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National League All-Star Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants holds the MVP trophy after the National defeated the American League in Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Kansas City, Missouri in this file photo taken July 10, 2012. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced August 15 that Cabrera has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. REUTERS/Dave Kaup/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have made it clear: They really, really, really do not want Melky Cabrera to be around for the playoffs.

And it could come back to haunt them.

It is a relatively small risk, to be sure. But when the Giants made their decision official to cut ties with Cabrera -- who was eligible to return from his drug suspension for the team's sixth postseason game -- they left themselves vulnerable.

To wit: What if a Giants outfielder is hurt seriously in the last week of the season and is done until next spring? It would be tempting to call up Cabrera and tell him to start swinging a bat. Or what if Gregor Blanco and Xavier Nady (and Brandon Belt) share left field in the division series and can't hit a lick? Wouldn't it be nice to replace them with Cabrera, who batted .391 as a Yankee in the 2009 American League Championship Series?

No. Not happening. Don't even bother to speculate.

"I'm not going to get into anything hypothetical," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Thursday's final home game of the season at AT&T Park. "We've got plenty of outfielders, if you look at our roster. They've stepped up when we needed them. We're going with the 25-man roster we have right now. I think it's in the best interests of the club, if you look at the way we've been playing."

Ouch. Those remarks were certainly a veiled poke at Cabrera's actions and decisions, if not at Cabrera's character itself.

Here's how much the Giants want to ditch the specter and odor of Cabrera: I asked Bochy after his media session if he had personally spoken to either Cabrera or his agent about the decision to leave him off the playoff roster.


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"I haven't talked to either one," Bochy said.

Instead, Bochy explained, someone from the Giants' front office (presumably general manager Brian Sabean or baseball operations vice-president Bobby Evans) had spoken to Cabrera's representatives (presumably agents Seth and Sam Levinson). Not to Cabrera himself.

Ouch. Again.

When you don't even make personal contact with a player to inform him of such a decision -- a player whose hot start, however tainted, was a huge help in launching your team to a division title -- it is a total Frigidaire move. A frosty cold move. A move that demonstrates how fractured the relationship between the Giants and Cabrera has become.

But that Frigidaire-ness is understandable. It was one thing when Cabrera violated baseball's performance-enhancing substance policy to earn his 50-game ban. It was a far different and worse thing the way he left the team minutes after hearing about his suspension, without standing up in the locker room and making an apology to his teammates. This all but guaranteed Cabrera's permanent severance from the Giants.

For contrast, compare Cabrera's actions to that of pitcher Guillermo Mota, who was suspended for PEDs last spring. Mota did make teammate-to-teammate apologies. He even stopped by to visit with the Giants during a May road trip to Miami, near his USA residence, to express support and further remorse.

In part, this explains why Mota is now back on the Giants' roster. And why Cabrera won't be. There also could be impending legal issues involving his alleged fraudulent scheme to set up a phony supplement-company website to give him a PED alibi. The Giants didn't want that distraction, either.

Thursday afternoon after Bochy's announcement, Cabrera and his representatives released a statement that said in part: "While I am disappointed that I won't have the chance to join my team in the playoffs, I wish my teammates the best in the postseason."

The words rang hollow. In the press box, we wondered if Cabrera had yet read the statement to know exactly what he'd said. He and his agents have been running a public-relations campaign that included his request to be removed from the National League batting championship race.

That request was admirable, to a point. But it came in a news release from the Levinsons, not from Cabrera himself standing up in front of anyone and saying it with his own voice. The action seemed designed to put Cabrera in baseball's good graces for contract negotiations with whichever team may want him when he becomes a free agent this winter.

Clearly, that team won't be located in the home clubhouse at AT&T Park. When it comes to the Giants, the Melkman won't ring twice. They're willing to gamble they won't need him. After the final pitch Thursday, players stood on the field and saluted the crowd, and Bochy took the microphone to say: "We're looking forward to seeing all of you at the playoffs."

Well, all except one person. The invitation didn't include everybody.

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.