Cabrera's Giants teammates 'shocked, stunned' by suspension

Cabrera's Giants teammates 'shocked, stunned' by suspension
August 16, 2012, 2:13 am
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SAN FRANCISCO Melky Cabrera had long since departed the Giants clubhouse by the time histeammates returned after a 6-4 loss to the Washington Nationals Wednesday.The suspended switch-hitter left a few items in his locker, but could notremain to face questions about what led to his positive test for testosterone,a performance-enhancing substance. That left 24 other men to respond to thebarrage of inquiries in his stead.Ultimately it was just a bad decision and thats all Im really going to sayabout it, Giants catcher Buster Posey said. He added that what was said in ameeting that manager Bruce Bochy called before the game was something thatstays between us.Hunter Pence was similarly terse:It happened. We move on. Thats all I have to say.Angel Pagan wouldnt even go that far, offering no comment responses to atleast three questions and clichs to the rest.We have to move on, Pagan said. Weve got a good team so we have to keepplaying.Pablo Sandoval also chose an optimistic team-first approachinstead of addressing one individuals mistake.Were a team. Were going to fight. Thats all I gottasay, Sandoval said.One of the few players willing to open up about Cabrerassuspension was none other than reliever Clay Hensley, who faced his ownsuspension as a minor leaguer in 2005. Hensley only missed 15 games instead ofthe 50 Cabrera faces, but offered the unique perspective of someone whos beenin Cabreras shoes.People are going to make mistakes, Hensley said. You dont ever know whatsgoing on in someones head when they do something like that.Without Cabrera around to explain what was going on in his head, Hensley andBrandon Belt explained what went through their heads when they first learned ofthe news.Everyone was shocked, stunned, Hensley said. Melky will just have to sufferthe consequences.A little bit of shock at first, Belt said of his reaction. Then everybodysaid we have to move on and step up. We still think we have a shot at this.Tim Lincecum, Wednesdays losing pitcher, said he learned of the news becauseit came across the televisions in the clubhouse before Bochy had a chance totalk to his players.That is crushing, obviously, just to hear that our besthitters not going to be in the lineup, Lincecum said. But thats just like aday where they get a day off. Youve got to approach it that way.Unfortunately for Lincecum and the rest of the Giants starters, they will bewithout Cabreras bat backing them in the lineup for the remainder of theregular season. Thats a far cry from an average day off.Were disappointed, Bochy said. Melky was having a real nice year for us,but our thoughts right now are we move on. Thats all you can do this teamwill remain focused on trying to win ballgames.Winning ballgames will be a lot tougher with a Cabrera-less lineup, as the freeagent-to-be was hitting .346 with 149 hits, 84 runs scored, 60 runs driven in,11 home runs and 13 steals. Were going to miss his bat and presence in the clubhouse,Hensley said. It is what it is. We just have to try to win ballgames withouthim Hes a big bat that well miss but it creates opportunities for others tostep up.Gregor Blanco is likely to be the beneficiary of those opportunities movingforward, and he wasted no time taking advantage on Wednesday with two hits andan RBI in four at-bats.Hopefully Gregor takes advantage of the playing time,Bochy said.Blanco said he hadnt talked to Cabrera about the positive test yet, butplanned on contacting him at some point after leaving the clubhouse. He wasalso optimistic that his teammates would help him carry the load left in thewake of Cabreras suspension.We have a great group of guys that can step up, Blancosaid. We just have to hang together Everybody needs to step up and just dotheir jobs.The Giants havent lost a big bat to a PED suspension before Cabrera, but theydid lose their best hitter to a season-ending injury last year when Posey wasbowled over at home plate.Its a tough blow but weve been through this before, Belt said, referring tothe Giants injury woes with both Posey and Sandoval. We know what we have to do.The Giants know what they have to do and know they have to win a playoff seriesjust for the chance to get Cabrera back in uniform. But what they dont know iswhether knowing what you have to do will translate into proper execution andenough wins to even make the postseason.Hensley, though, is ready for the challenge.Its a game of adjustments, so were just going to have toadjust and move forward, he said. We all wish him the best and well all bebehind him when he gets back.

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