Melky Cabrera and the oddest goodbye ever

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Wait, that guy was on the team this year?

I don't … this …

No idea where to begin. I guess with the news. Melky Cabrera is now with the Toronto Blue Jays, as he signed a two-year deal for $18 million. I would have been okay with the Giants giving him the same deal, to be honest, but he's gone. The Melky Era is over in San Francisco. And when I think of it, I'll …

I mean …

Man, this is so damned weird. How are we supposed to feel about Melky? Fondness for the games he helped the Giants win? Angry because of the suspension? Bemused because it didn't matter after all? Indifferent because I'm easily distracted and hey wait is that a review of Guy Fieri's restaurant or whatever oh man I have to share that with my Facebook friends? Probably a combination of all of the above.

As late as July, the big story about the 2012 Giants was Melky Cabrera. There are about 20 stories that are more relevant now, just a couple of months later. There were costumes, then there weren't. There was an All-Star Game and a Camaro, and then it was forgotten. There was a debate about whether or not he should be on the playoff roster, and then Ryan Theriot scored the Series-winning run just to mess with us.

I don't know. In about four or five years, maybe my thoughts will have crystalized, and I can tell exactly what's up with Melky Cabrera and his San Francisco legacy. Until then, let's look back at what … at what once was. The timeline of Melky-related feelings:

The trade news breaks

I would have rather traded Sanchez for a semi-prospect, stuck with Torres, and spent even more money on the free-agent market. That would have been my first choice. As is, let's all hope that last year's Melky is the real Melky, because that was a pretty danged good player. Just don't expect it.



Begrudging optimism

But he was awesome in 2011. And he looked so promising in 2006. Maybe there's a way where the two years of promise can come together like some sort of delicious PB&J of statistical history. I'm not sold on the idea. But I don't think it's fair to paint Melky with the "guy coming off a career year" brush and totally dismiss him. That could be the prudent way to look at it, but he was ahead of the curve as a 21-year-old; I'm willing to think that there's something else there.



Is the bloom off the rose?

Melky Cabrera was impressive in the first part of the season, walking as much as he's struck out. But considering that he left the Royals to come to the Giants, it's like he picked up the plate discipline from a toilet seat in a Greyhound station. As such, I can't help but be cynical when he looks as awful as he did at the plate today -- he made Homer Bailey look like a pitcher throwing a golf ball with a cloaking device from 30 feet away -- the nasty voices start chirping in the back of my head. Remember how bad he was with the Braves? They let him walk so they could play Nate McClouth.



Oh, my. This guy is kind of the best

But Cabrera's kind of good at everything. I understand what the Royals were trying to do, but it sure looks silly on May 22. Considering that Cabrera is playing in every game, and that he's $18 million cheaper, I'm not sure that I'd rather have Carlos Beltran. Remember that I can go back in and edit this in August, but I'm believing it right now.



Is he the best Giant in the whole wide world or at least tied?

Melky Cabrera won the MVP and the Obvious Royals Metaphor Lifetime Achievement Award in the same night. Cabrera had a single and a home run in his return to Kansas City, while Jonathan Sanchez finished the game with four walks.



Scandal!

This stuff, man. This stuff. I thought we were through this stuff. I'm caught between wanting Melky to come back in the NLCS with a six-hit game and wanting him to drift away into the land of NRIs. That's what this stuff does.



Jokes!

Melky Cabrera: Hello there, Giants fans. I know there's a lot of people who don't like me and wish I were Carlos Beltran. I think we got off on the wrong foot. I know I can come off a little clutch, and for that I'm not sorry. But if everyone could find a place in their hearts for the little outfielder that nobody wanted, I know we can rake and rake until we win the World Series and get rich.



Pragmatism vs. the heart

Screen_shot_2012-11-16_at_3



His contributions to the postseason






Indifference to him leaving

No idea where to begin. I guess with the news. Melky Cabrera is now with the Toronto Blue Jays, as he signed a two-year deal for $18 million. I would have been okay with the Giants giving him the same deal, to be honest, but he's gone. The Melky Era is over in San Francisco. And when I think of it, I'll …

There will be all sorts of memorabilia and videos and tattoos related to the 2012 season, but Melky Cabrera shuffled off into the night as quickly as he appeared, heading over the border, probably to avoid some sort of prosecution or something. I'll miss him, except for the part where everything was so much better after he left.

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