Don’t Expect The Giants To Trade Lincecum

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Now that the Dodgers have crawled back over .500 the talk of firing manager Don Mattingly and a series of drastic sell-off trades has subsided. If they do anything, it will be to add and Ricky Nolasco was the first domino to fall. Say what you want about Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, but he doesn’t have a hidden agenda. The only time he’ll sell is when his team is clearly out of contention late in the season. Apart from that, he’s buying to try and win today.

In fact, it’s doubtful that Colletti ever had it in his mind to sell while the Dodgers were floundering at twelve games under .500 on June 21. The addition of Yasiel Puig and overall parity in the National League West allowed the Dodgers to get back into contention. In retrospect it was somewhat silly to consider a fire sale so early with the amount of money the team has invested in their on-field product. There are times to conduct a housecleaning and there are teams that can do it early in the season, but those with hefty payrolls and mandates to win immediately like the Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees are not in a position to make such maneuvers. The only big money team in recent memory to pull off such a drastic trade to clear salary is the Red Sox and they sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers. Unless Colletti has some diabolical scheme in mind, I doubt he could pull a Dr. Evil and clear salary with himself.

Knowing that Colletti spent a significant amount of his time in baseball working for the Giants and Brian Sabean, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two think the same way. With that in mind, don’t expect a fire sale from the Giants or for them to trade Tim Lincecum.

This has nothing to do with Lincecum having just pitched a no-hitter. It has to do with the limited return they’d likely get for the pending free agent and that in spite of their atrocious 15-29 record since May 26 they’re still only 6 1/2 games out of first place. The Padres have come undone and the Rockies are not contenders. In the NL West that leaves the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Giants to battle it out for the division. All have their claims to be the club that emerges and all are looking to get better now. The Giants could use a bat and another starting pitcher. They were in on Nolasco and if they acquire a first baseman like Justin Morneau, they could move Brandon Belt to the outfield for the rest of the season. The change to a contender in a new city with his own pending free agency might wake up Morneau’s power bat.

Before labeling a team as a seller or buyer based on record alone, it’s wise to examine their circumstances. The Dodgers couldn’t sell because it was so early in the season and they had the talent to get back into the race. The Giants can’t sell because of the limited options on what they’ll receive in a trade of Lincecum; because they need him to contend; and with their history of late-season runs and two championships in three years, they owe it to their fans and players to try and win again.

A winning streak of eight games or winning 14 of 20 will put the Giants right near the top of the division. If they get into the playoffs with their experience and Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner as starters in a short series, they have as good a chance of emerging from the National League as anyone else. Trading away players that can help them achieve that possible end makes no sense. Don’t expect them to do it.

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The Diabolical Schemes of Melky Cabrera

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When flipping through the annals of world-conquering genius, we see the luminaries.

Stewie Griffin

Dr. Evil

Scott Boras


Emperor Palpatine


Dick Cheney



Billy Beane



Now we can add a new name and image to the list:

Melky Cabrera


Lazy. Complacent. Mediocre. Overrated.

All are words that have, in the past, described the now-suspended Giants’ outfielder Cabrera. After the revelations of an elaborate plan for reasonable doubt as to his guilt in having used PEDs to achieve career-heights never thought possible, we have a new word to describe him: diabolical.

Reported by the NY Daily News, this website plot is bordering on ludicrous and was the combined attempts at a desperate post-crime cleanup and planting the seeds of ignorant innocence. It was done in a hurry prior to inevitable charges being made public and has a Tonya Harding aura of ineptitude as the plotters run into each other like a scene from a slapstick, tragicomic farce.

In this case, Cabrera is being portrayed as having “created” a website to imply that he unknowingly used a supplement that had ingredients he was unaware were in the product or weren’t allowed under MLB’s rules. A “paid consultant” but not an “employee,” Juan Nunez of Cabrera’s agents Sam and Seth Levinson is cast as the person who paid $10,000 to build the site without the knowledge or approval of the agency.

It’s all ambiguity; opaqueness of pretense; and furtive, clumsy altering of perception. If Cabrera’s people had managed to pull this off, the player would’ve been seen as “innocent” but still guilty in a justifiable crime sort of way. By admitting that he was kindasorta guilty and presenting evidence from an expert witness (paid for his services) that the substance he purchased was technically illegal under baseball’s guidelines and unwittingly ingested by the player, it certainly wasn’t prevalent enough in the supplement to account for Cabrera’s amazing production and performance in his first 4 ½ months with the Giants. He still would’ve been suspended, but might’ve gotten paid based on his production in 2012. Therefore, Cabrera’s numbers are “real”; therefore, there’s no reason not to think that this is the real Melky Cabrera; therefore a team interested in an outfielder who can play all three positions reasonably well, can run, hit, hit for power, perform in the clutch, and is just entering his prime at age 28 is worth the amount of money that he would’ve gotten from someone as a free agent if he didn’t fail a drug test at all. Figure Cabrera would’ve gotten a $50-60 million deal from some misguided baseball soul who wanted to make a splash by signing the All-Star Game MVP and a top-5 finisher in the NL MVP race.

The undertones in the linked piece on the NY Daily News is that Cabrera was the one who formulated this ridiculous cover-up.

Cabrera “created” the website.

Cabrera’s “scheme.”

It’s nonsense. If anything, there was a wink-and-nod with Cabrera taking stuff given to him without knowing what it was so he could say he didn’t know what he was taking and he could pass any lie-detector tests administered by those who allege the opposite.

The intent is to lay the foundation for plausible deniability. Like the idea of Cabrera being the mastermind behind anything, it’s neither plausible nor deniable. Now Cabrera has greater fallout to deal with and he’s going to be dealing with it alone because the same people who hatched this ruse are going to abandon him as toxic and no website, real or not, is going to wash away the residue of this burgeoning case of poorly executed sleight of hand.

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