Melky Cabrera has had a May to remember

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His April wasn’t that damn bad either.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that most people thought the Giants lost the Jonathan Sanchez-Melky Cabrera trade with Kansas City. Some did. A lot of people thought it was even. Among those who thought the Giants won it, I think it was less about them getting an awesome player as much as it was thinking that the Giants got the bird in the hand rather than the two in the bush that is Sanchez.

No matter the case, I don’t think anyone figured that Cabrera would match his 2011 production once he moved to AT&T Park, and no one thought he’d be playing All-Star caliber ball. But that’s what he’s doing. And he just set an interesting team record too.

Cabrera went 3 for 4 last night, which put him at 50 hits for the month of May. That’s the most hits in May for a Giant ever, passing Willie Mays’ record. The most hits for a Giant in any month ever were Randy Winn’s 51 in September 2005. Cabrera has a game to match that. And he won’t be doing it against expanded rosters like Winn did.

Overall, Cabrera is is hitting .376/.420/.556 in the Giants’ first 50 games, which is actually more than All-Star caliber ball. It’s MVP-level production. Who’d a thunk it?

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on it as precedent. Finally, it should be noted that in issuing this statement, the Astros have given at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech, which seems less-than-ideal at best.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?