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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bond: The Branding of Melky Cabrera

Bond: The Melkybrand Rarity

This type of production could be the product of products not allowed by the MLB drug policy, or it might not. Assume that Cabrera was clean all of last season, and it seems more likely that Cabrera’s subpar performances before last season were likely a combination of youth, inexperience and sore muscles from the constant fist-bumping and secret handshakes with best friend Robinson Cano. Assume that Cabrera was just waiting to get dirty, then all those middling pre-breakout years were due to an inability to get his hands on the steroids all the cool kids were taking. It’s in how you see it, and “it’s” is roughly the same thing, in this thought exercise, as “tens of millions of dollars.”

There is a case for the former, to be sure: a seemingly upward progression in his career and the batting statistics of last season; the fact that Melky is (relatively) young, as evidenced by next season only being his “age-28” year and his seventh full year in the league (which likely gives him another 3-4 years in his notional prime); that Melky is (extraordinarily) likable, as evidenced by the insane support that San Francisco fans, including a personal cheering section known as “The Melk Men,” showered upon him before his unexpected suspension and his All-Star voting victory. Given all that, it’s not impossible that a guy as (seemingly) talented, (relatively) young,  and (extraordinarily) likable as Melky Cabrera might get through this debacle (almost) unscathed. And, thankfully for Melky, there is precedent for this sort of thing. Kind of.

We all remember a similarly beloved slugger with a similarly detached disposition in the NL West who was banned for a similar transgression. Of course, one of them was known as one of the 10-best right handed hitters of all time, while the other is, in his better moments, the second best big league hitter whose name can be abbreviated as “M. Cabrera.” But there are definitely some parallels to be drawn between Manny and Melky. More importantly, at least for Melky, there are some things that Ramirez went through that Cabrera can learn from as he attempts to rebuild his brand. Or, less the buzzword, his career.

Repoz Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, steroids

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   1. Esoteric Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4214635)
We all remember a similarly beloved slugger with a similarly detached disposition in the NL West who was banned for a similar transgression.
Is this guy seriously trying to argue that Manny got through his steroid suspensions "unscathed?" His reputation is ruined! (His baseball rep, I mean -- his personal reputation was already in the toilet.) The only chance he now has of getting into the Hall of Fame, after a career that statistically speaking is a no-doubter will be a sea-change in voter attitudes five years from now -- which strikes me as unlikely despite the number of people around here who dearly wish for it to happen.

This doesn't exactly lay a blueprint for a Melky comeback.

ALSO: Was Manny ever really "beloved?" More like "tolerated," I'd say.
   2. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4214640)
ALSO: Was Manny ever really "beloved?" More like "tolerated," I'd say.

I can think of at least one primate who loves him...
   3. gef the talking mongoose, amorphous lefty blob Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4214651)
Branding the guy seems rather harsh to me.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4214663)
Branding the guy seems rather harsh to me.
More or less harsh than deporting him?
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4214668)
Why can't we brand him then deport him?
   6. dr. scott Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4214682)
Beloved is a strong word, but I think many outside his home teams found him fascinating. An odd enigma that could smack the crap out of a ball and then lumber down the field to catch a ball at his shoe tips that an ordinary fielder would have made look easy. Most of that comes from his incredibly consistent and outstanding batting. Melky has part of one season where he came close to that, and he was actually liked in SF as opposed to inquisitively studied, so I really don’t see any similarities.

If the author is saying he needs to have 12+ seasons of 140+ OPS+ AND do odd things that make him a bit of a senior thesis case study then I’d just recommend the former. That will heal many wounds.
   7. Urkel's Boner Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4214788)
This type of production could be the product of products not allowed by the MLB drug policy, or it might not.


What type of production could a producer produce if the producer were allowed to produce production?
   8. Tippecanoe Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4214794)
Describing Cabrera as "extraordinarily likeable" seems like a huge stretch to me - first I've heard of it. The personal cheering section is proof only that he's got a fun first name and that he's been hitting .350 -- he never had one when he was an average player in three other cities.

I mean, the fans of San Francisco have showered "insane support" on the likes of Barry Bonds, too, but his charisma and charm have nothing to do with it.
   9. Swedish Chef Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4214810)
Colon suspended 50 games for testosterone.
   10. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4214817)
You know, Melky is really in a unique situation to be hated nearly unanimously by baseball fans. The steroid haters are gonna hate him because, well, STEROIDS! The steroid apologizers should hate him because he gives what may be the most compelling test case for mediocre to bad player becomes great because of STEROIDS!

I guess what I'm saying is that we should all rally together and hate Melky as one, united baseball fan front for the first time in the history of professional baseball.
   11. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4214849)
Colon suspended 50 games for testosterone.


Correction: Not testosterone, turns out it was deep fried Mangú
   12. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4214897)

Correction: Not testosterone, turns out it was deep fried Mangú


I'm a big fan of Mufongo, you can find it at any "comida tipica" dominican or pr joint in NYC.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4214904)
Branding the guy seems rather harsh to me.

Absolutely. 50 days in the pillory should suffice.

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