SAN DIEGO Melky Cabrera has at least one supporter in theGiants clubhouse and its the guy who is taking his place in left field, atleast for now.
Gregor Blanco left a phone message for Cabrera, who was hitwith a 50-game suspension Wednesday after testing positive for testosterone andmade a statement owning up to it.
I try but he didnt answer, Blanco said. Its OK. Hes alittle embarrassed but he will be fine, for sure.
Cabrera is not fine at the moment. Players talked of movingon with clenched teeth when asked for their reaction on Wednesday. Buster Poseysaid Cabrera made a bad decision, which was all the message that needed to besent.
But Blanco said Cabrera made an impression on many playerswith the work ethic he displayed from the first day of spring training, and hewould welcome the opportunity to play with him again even in the playoffs, ifthe Giants get to a sixth game when Cabrera, at least theoretically, would beeligible to play.
Were trying to do it for him, Blanco said. Now is thetime to step up. As soon as I heard (the news), I say to myself, lets dothis for Melky. He deserves it for all he accomplished.
Those accomplishments his major league-leading hits and runstotals, for starters are tainted now. So is his dossier as he enters freeagency. Its hard to imagine he will play another game in a Giants uniform.
To end it like this is sad, Blanco said. But weve got topull it off for him. We have to prove we can do it like this. I just want toget (to the playoffs). He can help us. Hes an unbelievable player and I alwayslook up to him.
The Giants are looking to Blanco to do what he can to helpturn over the lineup, now that hes hitting down in the order. Giants managerBruce Bochy said he likes the way Angel Pagan has grasped the challenge ofbeing back in the leadoff role, and so he didnt want to change the top of theorder.
Blanco might not be out there every day, either. Bochyindicated Justin Christian will get his chances against left-handed pitching and the Giants will face four southpaws in five games beginning Saturday.