Melky Cabrera's deception included fake web site

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Melky Cabrera's deception included fake web site

SAN DIEGO For all the candor and contrition in MelkyCabreras statement on Wednesday, it was preceded by a month-long web ofdeception. That much is becoming clearer by the day.

Cabrera was not honest with Giants officials and trainerswhen asked in late July if he failed a drug test. Im told he was not honestwith inquisitive teammates, either. And now were hearing from the New YorkDaily News that a handler hired by his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, created afalse Web site as part of an elaborate ruse to try to blame his positivetestosterone test on a product he claimed to purchase on the Internet.

Major League Baseball uncovered the plot before handing downa 50-game suspension on Wednesday that ended Cabreras hugely successful seasonin which he was leading the majors in hits and runs.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy would not comment specifically onthe Daily News report, saying hed just heard about it when announcersmentioned it during the Braves-Dodgers game he had on in his office.

But Bochy said he was concerned that players were receivingbad advice from handlers, undoing the educational efforts that the league andteams have undertaken to make sure players understand the drug policy.

It does concern me, Bochy said. Theyre getting some badinformation away from the ballpark.

We cant have a bodyguard on these guys. You cant do it.It comes down to choices, and unfortunately, I do think they get bad advicefrom other sources.

There are plenty of outside voices who will point out thattwo of the four suspended major leaguers this season are Giants (Cabrera andGuillermo Mota), and this is the same organization that allowed Barry Bondstrainer, Greg Anderson, full run of the clubhouse during the BALCO years.

But Bochy painted the Giants organization as victims, andcertainly not as co-conspirators, in Cabreras deception. Bochy said the clubdoes not allow non-credentialed personnel in the clubhouse, nor do they allowany supplements in the clubhouse that are not on MLBs approved list.

What else can we do? Bochy said. Im all for solving theproblem. You can be the best parents in the world world class parents andyour kids can go south, you can have issues.

We cant follow these guys 247. It comes down to choices.These are grown men.

Bochy would not comment on whether Cabrera, with his liesnow uncovered, would be welcome to rejoin the club in the postseason if theGiants advance past five games. His suspension would be up at that point.

But privately, there are few around the team who wouldwelcome the sight of Cabrera in a Giants uniform again. And the New York DailyNews report only underscores how deep his deception went.

Were all disappointed. Its always disappointing when youlearn of a player that failed a drug test. I think the facts are, we doeverything we can not to have anything like that happen. Were fully behind theMLB drug policy. Our training staff raises awareness as well as anybody inbaseball. These are unfortunate things and well work at cleaning outbaseball.

Bochy was asked: Does it bother him more that Cabrera was animpending free agent? The question insinuated that Cabrera tried to cheat thedrug policy for monetary gain, and not primarily to help the team win.

Doesnt matter to me, Bochy said.

When someone burns you and lies to your face, the details dontreally matter.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

READ MORE AT CSNChicago.com

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants were annoyed by Monday’s “rubbing teammates the wrong way” report for a number of reasons, but near the top of the list was the fact that the target, Mark Melancon, has been pitching hurt to try and help a last-place team. That’s no longer the case. 

Melancon went on the DL on Wednesday morning and later had a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in his right arm to try and ease some of the discomfort in his pronator. He is expected to be out the rest of the first half. Melancon would be eligible to return with two games left until the break, but there’s no point in rushing him. He missed 12 games the first time this came up and he now has more than two weeks to rest before the second half kicks off. 

In the meantime, Sam Dyson is the closer, but he was unavailable Wednesday because of a heavy workload. So Bruce Bochy got creative to close out a 5-3 win over the Rockies. George Kontos came on for a sharp Ty Blach in the seventh and carried the lead to the eighth. Steven Okert got through the 26th out and Hunter Strickland came in to get Ian Desmond to fly out for his first save of the year. 

Because Bochy wanted Kontos to face Pat Valaika in the eighth, he got an at-bat 15 hours after Cory Gearrin got to take his hacks. It at first looked like Kontos had “don’t swing” orders, but he fouled a ball off. 

“The second fastball I got, if it was near the plate, I was going to swing,” he said. 

Kontos said he doesn’t have bragging rights over Gearrin because he fouled a ball off, noting that Gearrin is 1 for 2 in his career and he is 0 for 8. It turns out that they used the same bat, too. Yes, there is a Cory Gearrin model.

“It’s just been hanging out since last year,” Gearrin said, looking down at his equipment bag. “Just in case.”

--- Dan Slania woke up a 4:30, drove to Philadelphia, and boarded a flight that was went down through Nashville to fuel up. He arrived in San Francisco in time for the second inning. And then he watched, met with old teammates, showered … and prepared to fly all the way back to Pennsylvania. 

“I’m going to pass out as soon as I get on the plane,” Slania said. 

He wasn’t complaining at all. The Giants needed a potential innings-eater with Melancon on the DL, and if Slania is sent back down before Friday’s game, he’ll at least be back near Double-A Richmond and the flight back will have been taken on a chartered jet with a bunch of former teammates. Plus he gets a couple of service days. 

“I can tell you it’s well worth it,” Bochy said. 

--- The main story today is about Jae-gyun Hwang, who brought some more life to a team that got its first sweep of the year. The standings are what they are, but the Giants are playing much better, and some players started talking Wednesday about how they’re looking forward to being a spoiler for teams like the Rockies and Diamondbacks. 

More than anything, the players are just happy that they got to listen to the victory soundtrack again and walk out of this park with smiles. 

“We did a really good job of coming into this series and decided what the intent should be,” Nick Hundley said. “We weren’t going to worry about what’s been going on. You control what you can control. It’s nice when the results match up.”

There was a players-only meeting on Monday and Hundley said “everybody got on the same page again.”

Now the tricky part: Keeping it going on the road. 

--- Nolan Arenado is a freak and the Giants should give him a blank check, a ton of Facebook stock, and the rights to the Salesforce building when he’s a free agent in two and a half seasons. 

--- Ryder Jones is hitless in 16 at-bats but he was keeping his head up. He was an inch or two from a double down the line Wednesday and the Giants feel he’s having good at-bats. More than anything, he's not taking those results into the field and he talked about that at length when we sat down for a podcast the other day. If you subscribe on iTunes here, you’ll have it in the morning.