The ‘Melk Man’ is on juice

With the dust finally clearing from the Melky Cabrera Suspension, Giants nation appears to be less   than the rest of the country.

On Aug. 15th the 28-year-old left-fielder from the Dominican Republic tested positive for the use of synthetic testosterone, an illegal PED (performance enhancing drug) as stated in the player-owner agreements.

Melky not only was a contender to be the National League’s Most Valuable Player, but at the same time was only below Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates for the batting title. Unfortunately Cabrera’s suspension went much farther than just forcing him to fall out of contention for these awards.

“He screwed over his teammates,” said junior Julian Herns.

With his bat acting as the basis of the Giant’s mediocre offense, its absence not only puts the Giants in an awkward situation offensively, but puts pressure on the rest of the struggling players to produce as well.

Although the biggest blow to the Giants organization was losing Cabrera’s bat, Cabrera’s abrupt exit also left fans heart-broken and betrayed.

On top of the usual herd of twitter followers and mediocre signs that comes with the celebrity status of being a professional athlete, Cabrera found himself more of a god.

Even the casual Giant’s fan, whether their usual seat is a stadium chair or couch, knows of the infamous Milk Men and Milkmaids.  These Cabrera super-fans come to the stadium dressed in traditional milk delivery man costumes accompanied by their faithful milk maids dressed in plaid dresses and braided pigtails.

These characters’, inspired by Cabrera’s nickname the “Melk Man,” popularity grew to the extent of the Giant’s Dugout store beginning to sell Cabrera merchandise like “Got Melk?” shirts and Milk Man Hats.

With his overwhelming support, it is no surprise the outrage that flooded the giant’s talk radio, Twitter, and Facebook.

Many felt betrayed and filled with despair of the Giants’ future, like sophomore Brandon Magpayo. “Without their star player, how are the Giants supposed to win those big games?” asked Magpayo.

Although a majority of the Giants fan base seem to feel pessimistic towards the suspension, with efficient work by general manager Brian Sabean near the trade deadline the Giants were able to pick up some players to fill the gap that Cabrera left.
Herns continues to say, “They seem to be at the same [offensively] as before, but with him they would obviously be much better.”

With these new pickups along with some excellent managing by the Giant’s coaching staff, led by Bruce Bochy, to shift people around to fill the holes left by Cabrera, the Giants seem to have survived a certain death as the strongly hold on to first in the National League West.

To Giants’ fans this is a horrendously disappointing event, but looking at the bigger picture, issues far worse are becoming apparent.

With this incident following the controversial Ryan Braun incident (he got out of suspension due to a technicality), questions are being raised of the future of major league baseball and its drug testing.

We have seen this once before, many years ago during what we know as the “Drug Era” with steroids, a simpler PED that current tests can easily sense.

USA today reports that Victor Conte, cofounder of BALCO (the drug company associated with  the Barry Bonds scandal) believes that about 50 per cent of MLB players are using some sort of PED.

Bud Selig, current Commissioner of the MLB, has big decisions to make and big problems to solve.

With synthetic testosterone becoming undetectable in approximately a day, the current systems do not stand a chance.  With the inadequacy of the tests in comparison to the complexity of the drugs, cheating is almost too easy.

As MLB has tried numerous times, just changing the techniques for monitoring and testing players isn’t the solution.

“The players are just going to keep finding new ways [to evade the tests],” explained Lorenzo Fuentes, current junior.

Will the war ever end? The answer is going to be no for a very long time unless Selig and his men find a way to not only punish the user, but to make it so undesirable that the risk is not worth it; unfortunately for Selig, the player’s union will fight this issue to the end.