If the tremendous amount of shame Melky Cabrera cast on the San Francisco Giants after being suspended for testosterone use back in August wasn't enough to determine the outfielder's fate with the franchise, then the team's remarkable run back to the World Series certainly is.
The 2012 All-Star Game MVP was suspended for 50 games this past summer for using testosterone, and hasn't played for the Giants since August 14.
The fact that San Francisco has been unwilling to bring Cabrera back into the lineup now that his suspension is over is quite telling. The guy who was batting .346 this season and could provide a huge lift against Detroit's vaunted pitching staff is better suited watching from somewhere else?
San Francisco's head-scratching approach to the Melky Cabrera issue and its desire to carry on and see what happens without him on the playoff roster all but ensures the 28 year old won't be back with the Giants in 2013.
After all, if Cabrera was a future piece of the franchise, wouldn't they have him warming up to face Justin Verlander in Game 1?
Sure, the Giants are in a rhythm this postseason, but not long ago they were on the brink of being eliminated in the NLCS because of a lack of offensive firepower.
Bruce Bochy's club is hot at the moment but could certainly be better at the plate. And on top of that, the Giants will only have home-field advantage against the Tigers in the World Series because of Cabrera's mighty performance against the American League in the All-Star Game last summer.
It was Cabrera who hit a single off Verlander in the first inning of the All-Star Game, and finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
If the Giants want nothing to do with Cabrera when they need him most, when will they?
Cabrera's replacement in left field, Gregor Blanco, is batting just .222 this postseason with one error on defense. With an on-base percentage of .364 though, Blanco has given the Giants reason to continue to play him.
Still, it seems that the Melky Cabrera era in San Francisco is coming to an end. If the Giants can defeat the Tigers for their second World Series title in three seasons, they will have no incentive to hold on to their distraction in left field.
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