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The Giants’ championship is illegitimate because of Melky, says man with presumably straight face

Oct 31, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

melky getty Getty Images

This column from Ray McNulty of the T.C. Palm in Florida is so chock full o’ stupid that it defies block quoting. But know that Mr. McNulty believes the following:

  • The Giants are not deserving of World Series congratulations because Melky Cabrera tested positive for PEDs, and that justifies us questioning “the legitimacy” of the championship;
  • “His season was a fraud. He cheated. That’s shameful,” and “the Giants — knowingly or unknowingly — reaped the rewards of his cheating.” He adds: “That’s not right. It’s not fair.”
  • The Giants probably did know he was cheating or else they wouldn’t have traded for Hunter Pence in July;
  • This is even worse since it’s the Giants, because Barry Bonds played for them and several Giants players were mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Five years ago.
  • Bud Selig should act in the best interests of baseball and disqualify teams from playoff consideration if they have PED users on the team.

Because that’s workable.

Look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you’re going to seriously question the legitimacy of the Giants championship, you need to account for the fact that the Giants were up by one game in the standings on the day Cabrera was suspended yet somehow ended up winning the division by eight games.

Wait, let me guess: once their criminal conspiracy was finally uncovered all of the stress of their deceit ended, thereby allowing them to loosen up and play better?

  1. willclarkgameface - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    While I ALWAYS find that anything associated with Florida is garbage, I sort of want to listen to this side of the argument.

    The problem is that we don’t have a good way to clean up these lose ends when someone gets busted. If Melky himself didn’t take his name out of the running he would have won the NL batting title this season.

    How does this get fixed? Do we do the math in the standings based on his WAR? It already makes my head hurt.

    • kopy - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      I think the more legitimate argument is that Melky Cabrera’s All-Star Game performance, while on PEDs, was the difference-maker in the Giants having home field advantage for the World Series.

      • albertmn - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        The WS was a four game sweep, two in each stadium. Home field didn’t matter.

      • kopy - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        That’s impossible to say. You never know what would have happened if Detroit got to open up at home.

        I agree the Giants won fair and square, but I just hope that Melky Cabrera’s situation would show why the ASG rule is so dumb, because it can be influenced in totality by one cheating player. If he played for a different NL, or even AL team and NL won the WS, it’s still a bad rule.

      • rythestunner - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        How was Melky’s performance the difference-maker? The NL won 8-0. Unless Melky had 8 RBI, then he wasn’t the difference maker. He had an impact, but if the AL doesn’t score any runs, then they’re not going to win.

      • willclarkgameface - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        I agree that Melky, while winning the MVP, was not the end-all, be-all in the discussion of why the NL won. His teammates had a hand in killing the AL as well, thank you Mr. Sandoval and Mr. Cain.

    • temporarilyexiled - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      While I’m no doctor, the combination of head pain that you’re describing, along with your clearly derailed train of thought leads me to believe you need to seek immediate medical attention.

    • Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      Any idiot can tell you that the Giants’ championship is illegitimate because it was actually born in Kenya or Indonesia. Let me see that trophy. Come on, let me see it.
      D. Trump

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        You are campaigning at a feverous pace of late Gator. Worried?

      • Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Nope. At my age, I’ve learned not to worry about elections – of all the presidential elections I’ve observed, only one, Bush, was an unmitigated disaster. If Romney wins, he will disappoint hardline conservatives as badly as Obama disappointed the left. It’s just a matter of which particular clique of corporate pimps will get to pull the strings on their puppet hookers in congress anyway.

        And trust me, my Republican friends are a lot more embarrassed by Trump than I am.

      • Old Gator - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        PS – and Oliver Stone embarrasses everybody. Today was his triumph as Crown Prince of Idiots. I can’t repeat what he said because my brain tries to pucker along my corpus callosum whenever I try to think about it. Check him out on the newswires for yourselves. You might want to tape your ribs first.

      • natslady - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Sheesh, Gator. My day was going along quite reasonably until I read that Oliver Stone stuff. Punishment?

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:59 PM

        After the collapse the Cardinals suffered at the hands of the Giants, the always classy stLouis1baseball has nothing to lose in the upcoming political theater, I mean election.

