With the announcement that the San Francisco Giants have expressed interest in Melky Cabrera, formerly-and affectionately-known as the Melkman, the rumblings have begun. Indignation has reared its head, as Giants fans do not have to possess terribly long memories to remember the sordid details of Cabrera’s exit from San Francisco the first time.
In the midst of a pennant race, just after the trade deadline in 2012, details began to emerge linking Cabrera with a banned substance. The ensuing scandal resulted in his suspension, some inane subterfuge by someone on Melky’s own staff, and a parting of the ways between the Giants and the man formerly known as the Melkman.
Now Ken Rosenthal has tweeted that the Giants are one of several teams expressing interest in Cabrera. He is thirty and coming off a season in which he hit sixteen home runs and knocked in 73 RBIs. If those stats seem somewhat eerily familiar, it’s because they are identical to the numbers Pablo Sandoval put up in 2014. It does make one pause.
Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) holds up a panda costume head during the World Series victory parade on Market Street. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
There are vast numbers of complications surrounding the potential acquisition of Melky Cabrera, including the Jon Lester situation and the open third base slot. What should not be considered an obstacle, however, are the circumstances surrounding Cabrera’s departure. This is the time to think with the head and not the heart.
The volatile nature of both banned substances and obscuring the truth, should not play a role in any decision made about Cabrera.
Cabrera is not the only player to make a mistake, just one who picked a venue too close to home to ignore.
This not about right and wrong; it is about not allowing political correctness to cloud Brian Sabean’s actions.
Banned substances are insidious to the game as is not having your teammates’ collective back, but so is not letting go of it. In a city that revered Barry Bonds, it would seem a mite hypocritical to avoid a talent such as Melky Cabrera in order to adhere to someone else’s idea of what is politically correct. Cabrera has played two seasons since leaving San Francisco and it’s time to let it go.
Like Sandoval looking for redemption after a six-week slump and getting it by knocking in a game-winning run, all Cabrera has to do to get back in Giants fans’ good graces, is help them win enough ball games to get into the playoffs.
In a world filled with uncertainty and intolerance, a man has got to have a chance to redeem himself for past transgressions, without drawing criticism because of said mistakes all over again.
Back the Melk-Truck up, San Francisco Giants, and give Cabrera a chance.