I became a baseball fan in 2010, the year the Giants won the World Series. I should clarify that I wasn’t just a baseball fan; I was a Giants fan. I loved this scrappy group of guys who played their hearts out every single night. I loved joining more than 40,000 other fans as we would pull off yet another agonizing win in extra innings.
Last year was a disappointment on a number of levels, but this year has brought renewed promise. One of the highlights has been Melky Cabrera. We traded Jonathan Sanchez and got this incredibly consistent player who not only played great defense, but could be counted on, game in and game out, to hit the ball.
Not a home-run king, but a grounded player with intoxicating an OBP and RBI. We learned that Melky became a superior player because of a strong work ethic–he just hunkered down and committed 110% to being the best ballplayer he could be. How could you not love a guy, after all, who still lived with his mother? We kept waiting for him to falter, but all of a sudden, we realized that maybe he wasn’t going to falter. He not only was on the All-Star team, he was the MVP.
We loved this guy, and couldn’t figure out why Brian Sabean was being coy about signing this potential Hall of Famer to an extended contract. Within a couple of weeks, we had the answer. The anti-doping Agency found testosterone in his system. He had the grace to not deny it, but by then, who cared?
We had been duped by the doper and our hearts were broken. All of the kids for whom he was a role model, the adorable little melkmaids and melkmen who were there at every home game to cheer him on. We all felt like we had been made fools of. It was so much more than just losing one of our best players; there was a strong emotional component because we love baseball and we love the Giants.
Another fallen icon. He’s suspended for 50 games, but, really, who cares? A brand that stood for integrity and hard work has been forever tarnished.