Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers can’t be too proud of the position that he has put himself and his team into. The Tigers are in a 1 game playoff or play-in game versus the Twins today at 5pm. The winner goes on to play the New York Yankees, probably tomorrow, the loser goes home until next year. You would think that in a race that was so tight that every win would count and every game was like a playoff game you would prepare as such...not the case. Sure ball players will go out, even during playoff time..I did when I was playing competitive ball - the whole team did and...we lost the next day, despite being the better team, also we were 16 and not making $150+ million to play. If this was just an alcohol thing that would be one thing we all know about the legendary story of Mickey Mantle hitting a home run by "swinging at the one in the middle," or David Wells pitching his perfect game while hung over.
Leave it to another Detroit team to be involved in an alcohol story at playoff time. In the spring of 1988, a half dozen Detroit Red Wings stayed out after curfew drinking at an Edmonton bar called Goose Loonies on the eve of a Stanley Cup Western Conference final game against the Oilers in which the Wings sought to stave off elimination. They did not.
Cabrera played in last Friday’s loss versus the White Sox, then after while talking to reporters he suggested he planned a quiet night at home to prepare for Saturday’s game. That didn’t quite happen, actually nothing could have been further from the truth. According to reports Cabrera managed to find his way home at around 6am Saturday morning following a night of carousing with some White Sox players. That may not be the best idea at the best of times but even more so when you are your teams best hitter and seen as a leader on the team. If that was the worst thing that happened all would be good, sadly it was not. It was at this point when he got into an altercation with his wife. Fighting with your wife is never good but doing so while intoxicated can only lead to bad things. Regardless on who instigated the altercation it was the wife that made the call to police. Cabrera had scratches on his face, it was not reported if they were inflicted by had or by a weapon like a knife. The police came to the house and took Cabrera to the station where he blew a 0.26 - 3 times the legal limit to drive- legally drunk. The police seemed to hint at the "legal limit to dive" as a way to perhaps lead people to believe that he may have driven himself and not taken a taxi or car service (not that he could afford one with his eight-year, $152.3-million US contract). If that is true this storey could be even worse.
Allegedly, Tigers president Dave Dombrowski was the one who picked up Cabrera at the police station early Saturday morning. When he made it to the ballpark, and asked to explain his facial lacerations Saturday, Cabrera suggested they were the work of the family dog, noting it was a particularly big dog...the cover-up just is not a good idea. Cabrera was in the line up for the 4pm game on Saturday where he stranded 6 runners and went 0-4. At least the baseball gods got that one right. Suffering from the combined effects of a hangover, sleep deprivation and a physical confrontation, you wouldn’t expect one to have the best eye at the plate...and he didn’t.
It is bad enough that he put himself and his team in that situation but should they come up short there will be a lot more questions that people will ask. My question is: If this was a regular guy would he have been let out of jail so quick, just released when his boss showed up? Just seems like a bit of a double standard. Dante Stallworth killed a guy and served virtually no time in prison, is this a money can buy justice type thing? You be the judge. I just hope that the Tigers don’t win, there is just something wrong with him being seen as a hero and celebrating a division title in the clubhouse with a bottle of Champagne and a cigar. I would much rather see him face the public in Detroit or better still a judge in Detroit.