Okay, so NOW it’s official. Bruce Bochy announced that Melky Cabrera will not return to the San Francisco Giants for any postseason series after serving a 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs.

Here is a video of Bochy’s statement:

Transcript:

Have you made any other decisions regarding your roster? 

Yeah we have made one. We’re in the process of making a number of decisions, but one we have made is we have decided not to send Melky on a rehab assignment because we do not intend to add him to any playoff roster. We had to make this decision early because Melky would have to start rehabbing in Arizona. And we decided to develop our roster from our current group of players. They’ve done a terrific job during a critical part of the season. So it’s been made. We have informed Melky’s agent and let them know and they understand. I just like the way this club has played down the stretch and moved on so we’re going to move forward without Melky.

Can you envision any scenario in which that might change? 

I can’t say. I can’t right now. We’ve made this decision. That’s where we’re at right now.

Bruce would that change if there were a big injury in the next week or so?

I’m not going to get into any hypotheticals. We have a number of outfielders. As you see today, Belt’s going to be out in left field. Nady and Blanco. Knock on wood we don’t have any injuries but we have a pretty big roster, as you can see. They’ve all done a good job and stepped up when we needed them. We’re going to have a 25-man roster from the guys that you see here right now. 

This was obviously an organizational consensus? An organizational decision? You, Brian…

Yes, yes. That’s what we’ve decided to do. Like I said, Melky understands. I think it’s the best interests of this club. If you look how we’ve played and all we’ve been through, these guys have really done a great job. There’s a reason why we’re in this situation. They’ve earned this and so we’re going to go with the 25 guys we have here.

Have you told the players?

I have not had a chance. They’re all getting ready. We’ll talk to them about it at some point either today or early tomorrow. 

Were certain players consulted on the decision?

No.

This was clearly a situation where the San Francisco Giants didn’t feel that the probably risk associated with bringing Cabrera back outweighed the potential reward bringing him back for the NLCS might have provided.

Risks of bringing him back

  • From the moment it was announced that he would return after missing the Giants’ first five games of the postseason, the media furor would become overwhelming to the players and dishearten a good portion of the fanbase.
  • The Giants would further ingrain this idea that they are the franchise that embodies steroid use more than any other in North American professional sports.
  • Following a huge gap in time since seeing Major League pitching and without the benefit of extra testosterone, Cabrera may not be an improvement over Gregor Blanco and the team’s other left field options.
  • If the Giants failed to advance out of the first round, they would’ve absorbed several days of negative press for nothing.
  • Certain players who still have hard feelings about the way Cabrera tested positive, attempted to lie about it, and then left without facing the team could wonder why the Giants are messing with things when they’ve played so well over the last month and a half.

Potential rewards

  • The lineup would be significantly better with Cabrera in it, provided he could play close to as well as he was when he was suspended.
  • Avoiding a potential grievance from Cabrera and his representation.
  • Certain players who liked Cabrera and what he brought to the team would be happy.

In the end, the risks were tangible (terrible PR) and the rewards were hopeful (Melky at full strength). The Giants probably looked at their record after Cabrera left (26-12) and decided the risks simply weren’t worth it.

Here is Cabrera’s statement, provided by the Giants, which I picture him giving while holding an orange pom-pom on one hand and a huge orange finger on the other:

STATEMENT FROM MELKY CABRERA

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Melky Cabrera and his representatives have asked the
Giants to issue the following statement:

“While I am disappointed that I won’t have the chance to join my team in
the playoffs, I wish my teammates the best in the postseason and I’ll be
rooting hard for them to bring another World Championship to San
Francisco!”  -  Melky Cabrera