SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Giants canceled an order for 20,000 Melky Cabrera T-shirts just in time.
Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said Tuesday that the order was stopped just before printing after Cabrera received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball last Wednesday following his positive test of testosterone.
The original shirts had featured last month's All-Star game MVP but have now been replaced by a "Gigantes" version with center fielder Angel Pagan's name on the back, Slaughter said. They will be handed out in a giveaway for a Sept. 8 game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
Earlier Tuesday, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig banned Cabrera associate Juan Nunez — a consultant to the outfielder's agents — from all team clubhouses.
Baseball officials said they discovered that Nunez purchased a website and attempted to create evidence to support a claim that the outfielder inadvertently took the substance that caused a positive drug test.
Cabrera's suspension came with 45 games remaining in the regular season. He will serve the remainder of the suspension at the start of 2013 or during the postseason, depending on whether the Giants make the playoffs and how far they advance. If the Giants wanted him to become active in the middle of a playoff series, they would have to play a man short from the start of the series until the suspension ends because rosters can't be altered mid-series.
The 28-year-old Cabrera, who is set to become a free agent after the season, was batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco. He is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big league career.
Flashing bright orange spikes, he singled and hit a two-run homer off Texas pitcher Matt Harrison last month in the National League's 8-0 win in the All-Star game, earning MVP honors and securing homefield advantage for the World Series.
San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean acknowledged last week that the club had preliminary talks with Cabrera's representatives about a contract extension but they didn't go far.