  2. megastaff1975 - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    makes you wonder how many games he played while on PED helped his team win the games. if you take the games that he helped win away and turn them into loss. im pretty sure they wouldn’t be in first place and they wouldn’t made the playoffs. i think this trophy should have an arterisk next to it. for the simple fact that a player used PED for the first half of the season.

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Melky’s WAR (per Baseball was 4.7. Pretty darn good. But the Giants won by eight games. So, if you want to analyze it as a numbers game, the Giants should have won the division by three games instead of by eight.

      Which ignores the fact that most of their lead came from the time after he was suspended and that he did not play at all in the playoffs.

      The Pence argument is too stupid to even consider.

      • jkcalhoun - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        It’s all hypothetical and not worth the electrons we’re burning, but let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Melky was injured in spring training and was out for the year. Nate Schierholtz would probably have been given the bulk of the additional playing time up until the trade with the Phillies, and given that time he would probably have contributed about 1 WAR more than he did in the playing time he actually got. They probably would have also picked up a replacement-level, right-handed hitting outfielder to fill the roster spot as well.

        No matter how you break it down, I think more than a 4-WAR loss is a stretch. Which is why I commented a couple of days ago that without Melky, they probably win the NL West by about half as many games as they did.

        And, much to everyone’s relief, nobody goes back in time and accidentally shoots their grandfather. The Giants still win the pennant.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

        There’s an idea. Don’t make them forfeit all the games….just the player’s WAR to the point of his suspension (and if he comes back after suspension and continues to contribute those games count).

        So yeah, you take away Melky’s tainted 5 wins, and the result is the same (we won’t waste time with hypotheticals like “this team would have played harder if they were in striking distance)…..

        But at the end of the season if the Giants were only 2 games up (ok, one hypothetical….but it could apply in any similar case)…..well, no playoffs.

      • jkcalhoun - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        This of course was the genesis of the plea by Royals’ fans earlier this season for Jeff Francoeur to take one for the team and get himself suspended. Instant 3-win bump in the standings.

      • albertmn - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Although I don’t agree with any of his other claims, the Pence argument isn’t necessarily stupid. I am pretty sure the player and team is notified when they first learn of a positive test. Then, it goes through the retesting and such before any actual penalties are announced. I would bet that both Melky and the team knew about it before it was announced, although I don’t know how soon.

      • megastaff1975 - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        You need to get off this stupid WAR stats!!! WAR does not really measure every stat. You have to factor in R.B.I.’s and Runs scored. WAR does not cover them stats so you cant really use WAR to determine wins that was won by Melky.

      • Marty - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        Thats 4.7 WAR for a whole season. He played about 2/3, was his contribution was closer to 3.1.

    • nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Do you also take wins away when someone is caught bat corking, ball doctoring, stealing signs, lying about their age….and if not, what makes PEDs different?

      • jm91rs - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Maybe bat corking or ball doctoring, but stealing signs isn’t illegal and lying about your age gives you absolutely no advantage on the field (only on your contract).

        Too many old school guys dismiss the value of WAR for this to actually work, but it seems that it could be a fair way to penalize a team for using cheating players. Whether they knew about it or not, they had an illegal player. Of course in this instance it means nothing because the Dodgers couldn’t make it close enough to matter.

      • nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        And what about players with negative WAR who are caught using?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        Too many old school guys dismiss the value of WAR for this to actually work, but it seems that it could be a fair way to penalize a team for using cheating players
        You have obviously not thought this through have you? Hint: Negative WAR…

      • indaburg - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        jm91rs, anothe problem with using WAR to penalize teams (besides the fact that I think it’s wrong to penalize a team for one player’s stupidity) is that there is no consensus on how WAR is calculated. Melky’s WAR according to is 5.2.
        According to Fangraphs, it’s 4.6 (

        I think WAR is a great stat, but it can vary according to how it’s calculated:

      • clydeserra - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        and Guillermo Mota’s -.4 bWAR of 0.0 fWAR?

  3. proudlycanadian - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    The writer is paid to write something. He has to do a column in order to get paid. The more controversial he is, the more he gets noticed. He does not necessarily have to believe the drivel he writes.

    • madhatternalice - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      Absolutely. And HBT is helping this hack by linking to his “column,” giving him more page views.

      I get that crap like this makes us angry, but all we’re going is giving McNulty more exposure.

      Don’t get me wrong: McNulty needs to be called out for this nonsense. It’s just a shame that we have to give him page views to do it.

