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Dopers should know better: GM

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SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean says his club has two suspended veteran players who should know better than to use performance-enhancing drugs.

A day after outfielder and All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera received a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test, Sabean said Thursday he was shocked when he received word of the suspension from Major League Baseball on Wednesday morning, not long before San Francisco's series finale against the Washington Nationals. Manager Bruce Bochy broke the news to his team about 90 minutes before first pitch.

"I was so taken aback it was deflating," Sabean said. "I was actually in the meeting with Bruce when he talked to the players and I kind of got emotional because I didn't see something like this coming. We've all been around this game a long time. You get used to making changes and adjustments. Things happen out of left field, a lot like life, and this was one of those things you're punched in the stomach with. But you've got no choice but to figure out how to move on."

The Giants -- who trailed the Dodgers by one game in the NL West heading into Thursday's off day -- will continue to work to educate players regarding the major league drug program.

"In our case, it's two veteran players who should know the policy and should know the consequences and should know better," Sabean said on a conference call. "We follow the lead of Major League Baseball, and they do have a program in place, along with the union. I think our staff has been very diligent and has bent over backwards."

Gregor Blanco will move into the regular role as left fielder in place of Cabrera, who joins reliever and teammate Guillermo Mota as two of the four big leaguers suspended this season.

San Francisco is calling up right-hander Eric Hacker and outfielder Justin Christian ahead of a weekend series at San Diego. In terms of finding another outfielder or hitter via the waiver wire, Sabean isn't optimistic that will happen to boost his roster for the playoff push.

"Not too compelling or interesting," said Sabean, who made several late-season acquisitions that paid off during his team's improbable run to the World Series title two years ago.

Sabean began to hear rumblings last month of a possible positive test by Cabrera, who publicly acknowledged to CSN Bay Area on July 27 that he had been tested the previous week.

"When it first came out, I think we were taken aback and wondering if it was rumour or it had any substance," Sabean said. He noted his trade with Philadelphia to acquire right fielder Hunter Pence on the July 31 trade deadline was a separate case altogether as Pence is someone the Giants tried to get at last year's deadline.

The Giants had already spoken with Cabrera's representative about a possible contract extension considering he becomes a free agent after this season, yet those talks didn't last long as it was -- well before the suspension.

"It was a conceptual conversation and it never really went anywhere," Sabean said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 17, 2012 $sourceSection0

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