What should Giants do with Guillermo Mota?

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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.

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets

Morse reveals he barely remembers Harper-Strickland brawl after concussion

Morse reveals he barely remembers Harper-Strickland brawl after concussion

Giants reliever Hunter Strickland received a six-game suspension for his involvement in a May 29 benches-clearing brawl with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. Harper originally was suspended for four games before winning his appeal and served a three-game suspension. 

But the player who has lost the most amont of time came sprinting from first base trying to break up the melee. 

Michael Morse clashed heads with Jeff Samardzija and went crashing down. He has been out since with concussion symptoms and revealed Friday he barely remembers anything from the fight, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

After missing nearly a month of games, Morse feels much better, though effects from the concussion are still there. Every day Morse goes to Stanford for testing and therapy and still deals with lingering symptoms like dizziness once he raises his heartbeat and headaches. 

If Morse ever joins the reeling Giants is a question in itself. 

San Francisco currently has the second-worst record in baseball at 27-48 behind only the Phillies and have already started to shift to younger players. No matter, the 35-year-old Morse wants to be a part of the team. 

"You know me," Morse said to reporters before Friday's game. "Whatever happens, happens. I'm a happy-go-lucky guy. I'm happy to be with these guys. They're going through such hard times.

"I want to be with them, if not on the field, then off the field, helping them mentally if not physically."

In 24 games this season, Morse is batting .194 with just one home run. If his time has come to an end, the one home run was one to remember. 

Morse, in his first game back with the Giants since 2014 launched a pinch-hit solo home run to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Dodgers on April 26. The fan-favorite raised his hands at the crack of the bat, bringing back memories of Game 5 of the 2014 NLCS.