  4. migoli - Oct 31, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Well if you make it known before the season starts that if you get caught doping your team is thrown out of the playoffs i feel like that would cut down on doping alot. What guy wants to be the guy that kills a teams entire season??

    • samu0034 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      I was thinking the same thing, this is the sort of deterrent that would curb PED use. The problem I see is that false-positives are a real thing, they really do happen. Accidents regarding players use of supplements really do happen. And I tend to agree with Blackstone’s formulation, “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”.

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      A guy who is in it for the 4-year, 50 MM$ contract and figures he won’t get caught. I don’t think the threat to the team means anything to a guy like that.

      And don’t tell me there aren’t guys like that.

  5. outofthepen - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    the hunter pence angle may hold some weight. the team and player are informed at the time of the positive test. the appeal process is then carried out in secret. after the player has failed the appeal the suspension announced. so, in fact the giants could easily had knowledge of the positive test well beforehand and used that knowledge to make the hunter pence deal.

    this came up at the time of the ryan braun suspension.

    i agree that the article is crap, but you can’t completely dismiss the part about the appeals process. it may play a role in personnel moves at the deadline depending on what time the teams find out about the positive test.

    • outofthepen - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      and i call bs on the fact that the commissioners office, with all of their leaks, (case and point the houston astros logo) at no time informed the team that there was a positive test for one of their players

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      How about the fact that Pence is a somewhat above average right fielder with a historic OPS of over .800? And that he is under one more year of team control and the Giants were known to need more power?

      I call Occam’s Razor. Go for the simpler logical explanation and stay away from dark conspiracies.

      • kopy - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        But is if really that much of a conspiracy? If a team is told, “Hey, player X is going to be unavailable for 50 games in a few weeks if he fails his appeal.” That is a pretty strong added incentive to make a deal for a replacement (if player X has been valuable), and every team in a pennant chase will at least consider it.

        But yeah, all the stuff about the Giants not being deserving is crap.

      • apmn - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        It doesn’t matter if they made the Pence trade with knowledge of the coming suspension or not. They still went for it. A lot of other teams would have just sat on their hands.

      • nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        A lot of teams DID sit on their hands. 28 of them.

    • jkcalhoun - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      Or you can believe what the Giants said when they made the deal: they traded for Pence because they thought they needed a right-handed bat with power, in part to keep pace with the Dodgers, who had just added Hanley Ramirez, but mainly because they had knowledge of the fact that they were hitting very few home runs in their home ballpark and weren’t scoring many runs.

      And that information didn’t even need to be leaked. It was kind of self-evident.

  6. shaggylocks - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Whenever I get annoyed at Bud Selig, I take comfort in knowing that it could be worse: there are a lot of people passionate about baseball who would institute some utterly ridiculous ideas if they were magically made King of Baseball. The ASG may determine home field advantage, but at least the Giants aren’t be stripped of their World Series title by Commissioner McNulty.

  7. mrznyc - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Slow day for a column, Craig?

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Why do you say that?

  8. Matt S - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Ah, a good old-fashioned steroid scold. Part of me wishes that we knew the full extent of steroid usage so that the media could understand that a) probably half of the players in the league took steroids and b) steroid use was distributed evenly among both good and middling players and c) steroid use was distributed evenly among the 30 teams. There’s still a perception that somehow, only a few prominent players from a few teams indulged so therefore if we just punish and isolate them, erase their numbers from history, and move on everything would be ok.

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      You will note that most of the suspensions this year came from the Minors. I contend that it is much more of a problem with the marginal players who think they need that extra boost than for the average established veterans. Those guys are hungry and probably a bit desperate for that MLB salary.

      I also agree with your contention that it is highly unlikely that there was any particular concentration on any one set of teams. It’s just a highly widespread issue in a highly competitive group of people.

  9. Shafer's Dealer - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Go ahead and pull off the panties because they will ride up tight and get bunched up.

    The numbers cannot even quantify what would have happened if Melky never doped in the first place. Up until KC/SF, he was a joke of player who was barely good enough for a solid backup player (see Yankee/Braves). I suspect he was doping in KC.

    Consider that he never doped and stayed shitty. Lets take away his 4.5 WAR at the time of the suspension and you have a team out of the division lead. From there anything is possible. You have a team that may play differently, have different strategies and so on.

