Decision on Melky is dishonest

816022.jpg

Decision on Melky is dishonest

Programming note: Catch complete coverage of the Melky Cabrera story tonight on Giants Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m., and get a recap of all the day's news on SportsNet Central at 6, 10:30pm and midnight, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

Melky Cabrera is playing his bad hand as best he can, but turning down a batting title the rules clearly say he has merited is a bad idea that should have been rejected.It hasnt been, because as Comrade Baggarly reports, the players union and MLB have agreed not to let Cabrera have his batting title because he was suspended for using performance enhancers and using a web site as a masking agent.What this is, essentially, is approving the use of revisionist history to let everyone feel good. And revisionist history is always wrong, without exception.The facts are the facts, the events are the events. Pretending they dont exist to protect the sanctity of the record book when (a) there is no such thing, and (b) baseball is and should be living the consequences of its 30-year lie about PEDs is perpetrating a falsehood, and a hoax.REWIND: Cabrera suspended 50 games for positive testosterone test
And no, we wont be listening to anything about the hoax Cabrera foisted by using the testosterone-in-a-tube. He got caught, he got punished, and the punishment was the suspension. To say he can no longer be eligible for a batting title he is clearly eligible for means that Mark McGwires records dont exist either, so anyone who votes for him for the Hall of Fame is voting for a unicorn that helps the Easter Bunny distribute eggs.Cabrera is the games history, just as McGwire is, and Rafael Palmeiro is, and the Black Sox. And for that, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, and all the good things that have happened in baseball, too. Its the history of the game, good and bad, and it mirrors the history of the nation. Good. And. Bad.This cheap little parlor trick frankly shames the league, the union, and everyone involved in it. Whether Cabrera asked for this or not, whether the Giants backed it, whether the union signed off on it, it is changing the facts of a story to suit the desired result.Its what politicians do. Its what people who back politicians do. It is a distortion, it is hiding something unpleasant and passing it off as nonexistent when it clearly happened.It is, plainly and simply, dishonest. And dishonesty is the root of everything about the PED scandals. Dishonesty protected lots of the guilty, it absolutely protected the management of the game, and it damaged and still damages the honest who are tarred with the same power painter.Anyone who embraces this is embracing a lie, and baseball has had enough lying on this subject already. So shame on everyone involved for not learning that essential lesson. Lying destroys the best motives of everyone involved, and this is just another lie designed to make some people feel good, to allow them to pretend that the drugs problem is being solved, when it plainly and clearly is not, and never can be, for the simple reason that the chemists will always be ahead of the testers, and because the ethos of the game is about getting any edge that someone else cant stop you from getting.But thats a lesson baseball continues not to want to learn. Honesty is for this industry never a good policy, let alone the best one, so it will get what it deserves anyway.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.

 

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Nationals visited AT&T Park for the first time after the 2014 postseason series, Bryce Harper took to Instagram to compliment the city. “Nothing like SF! #BayArea” he wrote underneath a photo of the Bay Bridge. 

Harper, a Las Vegas kid, has always seemed to enjoy facing the Giants. He hasn’t hit well at AT&T Park, but he was a star in their 2014 matchup and he praised Brandon Crawford on Twitter during this year’s WBC. The greeting Monday was not a friendly one. 

Harper was retired three times by Matt Moore. The first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland left a dent on his hip and set off a wild brawl. 

Strickland denied any intent. Harper seemed confused by the timing of the payback pitch. 

“It’s so in the past, it’s not even relevant anymore,” he said of their 2014 series, according to Dan Kolko of MASN. “They won the World Series that year. I don’t think he should even be thinking about what happened in the first round. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. I don’t know why he did it or what he did it for, but I guess it happens.”

The Giants were not surprised when Harper reacted the way he did. Now they’ll wait for Strickland to get hit with a suspension, and Harper is looking at a layoff, too. 

“You never want to get suspended or anything like that, but sometimes you’ve got to go and get him,” Harper said. “You can’t hesitate. You either go to first base or you go after him. And I decided to go after him.”

Strickland, about an hour after the fight, said he’s not sure what will happen in terms of discipline. 

“That’s their decision and obviously I’ll take whatever consequences come with it and we’ll go from there,” he said. 

Any action by the league is unlikely to impact this series. Even if suspensions are handed down swiftly, players can appeal. Harper and Strickland may not be alone. Several players jumped into the fray aggressively and at least one non-active Giant — Hunter Pence — was right in the middle of the scrum. At the very least, he could be facing a fine for trying to help his teammate. 

“It doesn't look good when a guy gets hit but also on their side, the guy throws his helmet,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Strickland’s got to stand his ground. There’s no choice there. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen (with suspensions).”

One player who won’t face discipline: Madison Bumgarner, who is also on the DL but wisely stayed away from this one, even if it probably killed him to do so. 

--- The biggest hit didn’t come from Strickland or Harper. It was Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse coming together in the middle of the field. Both players said they were fine. 

"I was just trying to get in there to break everything up," Morse said. "We lost the game, that's what's most important."

Ahhh, yes, the Giants lost 3-0. Bochy seemed particularly peeved that Strickland chose the eighth inning of a 2-0 game to exact revenge, and you can bet some teammates weren't thrilled. We'll see if there's anything more to this Tuesday. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, but some of these guys might not be feeling so spry when they wake up in the morning. Bochy said he had not heard any reports of players getting injured, but he also admitted that he didn't see most of the collisions and had no idea what happened with Morse and Samardzija, who had a world-class reaction, by the way.  

--- As with the incident with the Dodgers a couple weeks ago, Buster Posey stayed out of this one. Smartly. 

"After it happened I saw Harper point and the next thing you know he's going out after them," Posey said. "Those are some big guys tumbling on the ground. You see Michael Morse, as big as he is, and he's getting knocked around like a pinball."

Posey is not alone in staying away from these scrums where 250-pound dudes are flying at knees and ankles. Brandon Crawford can often be found on the outside, as well. It's smart, but I think something else was at play here today. Posey understands that the Giants are fighting for every scrap at this point. Every loss digs the hole that much deeper, and this happened with two outs in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game, against a team with a poor bullpen. I'd imagine there was some serious annoyance there. 

--- How angry was Strickland? It took three guys, three big guys, to drag him into the dugout: Pence, Mac Williamson, and George Kontos. 

"I was pretty fired up to be honest with you, but that’s just adrenaline," he said. 

--- Baseball fights are rather silly, but at least you get some phenomenal photos.