The most surprising thing when news broke last week that Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had been suspended for 50 games was not that Cabrera had used performance-enhancing drugs but that Giants management and fans were actually surprised.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean said he "didn't see this coming" and the news was a "punch in the stomach."
Giants fans were all over Facebook and Twitter, shocked that Cabrera was an admitted drug user, that those gaudy numbers suddenly put up by an average major leaguer weren't the result of hard work and the MVP award at last month's All-Star Game wasn't "a great gift that the Lord gave me," as Cabrera said after the July 10 game.
We don't doubt Cabrera worked hard, but the news of his suspension should not have come as a surprise to the Giants or their fans.
Rumors that Cabrera would be suspended for 50 games began circulating on the Internet in late July, and Andrew Baggarly of Comcast Sports Net came under fire when he tweeted about the rumors July 27. After denials from Cabrera, Baggarly apologized in a column on CSNbayarea.com, saying in part " it's important that I issue a public apology to Melky Cabrera for giving greater voice to a rumor that, to the best of my knowledge and on his word, has absolutely no basis in fact."
While it's still unclear when Cabrera and the Giants first were told that the outfielder was being investigated, a report in the New York Daily News on Sunday contends that Cabrera and his representatives went to great lengths, beginning in July, to convince baseball officials that he inadvertently took the banned substance that caused a positive test under baseball's drug program.
So Wednesday's news of Cabrera's suspension and possibly the end of his tenure in a Giants uniform shouldn't have been greeted with surprise by Giants fans.
Anger, disappointment, sadness, bitterness? Certainly.
But surprise? Really?
What to watch
Baseball, Giants at L.A. Dodgers, 7:10 p.m., CSNBA and ESPN2: The Giants have 41 games left; are any bigger than the three-game series starting tonight?
Can the Giants make the playoffs without Melky Cabrera?
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