Someone once said if it's too good to be true, it probably is. Truer words have never spoken when it comes to Melky Cabrera's 2012 season with the San Francisco Giants.
We all saw the big numbers. The numbers that were well above his career averages. We were just getting a taste of the Melky-Buster-Pablo-Pence heart of the lineup that was going to carry us to the promise land. But in a flash, it's all gone.
The worst thing about it is that he knew it. Rumors that he tested positive swirled at the end of July, which nothing came of at the time, though beat writer Andrew Baggarly sure felt belt about claiming Melky had used PED's when in fact he lied right to Baggarly's face.
This suspension doesn't leave the Giants down and out by any means. Sure he led the NL in hits and runs, sporting a .346 average and was playing solid defense in left field, but they aren't down and out.
How much would you bet against them being within three games of one another when October dawns, and the Giants arrive at Dodger Stadium for that last three-game series?
I wouldn't bet much. And the simple truth is that the Giants just went from having three really good hitters -- Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey, and Panda Sandoval-- to having two.
I said really good. We like Brandon Belt (even if Bruce Bochy doesn't). Angel Pagan is playing well this season. And Hunter Pence ... well, you have to think that Hunter Pence is going to start hitting.
I'll side with Rob on a low bet, but the Giants are certainly not ready to throw in the towel. But the pressure has certainly be intensified for all the aforementioned names.
I'm not going to completely chastise the guy, I see why he was doing what he was doing. It was a contract year and Cabrera wanted to make the most of it. But Melky made a big gamble and lost, leaving himself and the team thrown for a loop.
The Giants have had enough headache in left field dealing with steroid allegations over the past 15 years or so, not to mention having to deal with it already this season with Guillermo Mota. That doesn't bode well for his return to the Giants, after his suspension or in free agency. You hate to see this happen to any of your players. But when it's the All-Star MVP, the new fan favorite, the one you root for to come through in the clutch; that sucks just a little bit more.
But there's no point crying over spilled Melk (ha ha) and the Giants have no other choice but to keep on keepin' on. This could bring the team closer together, you never know. All you have to do is keep the faith.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.