Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilled Melk

I'm pretty sure every fan went through the five stages of grief when they heard of Melky Cabrera's suspension.
  1. Denial - "NO WAY!! Melky could not have taken PEDs."
  2. Anger - "C'mon, Melky! Get your head in the game."
  3. Bargaining - "Say it ain't so, Melky."; Appeal the suspension please!!"
  4. Depression - "The Giants are screwed."; "There goes our season."
  5. Acceptance - "Well, we can't cry over spilled Melk. The Giants will just have to take care of this without him."
And that 5th stage is where most Giants fans are at right now. The simple fact of the matter is that the Giants are gonna have to move on without Melky. The pressing question is, how on earth will they be able to do it?

Priority #1: Make sure the pitching doesn't falter. Literally, there is no room for error. Every single starter has to be rock solid. For Lincecum, that means continuing his ascent back to the typical Timmy. For Bumgarner, that means remaining as one of the top lefties in the league. For Cain, that means returning to his pre All-Star Game form after a couple shaky outings. For Vogelsong, that means keeping hishead up after the Nationals game and going out there with a vengeance. For Zito, that means trying to keep up with the rest of the rotation and maybe, just maybe, finding that bit of magic that he had in his first start of the season against the Rockies.

Priority #2: Replace Melky. Of course, you can't exactly replace the complete package that Melky was, so you have to go piece by piece. Position-wise, Blanco will have to play as clean a left field as Melky. Batting-wise, the other Giants will have to pick up the slack. Posey needs to continue his MVP-like second half. He has literally been the best player in baseball since the All-Star Break. That cannot change. Brandon Belt needs to stay consistent for the rest of the season. He doesn't need to be especially great, but he needs to be consistent. That is key. Panda needs to recover from the injury and return to his Panda-self. That means having fun on the diamond while being productive. Our trade deadline acquisitions need to step it up. Scutaro has done very well, actually, but Pence needs to heat up and stay hot. If the Giants can get continued excellence from Posey, consistency from Belt, productivity from the Panda, and an impact from their trade acquisitions, they will very very likely win the west. But Priority #3 needs to happen too...

Priority #3: Blanco needs to break out of his slump. He absolutely needs to. Otherwise, everything listed in the above paragraph may not be enough. Blanco has to do his part to replace what we lost offensively in Melky. If he can go back to his form that he had at the very beginning of the season when he was a regular outfielder, that would be more than enough. But he simply can't be a dud in the 7-spot every day. He has to give some sort of production.

Priority #4: The Giant's can't be depressed. Remember, the Giants won the World Series in 2010 with no superstars or MVP candidates. Posey was merely a rookie and the lineup quite literally sucked. Pitching was what got us that far. That is why Priority #1 is so important; with good pitching, anything can happen. The Giants need to be opportunistic for the rest of the season. They can definitely win the West. Remember, the Dodgers are not an elite team by any means. The Giants simply have to keep their heads up and get over the loss of Melky. 

Quite simply, they can't cry over spilled Melk.

Then, together, we're Giant!

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