By Josh Kramer
The “Melkman” has delivered all year long until yesterday. San Francisco no longer has the services of their star left fielder. Talk about a major blow to a team in the thick of the best divisional race in baseball (NL West). The Giants are a team that thrives off of their outstanding pitching staff. Their lineup is mediocre at best, but one of the main bright spots all season long has been the play of Melky Cabrera.
Melky currently leads the National League in hits, runs, and ranks second in batting average. In addition, he took home the MVP honors at the All-Star Game. After struggling to take the heat of New York City and making brief pit stops in Atlanta and Kansas City, Melky seemed to have found a home in San Francisco. Melky was not only a key cog on a very good Giants team, he was finally living up to the high expectations that Yankees fans had set for him years ago. The real question is why Melky? Steroid use wasn’t a problem through his first seven seasons in the Major Leagues (we think).
There will be no Ryan Braun sham part two. Melky has admitted to his mistake and is ready to accept the consequences. What will happen to the Giants moving forward? Other than Buster Posey, there is no other everyday player in the lineup batting over .300. In addition, Angel Pagan and Buster Posey are the only two players on the roster with over 100 hits. San Francisco’s small ball mantra will be much more difficult without their star three-hole hitter. Also, the magic seems to be back in LA with the recently revamped Dodgers offense. It will be a struggle to keep up with Ramirez, Kemp, and Co. when the NL West foes meet nine more times this season, including a final showdown to end the season on October 1-3.
I am as perplexed as anyone by this recent unfortunate news. At least Melky has owned up to his mistake and is moving forward. That is the one aspect of this whole debacle that I respect. In this day and age, a man willing to admit to wrongdoing, especially in the sporting realm, is a rarity.
Unfortunately, there will be no more “Melk” for San Francisco in 2012.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.