Not only did the San Francisco Giants give Melky Cabrera his 2012 World Series ring Tuesday night, they returned much of the equipment he had left behind at AT&T Park during a hasty exit this past summer. Included among Cabrera's items were some of his old bats, one of which he used to knock out four hits in a 10-6 victory for the Toronto Blue Jays.
It figures, given that Cabrera got himself suspended in August after testing positive for testosterone, leaving the Giants without one of their best hitters for the pennant drive. Cabrera addressed all of that in a post-game interview with the help of coach Luis Rivera, who translated and gave paraphrased quotes. The Associated Press writes:
Cabrera's big night came with bats he used while playing for the Giants last year, black bats stamped with an orange 53, his jersey number.
''I left some bats last season and Murph (Mike Murphy, the Giants equipment manager) sent them to me and I was using them today,'' Cabrera said through a translator.
Cabrera also left the Giants, pretty much, without saying good-bye. Or saying he was sorry, or saying anything. His quick and quiet departure caused puzzlement, if not bad feelings. Of course, we know now that the Giants won the World Series anyway, and Cabrera got a nice free-agent deal from the Blue Jays despite an association with performance-enhancing drugs.
Still, it must have been with some awkward feelings that Giants manager Bruce Bochy presented Cabrera with his championship ring in a quick, quiet and private ceremony in a hallway between clubhouses at the Rogers Centre before the first pitch. The handoff differed from what was done with Nate Schierholtz, who got his ring in a public (if informal) ceremony at Wrigley Field in April.
Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area writes:
When asked an innocuous question – why he preferred to receive his World Series ring in private instead of behind the batting cage Tuesday afternoon – Cabrera said that was Bochy’s preference.
“It was Bochy’s decision,” Cabrera said through translator and Toronto coach Luis Rivera. “If they wanted to do it on the field, that (would have) been fine, too.”
That was a lie.
Bochy had assumed he would give Cabrera the ring on the field, as he did with Nate Schierholtz in Chicago last month. It wouldn’t be any big ceremony, but it definitely would be a moment for cameras and reporters to capture.
The Giants got word through Toronto’s public relations department that Cabrera preferred to pick up his ring in a more private setting. So the handoff was made in a tunnel between the clubhouses, behind closed doors. It took all of 45 seconds.
Does it matter where Cabrera received the ring? Of course not.
Only that he chose to lie about it.
Well, OK, then.
Baggarly would seem to have a bone to pick with Cabrera, going back to just before he got popped for PEDs, when Cabrera told him he was clean. Baggarly says, however, that the original lie is understandable, given that Cabrera knew he was under investigation at that time. Cabrera's other acts, including making it look like it was Bochy who wanted to keep the ceremony private — at least according to Rivera's "translation" — are less forgivable.
More important than the jewelry: Perhaps the Giants should have waited until after the series to return Melky's bats. But they were just being courteous — which is more than Melky has been with the Giants, if San Francisco's media reports are accurate.