Now, certain key scenarios have taken a hit, proving the known is really unknown. A total recall.
1.) The N.L West - The dream lasted for 117 games. But, with Melky's positive test, and suspension, the Giants star was quickly cast into the book of cheating and shame - Authored by McGwire, Bonds and Palmeiro - where he will forever be looked at as one thing, a fraud. Unfortunately for the Giants, the team impact will be even more devastating. Especially, within the division.
It wasn't any hidden secret, the Giants line-up was missing strength with Cabrera in it. Now, the pressure on Posey, Sandoval and fan-favorite Hunter Pence to produce down the stretch is crucial. Sans Cabrera's .346 average, the task may be difficult, and almost too much, for a team that has not been able to rely on a complete pitching rotation the entire season - Even the Bay Area would not bet the mortgage on Lincecum and Zito collecting W's with less than 3-runs of support-per-game.
The controversy on Cabrera will hang around the locker room for the rest of the season, and it may be the buzzing-bee of distraction Giants brass do not want looming. But, that is the case. Yes, Cabrera came out, directly, and admitted his wrong-doing. Yes, the Giants fans, and of the game itself, will have to go back to the drawing board and find another player that is, "doing it clean," again. Are the Dodgers watching this unfold more closely than any trade-deadline acquisition made in Los Angeles? Absolutely. Matt Kemp may get a small suspension for his outburst in Pittsburgh, today, but the appeal process will keep him in the line-up when the two teams start a series this Monday. Sadly, with the Dodgers pitching clicking, that spells trouble for the Giants.
Even more sadly, many people have already forgiven Cabrera because he admitted cheating, when others did not. Either way, the Giants lose.
2.) The Deal - Much like the Phillies and Cliff Lee, the Mariners have been toying with the idea of trading away Felix Hernandez for a blockbuster package of young, MLB-ready players in order to rebuild for the future. Yesterdays "perfect game," and the previous Yankees shut-down, should quickly hinder any idea of the sort. Unless the deal would send an All-Star caliber leadoff thru clean-up, the Mariners should stay put with King Felix. The team needs experienced talent to build around Hernandez - who is a true ace - not inexperienced talent to build around nothing. Dealing him would not only take fans out of the seats, it would also make seats in the front office extremely hot!
3.) The Mets - The knuckle-ball is a difficult pitch to hit...if it knuckles. The balloon-sized image coming towards a professional hitter, when the knuckle ball doesn't dance, is a completely different story. The reliance on R.A Dickey and the resurgent Santana to bolster a staff and team has left the New York Mets in a gaping hole. A 9-22 record since the break has once again shot down the hopes of the Mets faithful, leaving them looking up in what is a weak division. Dickey has still proven he is the best on the staff, and the Cincinnati game was a simple act of the ball not dancing. It will happen. But, Terry Collins has announced he will go with a 6-man rotation the rest of the season, keeping Dickey every 5-games. The reasoning does not stem from having too much talent on the staff. It comes from having too little. Those that thought the Mets could make a run may want to rethink their judgment. Terry Collins just did.
4.) The Clock - If people in the Washington D.C area have been late for meetings, dates and business lunches it's because they are watching the 'Strasburg Clock" and not their own. Stephen Strasburg is catching up to his innings-max, quickly. And, it is during the key time of the season. Many experts have questioned if the move will actually happen, and what impact it will have on the Nationals team. The front office has said the shut-off will go accordingly, no question. But, the ground breaking territory in saving a young stars arm aside, what about the playoff run and the World Series, most importantly? The pennant does not only grow indigenous in the Washington area. Other teams have the same aspirations as the Nationals, and they will look to get better, currently and for the future. Once the clock strikes zero, we all know what will happen in D.C. It's when things go into the negative we do not.
Will there be a recall? Totally?