This is not the same article it would have been 48 hours ago.
In the wake of Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension for steroid use, the problems facing the San Francisco Giants have magnified immensely. Gone is the team's three-spot hitter, its left fielder and the catalyst of an offense which had just started to congeal into something formidable.
Sure, the problems unrelated to Cabrera are still present, perhaps even amplified by the absence of his bat and glove. Still, these issues must now find their place behind what must surely be viewed as the team's most pressing need: confidence. A blow of this magnitude can cripple a clubhouse, turning bats soggy and rendering pitchers more vulnerable. Even Lou Seal will need a pep talk before he is next called upon to dance atop the dugout.
And yet, the season isn't over.
San Francisco is a half game out of first place. There is reason to be hopeful. What the Giants must do now is analyze the weakest aspects of their team and reinforce them. The Dodgers are coming full-steam ahead and the Diamondbacks aren't far behind. Here's a rundown on the five biggest issues facing the Giants, and what they can do to fix them.