Can you imagine if that had happened? The Brewers ultimately held on to Mike Cameron. He posted a 110 OPS+ in a season that saw them go 80-82. Meanwhile, Melky Cabrera was basically a full-timer in New York. In 540 plate appearances, he posted a 93 OPS+. But what would’ve happened if that quasi-confirmed trade had actually happened in the winter of 2008?
Thanks to modern
technology imagination, we can know with 100% certainty what would’ve happened. The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics allows for there to exist an infinite number of universes that exist parallel to our own. In each universe is the outcome of a different decision or chosen path. A simpler explanation can be found in the plot of Back to the Future II.
So then, let us assume that the MWI is accurate. Using Alternate Universe Fangraphs’ propriety WPA(~) (Win Probability Added adjusted for universe) Here is what would’ve happened if Melky Cabrera had been traded away for Mike Cameron:
April 2009 (our universe): Yankees & Brewers records: 12-10
April 2009 (alternate universe): Yankees: 13-9, Brewers: 11-11
May 2009 (our universe): Yankees: 17-10, Brewers: 18-10
May 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 16-12, Brewers: 19-9
June 2009 (our universe) Yankees: 15-11, Brewers: 12-15
June 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 14-12, Brewers: 11-16
July 2009 (our universe) Yankees: 18-9, Brewers: 9-17
July 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 19-8, Brewers: 8-18
August 2009 (our universe) Yankees: 21-7, Brewers: 13-14
August 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 20-8, Brewers: 12-15
September 2009 (our universe) Yankees: 19-9, Brewers: 13-15
September 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 18-10, Brewers: 14-14
October 2009 (our universe) Yankees: 1-2, Brewers: 3-1
October 2009 (alternate universe) Yankees: 0-3, Brewers: 4-0
2009 FINAL STANDINGS (our universe) Yankees 103-59, Brewers 80-82
2009 FINAL STANDINGS (alternate universe) Yankees 100-62, Brewers 79-83
Nothing really changes, except now it’s Mike Cameron in the playoffs with the Yankees and not Melky Cabrera. The Yankees still win the World Series against the Phillies (Melky hit .154/.154/.154), but it’s the following offseason where things get really interesting and, ultimately, leads to the Giants not winning the World Series.
Mike Cameron, having tasted The Rivalry, doesn’t sign with the Red Sox in the offseason. In fact, let us assume he signs with the Giants. The Brewers don’t do what the Yankees did and trade Melky to the Braves, so, he’s still in Milwaukee and unable to put up .000/.000/.000 against the Giants in the NLDS.
But the Giants wouldn’t have made it to the NLDS. Though Cameron eventually injured himself and missed most of 2010 with the Red Sox in our universe, in the alternate universe he and Rowand combine to block Andres Torres. Without Andres Torres, the Giants don’t win the NL West.
In conclusion, Melky Cabrera is a significant figure in the quantum tapestry that led to the Giants winning the World Series. Because of this fact and his spring training statistics, we should revere him. I would go so far as to say that we are all disrespecting him right now and every second of the day until we create a new
religion organization to worship appreciate him. I call it Melkyotics. There are 5+3 (his jersey number) Laws of Melkyotics:
1. Melky is not a nickname.
2. Doubles power is for real.
3. Always question defense of center field.
4. Peak output is within reach.
5. A Melkyotic may not harm a human being.
6. Use speed sparingly.
7. Only take walks to break up with someone.
8. Remember Marvin Benard.