Bochy commends Melky Cabrera, Posey skirts question

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Bochy commends Melky Cabrera, Posey skirts question

SAN FRANCISCO Melky Cabreras ineligibility to win the NLbatting title turned the crown into a sudden, two-player race betweenPittsburghs Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey, Cabreras former teammate.

EXCLUSIVE: Melky Cabrera ruled ineligible to win batting crown

So what did Posey think about the deal that Cabrera struckwith Major League Baseball on Friday to disqualify him?

You know what, Im just focusing on these last 12 games,said Posey, skirting the issue. Weve got a chance to do some good things.Personal achievements are always nice, but being fortunate enough to win theWorld Series in 2010, I know how much fun that was to share it with the wholecity. I know thats why I play the game. Thats how I get satisfaction.

Posey leads in many ways, including the way he carefullyconsiders his words. It was no surprise when he was named the Willie Mac Awardwinner, recognizing him as the most inspirational Giant as selected by playersand coaches. He entered the day hitting .335, just behind McCutchen at .338.

McCutchen told Pirates reporters that he appreciated Cabreramanning up and saying he was wrong. I guess he thought that was the rightthing to do and I commend him for doing that."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy also commended Cabrera.

Good for Melky, Bochy said. Its a good thing. He didntwant something hed probably feel is tarnished, so I think that shows somethingabout his character.

Posey did not offer an opinion one way or the other; thecatcher might have offered the only comment necessary on Aug. 15, the day MajorLeague Baseball announced Cabreras 50-game ban for testing positive fortestosterone.

"Ultimately, it was just a baddecision, Posey said at the time.

RATTO: Decision on Melky is dishonest

Posey could become the first NL catcher to win the awardsince 1942, when Oakland native Ernie Lombardi hit .330 for the Boston Braves.

Its really, really difficult (for a catcher to win abatting title, Bochy said. You get beat up and your hands take a beating. Ittakes a lot of focus catching the game. You cant drift mentally. So itsimpressive where he is.

Its even more impressive because Posey couldnt walk fornearly four months last season after he tore three ankle ligaments andfractured a bone in his leg in a May 25 collision at home plate with FloridaMarlins baserunner Scott Cousins.

Thats one reason the Willie Mac award was near unanimousfor Posey, Bochy said.

He inspires everybody with the way he plays and approachesthe game and the way he comes out every day and carries himself, Bochy said.Im proud of him.

Said Posey: Hopefully Im somebody guys can look at and sayI go about things the right way. Im ready to play. Hopefully Im a guy peoplecan look up to and bounce stuff off of. I try to be the best teammate I canbe.

The Giants certainly needed leadership after losing Cabrera,who was leading the majors in hits and runs on the day he was suspended.

As Posey told me earlier this month: Ivenever been on a team thats been through something like that. I didnt knowwhat to expect, to tell you the truth. So I think everybody should be happywith how they handled it. I mean, really, what choice did we have?

Posey responded by being more productive thanever in the cleanup spot. Since the All-Star break, hes hitting .392 with 13home runs, 20 doubles and 52 RBI in 60 games. He has a 1.125 OPS over thatspan.

And if Posey wins a batting title? Will it becheapened in any way because Cabrera finished with a .346 average?

No, not at all, Bochy said, making a sour face. Busterhas been here all year. Melky had to miss a lot of games. So I wouldnt look atit like that. I stay on the positive side. If he wins it, he earned it.

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

After five seasons with the Giants, outfielder Gregor Blanco has a new home.

The veteran outfielder has agreed to a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to his agent Wilfredo Polidor.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The deal includes a $1 million base salary if Blanco makes the major league roster, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Blanco has a chance to earn an addition $2.7 million in performance-based incentives and has an opt-out of April 1 in the deal.

Shortly after Polidor made the announcement, Blanco thanked the D'backs on Twitter for the bringing him to the organization.

"Thanks to the @Dbacks for let me part of a dream the same dream I got another ring another championship let's all dream together we can doit," Blanco wrote.

Blanco bounced around from Braves to the Royals from 2008 to 2010, but found a home with the Giants prior to the 2012 season.

Over five seasons with the Giants, Blanco appeared in 649 games. He hit .259/.338/.360 with 244 runs scored, 78 doubles, 24 triples, 19 home runs, 157 RBI and 75 stolen bases.

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Barack Obama pardoned Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey on Tuesday.

McCovey, along with Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in July of 1995. The crime came from not reporting income McCovey earned from signing autographs and appearing at sports memorabilia shows. 

McCovey previously pleaded guilty to not listing $70,000 he made from 1988-90, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Through the Giants, McCovey said: "I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Obama not only for this kind gesture on my behalf, but also for his tireless service to all Americans. He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future."

The 79-year-old McCovey was one of 64 people who received pardons from President Obama Tuesday as his final days in office wind down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.