    You CAN in fact lose the post-season in April… When most divisions were decided in the last couple days or the last day, a single game can make all the difference.

    Consider the single games where the cheater affected another teams chances, and helped his own at the same time..

    • jkcalhoun - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      I fully agree that looking at the numbers is an unsatisfactory way to work out what might have happened. There really isn’t any satisfactory way.

      However, once we admit that “anything is possible”, we have to admit that one of the very strong possibilities is that they would have been in a position to win anyway. That they were an excellent team without Melky is, by now, obvious to everyone.

    • nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Where’s your proof that what Melky took will turn a 90 OPS+ player into a 130 OPS+ player? You can’t do it without circumstantial evidence.

    • thereisaparty - Oct 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      “Up until KC/SF, he was a joke of a player”

      You are quick to forget that he was given a starting job with the Yankees at age 21, where he provided a league-average bat and above-average OF defense. There is no doubt he struggled at times in New York and Atlanta. But he obviously showed enough talent to be promoted so aggressively in the first place. He likely had trouble adjusting to the majors (resulting from being unpolished at time of promotion), and was finally playing up to (or slightly above) his true talent at an age where players begin to peak.

      Feel free to be lazy and attribute everything to a PED, which I guess acts as some sort of magic potion.

  10. sonoco - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Former Mets GM Steve Phillips has a similar take on the Giants

    • indaburg - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      Steve Phillips is also an idiot. Is that where you were going with your comment?

      • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        Good morning, Indaburg. You seem to be on a roll today. Well put.

      • indaburg - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        Good morning, stex. I’m just terribly bored, and an idle mind is the devil’s playground, or at least that’s what my fundamentalist neighbors say. I was actually reading the new CBA last night:

        I need a new hobby.

  11. unlost1 - Oct 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    it’s not mainly that compared to the probability that the other players on the team also took them but didn’t get caught

    • jkcalhoun - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      I think we have to estimate the probability of that as roughly equivalent to that of any other group of players on any other team. What else would be reasonable?

  12. psousa1 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    If that’s the case then you would have to vacate the last 22 years worth of WS champs. Stupid. Just some writer who wants to hopefully write something outrageous, cause a shitstorm and have it get picked up by a national outlet so it will make him relevant and he can justify keeping his job or move on to something bigger. Isn’t that what most of them do nowadays anyway? Most Baseball writers are not much different than the national inquirer writers or TMZ. At least he didn’t quote an ‘unnamed source’ and stood by his stupidity.

  13. bigtrav425 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    i can actually kinda agree with him…w/o Melky I doubt they are in a posistion to make the playoffs.and we all know its who gets hot not the best team that wins

    • stex52 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Seems like your arguments are self-contradictory. Since they were hot, why would you assume they don’t make the playoffs?

    • rythestunner - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      The Giants had a better record without Melky than they did with him.

  14. smcgaels1997 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    So stupid it doesn’t deserve comments

  15. cackalackyank - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Did you hear the one about Flying monkeys interfering with fly balls at Dodger Stadium?

  16. skids003 - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    McNulty should be hired by NBC.

  17. nategearhart - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    So Posey, Sandoval, Crawford, Cain, Bumgarner, Romo, etc etc etc etc etc were so bad this season they couldn’t get in the playoffs without Cabrera injecting horse semen directly into his spinal column, putting on 60 pounds of pure muscle, and hitting .390 with 50 home runs, right?
    Oh wait, none of that actually happened? Hyperbole is the best thing ever.
    Melky was having a fine year. Whether the stuff he took actually helped with that, I don’t know. But no Cabrera carried his team on his back at all this season.

    • IdahoMariner - Oct 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      How do I double-thumbs-up for that last sentence?

  18. jonirocit - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    makes you wonder how many games he played while on PED helped his team win the games. if you take the games that he helped win away and turn them into loss. im pretty sure they wouldn’t be in first place and they wouldn’t made the playoffs. i think this trophy should have an arterisk next to it. for the simple fact that a player used PED for the first half of the season.

    So should we take away any title if they tested positive ? If that’s the case jack ass then have a drug tester camp out in the locker room and test every player once a week. All you people with your high and mighty crap make me sick . You are the same jack asses that were praising Big Mac and slammin Sammy when they were having roid shakes and supposedly saving baseball ! You can’t have both ….you can’t let Ryan Braun off and enforce on players you want ….you can’t cheer Big Mac and Sammy and boo bonds …you can’t decide you wanna take away a title cuz baseball didn’t like melkey as much as they did Braun .

