Mota is back because Giants need his fastball

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Mota is back because Giants need his fastball

Maybe its just me (and it typically is), but I long ago stopped thinking sports would teach lessons like right and wrong and ethical and dishonest.

Thus, Guillermo Motas return to the Giants as they prepare for the most difficult road trip of their lives (except for every other one theyve ever had) moves me not in the slightest. Hes a serial PED user, hes done his time twice, hes eligible again, and the Giants have re-retained his services.

So you go be outraged. I dont have it in me. I've already read the book, and I have the ending memorized.

I neither defend nor condemn his return to the bullpen. His history of cutting corners so loud that even Major League Baseballs testers can hear the sawing may tell you something about his character, or maybe even the Giants corporate view, but all it tells me is what we long ago should have known:

Sports is about getting by. Its about doing whatever you think you need to do at the moment, and worrying about possible consequences later. Its about looking out for No. 1, or in the alternative, trying to figure out how to screw No. 2.

What it isnt, is a guide to living. It is at its essence the most egalitarian of pursuits, making as few moral stands as it can get away with in pursuit of a championship ring, trophy, or endorsement.

Now dont get us wrong here. Any athlete or coach who prefers the ethical path is fine by us. Were not against fair play, charitable instincts, devotion, loyalty, empathy, a basic sense of right and wrong . . . we frankly prefer them all to the alternatives.

But we dont go to sports to find them. In fact, as the money to entertain us grows, the pressure to do the pragmatic thing grows with it. There will be no forgiveness for the Giants if they end up a pitcher short in Game 162, and they know it.

And you know it. We all know it. Why anyone would think otherwise is the mind-boggler.

Or have you not heard the defenses for Lance Armstrong, or before that Joe Paterno, or before that name-your-favorite-team-player-or-entity? Sports is about results at any cost, as long as that cost can be defended later. It has always been thus, and the fact that is more brazen now only means youre paying more attention to the brass.

But lets go beyond that for a moment and ask a more existential question, because we know you like those. When is an athlete to be let off the hook for prior misdeeds?

Think about that for a moment before we give you the answer.

Okay, here it is.

1. When he or she has served his punishment as mandated and agreed upon by the employer and the athletes union.
2. When he or she can help your favorite team win.
3. When he or she is your favorite sports figure from days or years gone by.

You want a different answer? Go follow entertainment. No, wait, that wont work. Try business. No? How about politics? No again? Then maybe pipe-fitting. Oh, hell, you know the deal.

You are let off the hook when someone feels like letting you off the hook, based solely on whether that someone thinks you can help them do something, or feel good about themselves. It is an entirely capricious matter. Some people get let up, and others dont not by virtue of morality, but by the vicissitudes of practicality.

In short, Guillermo Mota is back with the Giants because the Giants need his fastball. Why you would think otherwise is an exercise in the art of the daft. The Giants arent for or against PEDs theyre for winning and against losing. Like every other sports team ever.

If you are of the mind that sports should be clean here and forever, change the penalties. Players are banned for life, and every team that employs a player who gets caught gets fined a percentage of its annual gross revenues. That way, nobody has an incentive to chase down the perfect testosterone martini.

Sure, that wont be a measure of ethics or morality but of brute force. But isnt that truly and realistically the essence of sports in America, from the owners suite to the trainers room?

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers capped a huge inning for the San Diego Padres with the best shot he could muster.

Myers hit a three-run homer during San Diego's eight-run sixth and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers' shot landed in the back of the left field bleachers, traveling 433 feet according to Statcast.

"That's all I got, that's my best bullet right there," Myers said. "I watched it, and I saw where it went. When you hit one like that, you'd like to see where it ends up. That's legitimately everything I got, so I'm happy to be able to say I got everything of it."

Myers singled off Chris Stratton (0-1) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

San Diego entered the game tied for seventh in the majors with 31 homers. Myers is tied for the team-lead with six homers along with Austin Hedges and Ryan Schimpf, and Hunter Renfroe is close by with five.

"We've got five or six guys in the middle of the order that can hit the ball out of the ballpark at any given time," Padres manager Andy Green said.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Stratton was charged with five runs and four hits in 1/3 of an inning and Ramirez allowed six runs, three hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. Their collapse followed a solid effort from Cain, who has been dogged by injuries and hasn't pitched a full season since winning 16 games in 2012. He struck out seven and allowed a run and six hits without a walk to drop his ERA to 2.30.

Cain left with a 3-1 lead after Brandon Belt's two-run single highlighted San Francisco's three-run fifth.

"It's been a while," Cain said when asked the last time he felt this well. "I might have been saying that but also I was trying to find it as well. The results weren't showing it. I'd have glimpses of it here and there. I just wanted to keep being able to put stretches together, and that's what I still want to do."

The Padres have won 11 of 15 games against the Giants dating to last season.

San Francisco (9-16) fell behind San Diego (10-16) for the NL's worst record. The Giants are 39-58 since going into last year's All-Star break 24 games over .500 with the best record in the majors.

RISING STAR

Cordoba's home run underscores the power potential the Padres see in the Rule 5 draft pick. The 21-year-old came to the majors out of rookie ball.

"He's an extremely talented player, he's got the size, he's got the build, he's got the athleticism," Myers said. "It's going to be exciting to see what he can do in the future."

CLARK TRIBUTE

San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark attended Saturday's game and got a standing ovation during a tribute that included a video clip of his leaping catch in the back of the end zone in the last minute of the 1982 NFC championship game known simply as "The Catch." Clark, whose No. 87 has been retired by the 49ers, announced last month he has Lou Gehrig's disease, which attacks cells that control muscles.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart threw his second bullpen Saturday since going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. He'll likely go on a rehab assignment in the minors before the Padres reactivate him, manager Andy Green said.

Giants: SS Brandon Crawford was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury retroactive to April 26 after an MRI on Friday revealed a mild strain, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

UP NEXT

Padres LHP Clayton Richard (2-3, 4.45 ERA) is coming off his worst start, giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings against Arizona on Tuesday. Giants LHP Ty Blach (0-1, 4.22) will make his second start since taking injured LHP Madison Bumgarner's turn in the rotation. Blach gave up two runs and four hits in five innings against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

Giants lineup: Nunez in right field against Padres

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Padres-Giants coverage begins at 5pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming right here.

With the Giants shuffling players around, Eduardo Nunez finds himself manning right field Saturday evening against the Padres.

San Diego Padres:
1. Manuel Margot (R) CF
2. Cory Spangenberg (L) LF
3. Wil Myers (R) 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte (S) 2B
5. Ryan Schimpf (L) 3B
6. Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
7. Austin Hedges (R) C
8. Erick Aybar (S) SS
9. Jhoulys Chacin (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Joe Panik (L) 2B
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Michael Morse (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) SS
6. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
7. Eduardo Nunez (R) RF
8. Drew Stubbs (R) CF
9. Matt Cain (R) P