Decision on Melky is dishonest


Decision on Melky is dishonest

Programming note: Catch complete coverage of the Melky Cabrera story tonight on Giants Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m., and get a recap of all the day's news on SportsNet Central at 6, 10:30pm and midnight, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

Melky Cabrera is playing his bad hand as best he can, but turning down a batting title the rules clearly say he has merited is a bad idea that should have been rejected.It hasnt been, because as Comrade Baggarly reports, the players union and MLB have agreed not to let Cabrera have his batting title because he was suspended for using performance enhancers and using a web site as a masking agent.What this is, essentially, is approving the use of revisionist history to let everyone feel good. And revisionist history is always wrong, without exception.The facts are the facts, the events are the events. Pretending they dont exist to protect the sanctity of the record book when (a) there is no such thing, and (b) baseball is and should be living the consequences of its 30-year lie about PEDs is perpetrating a falsehood, and a hoax.REWIND: Cabrera suspended 50 games for positive testosterone test
And no, we wont be listening to anything about the hoax Cabrera foisted by using the testosterone-in-a-tube. He got caught, he got punished, and the punishment was the suspension. To say he can no longer be eligible for a batting title he is clearly eligible for means that Mark McGwires records dont exist either, so anyone who votes for him for the Hall of Fame is voting for a unicorn that helps the Easter Bunny distribute eggs.Cabrera is the games history, just as McGwire is, and Rafael Palmeiro is, and the Black Sox. And for that, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, and all the good things that have happened in baseball, too. Its the history of the game, good and bad, and it mirrors the history of the nation. Good. And. Bad.This cheap little parlor trick frankly shames the league, the union, and everyone involved in it. Whether Cabrera asked for this or not, whether the Giants backed it, whether the union signed off on it, it is changing the facts of a story to suit the desired result.Its what politicians do. Its what people who back politicians do. It is a distortion, it is hiding something unpleasant and passing it off as nonexistent when it clearly happened.It is, plainly and simply, dishonest. And dishonesty is the root of everything about the PED scandals. Dishonesty protected lots of the guilty, it absolutely protected the management of the game, and it damaged and still damages the honest who are tarred with the same power painter.Anyone who embraces this is embracing a lie, and baseball has had enough lying on this subject already. So shame on everyone involved for not learning that essential lesson. Lying destroys the best motives of everyone involved, and this is just another lie designed to make some people feel good, to allow them to pretend that the drugs problem is being solved, when it plainly and clearly is not, and never can be, for the simple reason that the chemists will always be ahead of the testers, and because the ethos of the game is about getting any edge that someone else cant stop you from getting.But thats a lesson baseball continues not to want to learn. Honesty is for this industry never a good policy, let alone the best one, so it will get what it deserves anyway.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park


Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down. 

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'


Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

Former A's left fielder/DH and Bay Area native, Jonny Gomes, last played Major League Baseball in 2015. The next year, Gomes looked to continue his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Gomes struggled in Japan, batting just .169 in 18 games. While in Japan though, Gomes saw firsthand the two-way talent of Shohei Ohtani. 

"The dude throws 100 miles per hour consistently," Gomes said Tuesday to MLB Network Radio. "That plays."

With MLB, the Players Association, and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization agreeing to a new posting system, Ohtani should soon be available as a free agent to MLB teams. Gomes was adamant that Ohtani will live up to the hype. 

"If you have the arm speed to throw 100 miles per hour, guess what your slider's gonna do -- yikes. And he also has a split, which is yikes with that arm speed. And he also has a changeup, and he also has a curveball. You're talking about five plus, plus, plus pitches.

"If he was in the draft, I think it would be a no-brainer right now that he'd be No. 1 overall," Gomes said. 

Since turning pro as an 18-year-old, Ohtani has been a dominant force on the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander owns a 42-15 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. 

What makes Ohtani, 23, so intriguing is that he's not only the best pitcher in Japan, he may be the best hitter too. In 2017, Ohtani hit .332 with eight home runs in 65 games. The left fielder/DH owns a .286/.358/.500 career slash line with 48 home runs. 

"Now hitting wise, is it gonna transfer, is it not? I've seen the dude hit a fly ball that hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome," Gomes remembers. "So, what does that tell you? That bat speed's there, that power's there, that he's generating a lot out front.

"To be able to hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome is way more impressive than hitting any other roof in the states. It would be like hitting the roof in Seattle when it was closed, it's way up there."

Everyone knows about Ohtani off-the-charts talent. The stats are there. What we don't know as much about is his personality. Gomes does and he believes his leadership will make him be a star in the states. 

"I'm a big fan of the dude," Gomes says. "I saw his work ethic, I saw how players treated him, I saw how respectful he was. Over there it's all about seniority. Granted he was the biggest star on the field at any given moment, but still gave the utmost respect to seniority guys on his ball club."