Melky Cabrera sat alone in the dugout last night. He stared across the field at a disappointing season – .243 with 8 homers and 36 RBIs – and another frustrating night.
It was his 24th birthday and an 0-3 game – including an inning-ending double play in the second – wasn’t how he planned to celebrate.
Maybe Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez cheered him up later with a birthday dinner. Or maybe he and his buddy Robinson Cano ate out of the hotel vending machine like so many Latin players have to do in the minors. Or maybe he just sat alone in his room and stared at the walls because he knows there are no guarantees.
It doesn’t matter that he has delivered plenty of big hits and helped this team win plenty of big games. It doesn’t matter how hard he works or how hard he plays.
Baseball is a bottom-line business. But the South Bronx is not a bottom-line neighborhood. And New York – despite the ramblings of outsiders – is not a bottom-line city.
People are important around here so we’ll be busy backing up our centerfielder.