Giants

Decision on Melky is dishonest

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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

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

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AP

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore knew there was something different about his final home start at AT&T Park this season, and not just the fact that he received a loud ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh. Moore noted later that the outing was the first shutout he has been a part of this year. In fact, it was the first time in 30 starts that he walked off the mound without having allowed a run. 

“I guess it’s better late than never,” he said. 

The Giants are hoping it’s actually a preview of things to come. They counted on Moore to be a big part of their 2017 push, but instead, he likely will finish with the worst ERA of any full-time starter in the National League. Still, general manager Bobby Evans has informed Moore that his 2018 option will be picked up, something that Moore appreciated given the time of year. 

“I always pictured myself here,” he said. 

Whether coincidence or some kind of “weight off the shoulders” situation, Moore’s first start since the public revealing of the decision was his most encouraging of the year. Facing a good lineup, and a team that needed a win desperately, he pitched six shutout innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 4-0. 

Moore was already showing signs of life, with a 3.76 ERA over his seven previous appearances. Bruce Bochy viewed this as another step forward. 

“It’s been getting better and better with each start,” he said. “What he did really well today was on the arm side. He had good balance to both sides of the plate.”

Moore peppered the outside corner with fastballs, and he credited catcher Nick Hundley with stealing a few strikes. The plan allowed Moore to put hitters away in big spots, one of three points of emphasis he brought into the second half. The other two: limiting lefties and getting ahead of hitters.

That’s Moore’s roadmap back to being the player the Giants acquired. For the team as a whole, the roadmap back to relevance is similar to Wednesday’s plan. This is not a home-run hitting lineup, but the Giants are 47-21 when scoring four runs, and Wednesday was a reminder of the different paths to that magical number. 

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, but the first two runs came on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a walk-wild pitch-single combination. Bochy said he liked “the brand of ball” his team played.

“They executed so well today,” he said. “It’s just good baseball, and that’s what I felt good about.”

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”