If the rest of the country wasn’t aware of the awesomeness of Melky Cabrera, they are now.
The cult hero stole the show in his return to Kansas City on Tuesday night, singling and scoring in his first at-bat, then clubbing a two-run homer in his third triumphant trip to the plate.
Those two at-bats earned Melky the MVP of the All-Star Game, an effortless 8-0 win for the National League. If the Giants advance to the World Series, they would host Game 1 on October 24.
Cabrera is the first Giant to win MVP of the mid-summer classic in almost 40 years. Bobby Bonds won the award in 1973. That game was played in Kansas City, as well.
The Chronicle’s John Shea caught up with Cabrera after the game:
“I didn’t come to win an MVP. That’s just a surprise. It’s a great gift the Lord gave me.”
Melky had a smile on his face the whole time. While circling the bases on his home run, he tried to high five Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, one of his best friends in baseball. Cano, probably happy for his buddy, didn’t accept Melky’s gesture.
It’s time for everyone to give Cabrera some credit. He’s not a one-year wonder. He’s not a fluke. He’s the real deal. 201 hits last year. A major league-leading 119 hits at the All-Star break this year. Anyone that tries to debate the National League MVP and doesn’t include Cabrera is lying to themselves.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old is a budding superstar, and he showed the country that on Tuesday night. But with every hit, he keeps increasing his price tag. General manager Brian Sabean might want to spend the next few days coming up with a deal that Melky can’t refuse. They can’t risk losing an impact bat like Cabrera’s.