Although the Giants aren’t more prone to having players using PEDs than any other MLB team, Barry Bonds has tainted the organization for many baseball fans.
Now, when Giants fans consider if Melky Cabrera is worthy of obtaining a ring, they must look at what that means for the Giants.
Cabrera, loved by Royals fans, polarizing for Yankees fans and universally loathed by Braves fans, must now be judged by us. Some argue he could be forgiven if he apologized and talked it out with the team, others argue that he cheated and can never be forgiven, but the real question is, does he deserve recognition for helping a team win a championship?
Melky Cabrera posted a dazzling 158 OPS+ (normalized on base +slugging with 100 being average), but more importantly, he had a bWAR of 4.7.
Now, the main argument in support of Melky Cabrera is that without him, the Giants would have never made the post season, and there is logic behind this assertion.
In the early parts of the season, Melky was the one consistent offensive force for the Giants, breaking Willy Mays’ hits in one month record by getting 100 hits in May alone. His ridiculous .346 average was league best, and would have garnered him a Silver Slugger if he were to play the whole season.
But, more importantly, if Melky Cabrera was not on the Giants, would they have still won the West? According to stats alone, no. His 4.7 bWAR means that without him, the Giants would have won 89 games, well above the Dodgers’ 86.
Does that necessarily mean his impact was only 4.7 wins? That is for you to decide. Basically, does his true worth lie entirely with personal production of 4.7 wins, or does it extend to his effect on others?
Melky Cabrera will be receiving a ring. Whether or not he deserves this, based off of performance or morality is a question we must decide as fans.
In my opinion, although the Giants theoretically could have won the West without him — and in fact had a better record without him — I remember how it felt earlier on when he was raking, hitting .300 in April and .429 in May when few others were there in support, and I can’t help but think that he was a big reason for the Giants’ regular season success.
And with that in mind, I can shake the moral issue and the heart break of the Melk Men, and firmly say: Melky Cabrera deserves a ring.