SAN DIEGO For all the candor and contrition in MelkyCabreras statement on Wednesday, it was preceded by a month-long web ofdeception. That much is becoming clearer by the day.
Cabrera was not honest with Giants officials and trainerswhen asked in late July if he failed a drug test. Im told he was not honestwith inquisitive teammates, either. And now were hearing from the New YorkDaily News that a handler hired by his agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, created afalse Web site as part of an elaborate ruse to try to blame his positivetestosterone test on a product he claimed to purchase on the Internet.
Major League Baseball uncovered the plot before handing downa 50-game suspension on Wednesday that ended Cabreras hugely successful seasonin which he was leading the majors in hits and runs.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy would not comment specifically onthe Daily News report, saying hed just heard about it when announcersmentioned it during the Braves-Dodgers game he had on in his office.
But Bochy said he was concerned that players were receivingbad advice from handlers, undoing the educational efforts that the league andteams have undertaken to make sure players understand the drug policy.
It does concern me, Bochy said. Theyre getting some badinformation away from the ballpark.
We cant have a bodyguard on these guys. You cant do it.It comes down to choices, and unfortunately, I do think they get bad advicefrom other sources.
There are plenty of outside voices who will point out thattwo of the four suspended major leaguers this season are Giants (Cabrera andGuillermo Mota), and this is the same organization that allowed Barry Bondstrainer, Greg Anderson, full run of the clubhouse during the BALCO years.
But Bochy painted the Giants organization as victims, andcertainly not as co-conspirators, in Cabreras deception. Bochy said the clubdoes not allow non-credentialed personnel in the clubhouse, nor do they allowany supplements in the clubhouse that are not on MLBs approved list.
What else can we do? Bochy said. Im all for solving theproblem. You can be the best parents in the world world class parents andyour kids can go south, you can have issues.
We cant follow these guys 247. It comes down to choices.These are grown men.
Bochy would not comment on whether Cabrera, with his liesnow uncovered, would be welcome to rejoin the club in the postseason if theGiants advance past five games. His suspension would be up at that point.
But privately, there are few around the team who wouldwelcome the sight of Cabrera in a Giants uniform again. And the New York DailyNews report only underscores how deep his deception went.
Were all disappointed. Its always disappointing when youlearn of a player that failed a drug test. I think the facts are, we doeverything we can not to have anything like that happen. Were fully behind theMLB drug policy. Our training staff raises awareness as well as anybody inbaseball. These are unfortunate things and well work at cleaning outbaseball.
Bochy was asked: Does it bother him more that Cabrera was animpending free agent? The question insinuated that Cabrera tried to cheat thedrug policy for monetary gain, and not primarily to help the team win.
Doesnt matter to me, Bochy said.
When someone burns you and lies to your face, the details dontreally matter.