SAN DIEGO -- Though the Giants for the most part have had little public reaction to Melky Cabrera's suspension, his replacement in the lineup, Gregor Blanco, pledged his support for his teammate.
"We have to step up for him," Blanco said Friday, two days after Major League Baseball handed Cabrera a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone.
Blanco expressed admiration for Cabrera's tireless preparation -- "I always look up to him" -- and insisted that other Giants share this sentiment.
"I've talked to guys and they say the same thing," Blanco said.
When Blanco received the news of Cabrera's suspension in a pregame meeting, he said he was briefly shocked. Then he recovered and said to himself, "Let's do this for Melky. ... We're going to do this for him, for us, for the fans, for everybody."
Told that a considerable number of fans are unhappy with Cabrera, Blanco said, "That's something that's out of our hands."
Blanco said that he tried to telephone Cabrera and got no answer.
"I think he's still a little embarrassed," Blanco said. "But he'll be fine."
Because Cabrera was suspended with 45 regular-season games left, he wouldn't be eligible to rejoin the Giants this year unless they qualify for the postseason and play at least five games. If that were to happen, the debate surrounding whether to bring back Cabrera likely would prompt controversy. Not in Blanco's mind. Asked if he'd like to play with Cabrera again, he responded, "For sure, for sure."