What should Giants do with Guillermo Mota?


What should Giants do with Guillermo Mota?

The Giants have a big decision to make in the next 24 hours.

They have to decide what to do with Guillermo Mota. And dont believe them when they say this is strictly a baseball decision.

Mota, as of Sunday night, had served his 100-game suspension for being popped for performance enhancing drugs. It was Motas second violation, his first coming after the 2006 season as a member of the New York Mets. Hes spent the last few days in Fresno, working his arm back to shape.

With the Giants bullpen struggling and the closer-by-committee strategy creating panic, its clear the Giants could use Motas services. Mota, 39, could fill a variety of roles: short or long relief. The right-hander was a key cog in the brilliant bullpen production in the 2010 playoff run.

So whats the problem? Plug Mota in and take the pressure off some of the other relievers, right?

RELATED: Will Mota decision be strictly baseball related?

Not exactly. Mota got popped back in May when his violation seemed like an aberration just another older player trying to find longevity through chemicals. He claimed his dirty test was because of his daughters cough syrup. And people were willing to buy that.

But given the events of the summer, Motas suspension no longer seems like a strange aberration but part of a third generation steroid era -- more stealth, less extreme, but still a time of rampant cheating.

The Giants are in the crosshairs, with Melky Cabreras suspension and online chatter about the franchise cheating its way to first place in the division. Can the Giants afford to be labeled, once again, as the team that openly embraces chemical enhancement? Or, at the very least, looks the other way and readily forgives when their players cheat?

That was the Giants reputation at least outside of AT&T Park throughout much of the past decade, as they clung to Barry Bonds production despite the mounting evidence against Bonds. Some of that co-dependency between Bonds and the Giants wasnt driven by baseball decisions, but other concerns, such as marketing, home run records and keeping the ballpark full.

The Giants were able to flip the page on that public perception in 2010, when a cadre of misfits as Bochy once called them young players and castoffs and wacky personalities won the World Series. Instead of Balco-enhanced Barry Bonds, the Giants were personified by the seemingly unenhanced skinny Tim Lincecum. The chemicals and slabs of laboratory-produced muscle seemed safely in the past.

But the Cabrera suspension has brought the nasty past back into the conversation. And it hasnt been a pleasant couple of weeks.

Now the organization has another decision that cant be simply considered in baseball terms. Do they want Mota back in their bullpen? Will the message they send be that they really arent that concerned about his drug use?

The Giants can either activate Mota or designate him for assignment. If they designate him, and he accepts a spot in Fresno, Mota could be recalled to the big league club on Saturday, when rosters expand.

That might delay the decision for a few days. But the Giants still have to figure out if they want Mota in their clubhouse. He brings a lot of things: veteran presence, flexibility in the bullpen, a battling attitude.

And another stark reminder that the steroid era isnt over.

Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade


Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

The teams announced the deal after their games Friday night. The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs this year.

Los Angeles is running away with the NL West. The Dodgers are 86-34 after Friday's win at Detroit . Granderson gives Los Angeles another option for the outfield along with Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

Pederson has been struggling quite a bit of late, hitting .149 since the All-Star break. Granderson, like Pederson, offers some power from the left side of the plate.

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth


SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Moore took his time walking off the mound after Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to replace him in the eighth inning.

Moore wanted to enjoy the ovation from the crowd at AT&T Park, something he hadn't heard for quite some time.

Moore took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and picked up his first win in nearly two months as San Francisco beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2 on Friday night.

"It's something that I think is one of the coolest parts about playing here, is just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill," Moore said. "It was definitely nice to have that."

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford both homered, Pablo Sandoval had an RBI single and Denard Span added three hits and made a nice running catch in center field to help San Francisco to its ninth win in the last 12 games at AT&T Park.

One day after becoming the first team in major league history to reach 11,000 wins as a franchise, the Giants added on by beating the worst team in baseball again.

Moore (4-12) was crisp in his second straight strong start despite four walks, allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time since June 20.

"He's got a good rhythm going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's playing catch with (catcher Buster Posey), that's the effort he's putting in it right now. I think it's helped his command on all his pitches."

Moore credited a calmer approach in his last two starts.

"For a lot of the season I was overthrowing," Moore said. "It's just too much to be gritting that much through. After the break that was something I was working on, making sure I'm not white-knuckling too much stuff."

Four relievers combined for five outs to complete the four-hitter.

Jorge Alfaro singled twice and scored for Philadelphia.

Pence doubled and scored as part of a three-run first inning, then hit his 11th home run in the second.

Crawford tacked on with a two-run home run in the third, his 10th, after Sandoval walked. Crawford, who also doubled in the eighth, had been in a 2-for-22 slump.

Philadelphia didn't get a runner past second base until the eighth when Freddy Galvis singled in both runs.

"We got four hits (and) Alfaro had two of them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The bats just ain't there right now."


Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings for the Phillies and later complained of tightness in his right shoulder. Eflin has lost two of three starts since a two-month stint in the minors. "As the fifth inning came to an end it was more of a precautionary thing to come out because it wasn't feeling right at that point," Eflin said.


Posey has hit safely in 20 straight games against Philadelphia, the longest hitting streak of his career against any team.


Phillies: Mackanin's ballclub was one player short after the team placed OF Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in a move that is retroactive to Aug. 15. Herrera has a 17-game hitting streak that is the longest active in the majors. A corresponding move is expected before Saturday's game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Cueto also threw a 50-pitch bullpen during the team's recent three-game series in Miami. ... 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) and 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) both did cardio work before the game.


Phillies RHP Jerad Eickoff (3-7, 4.45 ERA) makes his second start against the Giants this season Saturday while San Francisco counters with LHP Ty Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA). Blach blanked Philadelphia with a seven-hitter on June 2.