You want my thoughts on Melky?

He let us all down.  Plain and simple.

You remember this strip?  I truly meant the words in the blog post I wrote after it, when Melky and the other Giants at the All-Star Game ruled.  They backed up us fans backing them up.

The past few days is the opposite of that.  Now, again, the sports world simply hates Giants fans, and for now the stupid gay slurs that the rest of the world mindlessly hurls at San Francisco is moved to the #2 overused insult behind all the ‘roids jokes.

Wednesday was a bit of a gut punch for me.  Melky had been the kind of player I could get behind.  A guy who was talented, but had taken his lumps, and had to work his ass off to come back from it all.  And now, the very thing that made me like and respect him is the biggest lie of all.

Maybe this is what baseball needs to talk seriously about steroids again.  I mean seriously, not the stupid rhetoric that, for once, seems to be propagated by the media more than the internet at large.

For the first time, a real superstar is getting suspended for steroids.  Not some has-been like Rafael Palmeiro or Manny Ramirez, fading at the end of their careers.  Not some never-was like Alex Sanchez or Juan Salas.  And not a half-assed technicality like a refrigerator framing it like Ryan Bruan.  But a real star.  Cabrera is the first current All-Star to get the ban out of 26 violators.  And for the first time, a pennant race will be affected.

But, I doubt anyone will take it seriously.  Victor Conte came out of the woodwork to tell us he thinks more than half of baseball players are really juicing, they just aren’t doing the right tests, despite having little evidence nor the real access to say it with any conviction.  Baseball’s league office opened up to point that out about Conte, despite having no real interest in letting us know if it were true.

Instead, for the rest of the year, it’ll be more people talking stupidly about steroids, and not admitting that this isn’t a new problem, it’s not just a San Francisco problem, or anything about fixing the problem.

One of the few good things I’ve read came out of ESPN’s Buster Olney (wait, what?), noting that sure, testing caught him, but that the PEDs still nearly gave Cabrera a major payday and if he’d been caught after signing an extension, he’d still get paid minus 50 games.  In a $17M a year, 5 year contract, that’s $5 million lost out out of $85.  Sure, I’m sure some players would take it.

As such, my suggestion for punishment remains as I said last year.  Void their contract.  When the player comes back, he gets the minimum.  Hell, take away a year of free agency eligibility, too.  This year will show how a team takes a hit from a player’s indiscretions, and the team should get something out of the punishment.

All that aside, this stings worse than most things I’ve experienced as a Giants fan.  I truly had zero interest in Wednesday’s game after hearing the news, although part of that might have been about being at work.  And I admit, I was feeling ready to give up on the season.

Until I read this article by Yahoo ‘Expert’ Steve Henson.

AT&T Park was packed every night, the air was electric, and although everyone but the deepest in denial knew Bonds’ exploits were tainted, fans cheered and the team went along.

Players in the Giants’ clubhouse and around baseball were either matter-of-fact or expressed sadness. There was no outrage. If there’s an emotional undercurrent, it’s probably fear.

The Giants, at long last, will lose their big-hitting left fielder.

Now I have a reason for baseball the rest of this year.  Fuck that guy.  What, San Francisco deserved it?  Screw that.  Go after the commissioner that ignored the problem for years before Bonds even thought about it.  Go after the Cardinals and Cubs, without whom the modern era they call the steroids era wouldn’t have existed.  Go after the players of the 1960’s and 1970’s who truly kickstarted the steroids that came into today’s game…including teammates of the (oh gasp I’m gonna say it) former home run king Hank Aaron.

You know what?  Yes, I cheered Bonds.  I still do.  It was a screwed up game, and he played it by the same rules a lot of people in the hall of fame today played it.  Before he began juicing, he was one of the game’s greatest.  And when he saw the rest of the league had set the difficulty to easy and was using the Konami code, he joined in and he kicked the world’s ass for half a decade.

Was he guilty?  Sure, but so was a lot of the rest of baseball.  If you stood up and cheered in the race of ’98, well you’re just as guilty, so leave the sanctimonious bullshit behind you.

I don’t know about Melky’s future in San Francisco, and hell, deal with that in November.  For now, screw all these San Francisco haters.  Let’s cheer this team on to win the whole damn thing and throw it in the face of all those people who think putting us down will make them feel better about being hypocrites.