    • Matt S - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Funny how there’s a high correlation between idiotic comments and grammatical and spelling mistakes. Wonder why that is…

      Though I think “arterisk” might be useful in conversation as a combination of “artery” and “risk”. As in, “Don’t eat that cinnamon role! It has a high arterisk!”

      • Matt S - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        And who’s the idiot who misspelled roll? Me! Touche :)

  19. temporarilyexiled - Oct 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Craig writes article about one of the more ridiculous articles ever written.

    And lo and behold, many of the commenters AGREE with it.

    Be afraid.

    Be very afraid.

  20. umrguy42 - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    If Melky had been caught doping in the postseason, instead of in the regular season, and we found out after (like with Ryan Braun last year), THEN you might have a case for an “illegitimate” title (although, as has been pointed out above, not like it would be that different than plenty of previous ones over the last several decades). But, being as he wasn’t there the last third of the season, and wasn’t on the postseason rosters… dude needs to stuff it. That dog don’t hunt, as they say.

    • norseman9999 - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      But he helped them get there, was their best hitter and helped win 20 or so games? What difference is it that he managed to get caught before the post season?

      • umrguy42 - Oct 31, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        Not sure how you get “helped win 20 or so games” (other than “he played in games that they won”). I mean, did he have like, 20 game-winning hits? As said above, his Wins Above Replacement was ~5, and when he was suspended, the Giants had only a 1 game lead in the division, which they expanded by 7 games, to finish with an 8 game lead. So, it seems like they did just fine without him.

        And believe me, I’m no Giants apologist, I’m a Cards fan through and through who’s still shaking his head (although not too surprised) at what the Giants did to my team in the NLCS.

  21. shandbi - Oct 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Yeah, one of my dodger fan co-workers was trying this argument on me. After laughing out loud I decided to give him debate… If MLB wants to declare that any team that has a player that tests positive for PED (or whatever) AND makes the playoffs, is ineligible for said playoffs, then EVERY PLAYER on EVERY PLAYOFF TEAM WILL NEED TO BE TESTED; and I don’t think MLB would like the results of those tests! I am quite surprised at the naivete (sp??) of baseball fans. So many players on so many teams use performance enhancing drugs. It gets easier and easier to hide the fact that they do and in some cases, I suspect that owners, GM’s, managers, etc…, KNOW that they do but they do everything in their power to ensure that, THAT player doesn’t come up for testing.
    C.C., you have been obsessed with the Giants for a long time now. Isn’t there ANYTHING else in your life that can amuse you? Have you tried yoga? Game of Thrones? Hey, I know, move to Sedona and hook up with those wackos. Get over yourself.

  22. Steve A - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Let’s all ignore Guillermo Mota’s presence on the roster. Yes, the twice-suspended Mota.

    • Steve A - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      To clarify, if having a suspended player on your roster is such a bad thing, why is no one mentioning Mota? Doesn’t that invalitate the title?

  23. Steve A - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    The player (Melky) was caught and suspended. Those are the rules. Why anything further needs to be done is beyond me.

    • norseman9999 - Oct 31, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      The same team that had 3 times the steroid suspensions of any other won the WS. Isn’t that a sad fact?

  24. bigleagues - Oct 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    You guys are all looking at Ray McNutty’s (isn’t he one of the Doctors on Grey’s Anatomy?) viewpoint the wrong way.

    I mean, I’d expect for him to be consistent on his approach to this. So, the Yankees and Red Sox last few titles would have to be be vacated. 2004, of course would present quite a challenge because the Yankees (the Red Sox ALCS opponent) wouldn’t have been fit to represent the AL either, so they probably would have had to play the ALCS over again with Anaheim and Minnesota going at it. In the NL neither the Cardinals nor the Astros could have advanced. Come to think of it, the Dodgers and Braves would have had some suspected PED abuser troubles as well.

    A case could probably be made for the Cardinals 2011 title to be cast aside since McGwire was involved and obviously his mere presence suggests a tainted championship.

    I think what McNutty is really driving at is asking the question . . . “why do we even need the post-season?”

  25. vallewho - Oct 31, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    They cheated fair and square…Just like everyone else. End of story.

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