fly.

        But a total break, where they have nothing to do with him at all? What is that if it isn’t a de facto extension of the suspension?

  7. willclarkgameface - Sep 15, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Would this be the first batting champion to be purposefully left off a playoff roster?

    I hope he wins this NL Batting Crown…just for Bud.

    • gogigantos - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      How about Giants vs. A’s in the Series? Chance to avenge your man Will while all the East Coast watches the best ball by the Bay, sound good?

  8. bigleagues - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    I sure hope there aren’t any other current closeted PED users on that Giants roster.

    And if they do some damage in the post-season, they better remember a guy who, tainted or not, helped get them there.

  9. gogigantos - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    At this point, it just tastes better without the Melk. Getting it done well in the West and willing to see what happens without him into October. The Melk left a sour after taste with many and really isn’t missed.

  10. jaybird22seven - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    The Giants should be embarrassed, first dealing with the steroid freak Bonds and now this steroid idiot !!! I hope nobody wants him !!!

  11. scatterbrian - Sep 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    “While the club isn’t commenting on the situation…”

    Then how can you say they won’t bring him back?

    You should change your headline to:
    1. Report: Giants may not bring back Melky Cabrera in postseason
    2. Giants have “zero interest” in bringing Melky Cabrera back for the postseason
    3. Source indicates Giants won’t bring Melky Cabrera back in postseason

  12. randygnyc - Sep 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Can’t they designate him for assignment? I believe they can just cut him.

    • jkcalhoun - Sep 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      Wouldn’t that comprise a de facto suspension? If so, not cool:

      All authority to discipline Players for violations of the Program shall repose with the Commissioner’s Office. No Club may take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Player (including, but not limited to, a fine, suspension, or any adverse action pursuant to a Uniform Player’s Contract) because of a Player’s violation of the Program.

    • bernsf - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      Melky is currently on the restricted list and does not count as a spot on the 40 man roster. If the Giants play more than 5 post-season games the suspension will be served after the 5th game and at that juncture the Giants would need to make a 40 man roster move even before putting him back onto the 25 man roster. At that point rather than commit a 40 man roster spot to him they would release him.

      Would it represent a de facto suspension? I don’t believe so.

      They choose not to commit a roster spot to someone who won’t be back in the organization in 2013 and who in their opinion wouldn’t be in game shape to contribute in the playoffs. Melky’s playoff share is predetermined based on how far the team goes so he loses no money. Done, end of story.

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM

        While the Giants may navigate or attempt to navigate these uncharted waters by releasing him, I should point out that only 37 of the 40 spots on the 40-man roster are currently claimed. And teams don’t have to add players to that roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft until well after the postseason is over.

        So, the 40-man is a red herring.

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