Melky's misdeeds laughable, diabolical


Melky's misdeeds laughable, diabolical

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Johnnie LeMaster got booed because he couldnt hit. Marvin Benard got booed because he got paid. Jack Clark got booed because he occasionally forgot the number of outs. Atlee Hammaker got booed because there were about three of him in any given season, one of which always ended up on the disabled list. In other words, lots of Giants have been booed in San Francisco for lots of reasons over the years, but the one who was never booed even once may end up being the least popular of all.Yes, its another round of Melky, Melky, How Could You? only with the discovery of the fake web site designed to hide his testosterone use making it all the more fraudulent.RELATED: Baggarly -- Melky Cabrera's deception included fake web site
In fact, the web site really is more egregious to fans than the actual PED use, because it shows a consciousness of fraud and embrace of dishonesty that merely using the offending hormone doesnt touch. And while fans love hits and runs and heroics of any kind, seeing all that done with a metaphorical middle finger aimed at all of them does not sit at all well with the customers.In fact, it is stunning to think that Cabreras success will be held against him far more vehemently that the failures of all the others. Not because he broke rules to do it, but because he (or his representatives; the distinction is a narrow one) went to such devious technological lengths to do so.In a land built on high-tech, he committed a high-tech crime to hide a low-tech crime. Stock fraud combined with sweat equity yeah, thatll play in Silicon Valley, The Land That Territorial Rights Forgot.Yeah, this one hurts the true believers more than any of the others. Even Barry Bonds, who was loved in San Francisco far better than anywhere else, wasnt so much deceiving anyone as he was flipping off people in bulk, and people understood the reasons for that or they made up their own. Cabreras feels different, not because it is new, but because it is so, well, calculated. Yeah, the true believers are going to hate him a good long time.On the other hand, those of us who have found the cynics eyepiece a more accurate instrument for the portrayal of the world of play-for-pay will actually find Cabreras sham an invigorating advancement in the art of attempted deception. Fraud meets sham at a party thrown by hoax its diabolical, and its laughable, all at the same time.Giant fans, though, arent likely to forgive. Theyre still grumbling about all the other ones they mocked over the years, but they arent overtly rude when their targets return for some ceremony or other. LeMaster and Benard and Clark and Hammaker put in their time, and were at least trying their sincere best. Cabrera was, too, but in a way that makes his work even more distasteful to those who cheered him on the most.Not all of you, true. Some see the numbers and say, I dont care if he robbed an orphanage lemonade stand to get them, he got em and thats all I care about. But youre cynics of another bent, the If youre cheating youre trying, and when you cheat, cheat big crowd. Hey, youre an interest group too.But the romantics are outraged, and will stay that way. Theyre funny about their feelings, theyve invested in a lot in my team is the best team and my players are the noblest players, and youre not shifting them off that.Except maybe now. For awhile, anyway. The next Melky Cabrera is out there somewhere, and hell have better strategists.But with the way Giant fans think their luck is running right now, hell probably be a Dodger.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."