Bringing Back The Melk
There are more than a few national writers who have been self-righteous about never wanting to see Melky Cabrera anywhere ever again.
There’s been at least one local writer who’s criticized the Giants for not letting Melky come back.
They are both right. And that’s why this is such an uncomfortable issue.
The Giants have to make this stand for baseball reasons, because otherwise they’d be open to a lawsuit from the player’s association (and they still are). So they’re saying “Well, after 50 games off, and no minor leagues to face real pitching, there’s no way he’d be game ready.” And that’s a fair thing. He’d be coming in off the street (or instructional league, which is barely baseball games and more of a dance recital) facing some of the best of the world in top pressure situations.
But that’s bullcrap.
Because let’s face it…if this were Buster Posey or Pablo Sandoval coming back from an injury, the Giants would do everything in their power to get them ready and welcome them back, or at least leave the possibility of doing so.
This is all about the stand. It’s as complicated, and as simple, as the Strasburg decision, except in that it is about everything except the good of the player. It’s the good of the team. The team that Melky did not apologize to directly, the way Mota did. Melky has been in character rehab the last month or so, but the truth is, that misstep early on is the one that will color him most among teams, San Francisco or otherwise, going forward. Players and coaches will circle the wagons against the fans for guys they believe in. That you don’t see that for Melky says a lot.
Melky will find work again. It won’t be with the Giants, but he will. And the next time he plays the Giants, it will be very, very interesting.
But today, the topic is just kind of uncomfortable for Giants fans. And the only way it won’t be in the future is if the Giants win it all, and then we can say they did the right thing for the team and still won.