No Run Support

Detroit Tigers baseball and other nonsense

Miguel and responding to all this

Photo © Allison Hagen

I’ve been stewing since 8am yesterday morning.

This is not the place for me to yammer about personal stuff,  but I’ve had a lot going on, so forgive me if it took me longer than some other writers to process all this. I also didn’t want to write my knee-jerk reaction, as it wasn’t worth posting anywhere. I still don’t really know what to say.

Most of yesterday, I was angry with him, and hurt. I felt like the times I met him last year when he seemed so happy and at peace were just lies. I know it sounds silly, but when you follow a team through 162+ games a year, you feel close to those playing on it.

I felt so confident about Cabrera over this offseason that I wrote a fluffy, but honest piece for the back page about Miguel in the Tigers Annual. It mentions how fan-friendly he has been in the past year, compared to the past. Stuff about looking foward to another great year. It definitely stung when I took a minute to skim it yesterday.

The thing is, nobody except the people actually involved knows what happened the other night. And nobody but those same people know how it will – how it should – be handled. I’m not sure if Wednesday night was just a slip-up and he needs to be roped in again, or if it’s something he’s made a habit and just managed to keep under wraps until this week. Does he need to be in inpatient rehab? Is he a person who cannot handle drinking at all? Hell if I know. That’s not my call.  If I had been thrown in rehab every time I did something stupid or dangerous while drunk over the years, I would probably be penniless and jobless. Go ahead and judge me. What I’m saying is, unless you’re intimate with a person’s situation, how is it fair to say they should live their life one way or the other? It’s not, as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, The Detroit News (along with other outlets) spoke to his offseason strength coach. This is what he observed:

Q: If he had been getting drunk, would it be possible to hide that from you?

A: “It would extremely hard to hide it. I mean, we do an hour and a half worth of speed and agility training. Down here in Florida, it’s not too cold down here. And we do it outside. So he wouldn’t be able to perform as well as he did. This off-season was, by far, the best off-season I’ve seen him train. He increased all his personal records as far as in the weight room and in the field with speed and agility stuff. There was no way that he could have hid going out or anything like that. He was on-point as far as anything like that.”

If you think about it, he does have a point. He also mentioned they trained five days a week for several hours a day. Someone getting blasted every day would potentially have a tough time with it. I am not trying to defend Cabrera here, I’m just trying to piece together how he got from seemingly normal to a complete disaster in the span of less than a day.

But since it’s now hard to trust Cabrera, one thinks, “Well, he apparently had a problem all season long in 2009. That didn’t stop him from putting up near-MVP numbers.” This is true, though I’m under the impression that during the season players don’t usually train that hard every day unless they are coming back from time off or an injury.

As far as reporting to spring training goes, GM Dave Dombrowski had this to say yesterday afternoon:

“We’re still talking about that. He would love to be here tomorrow, but we still need to work through some of this.”

That gives us the impression that he isn’t being sent to rehab, but that they are figuring out another plan to make sure he’s okay. Nevertheless, Miguel not only was in a car drunk the other night, but in his inebriated haze was disrespectful to police officers trying to take him away to safety. This is something that isn’t okay, and sets a bad example for the millions of eyes on him every day. Should he apologize to his teammates and the other people counting on him to show up to camp and prepare for the season? Yes, I think so, but that’s between Cabrera and them. Right now I think he just needs to get back out on the field and do his job. If he is in need of more stringent help, he is surrounded by the tools to get it. His teammates have expressed undying support. In my experience most fans have expressed the same. Hopefully in moving on from this, he can get his stuff together, put up another MVP caliber year and actually win the award in 2011.


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