Friday, February 25, 2011

Cabrera is back where he rightfully belongs - on the field

There are so many things to pick at when it comes to Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera and his DUI arrest.
The alleged swigging of hard liquor in front of police officers. The "don't you know who I am" attitude he reportedly presented. The evidence that keeps mounting strongly suggesting he has a drinking issue.
It'll be a long time before Cabrera will fully earn the trust of fans, management and his teammates. I mean, he was not fully there down the stretch for the Tigers in 2009. Obviously, his dedication to this coming season was not good. He is, justifiably, perceived as the other shoe about to drop. And will be deep into the future.
The term is knucklehead. That's not meant to be mean. It's just what people are saying because it fits Cabrera at this point. There is no defense for getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, especially a person making $20 million per year, who can afford to be driven from Florida to California and back 50 times - and still have plenty of pocket change.
It's just that I disagree with the notion, the Tigers should keep him off the field. Or that he must be locked up for the public's safety.
First of all, the Tigers aren't the bad guys in this. They not only need to protect their investment, they also need Cabrera to flourish. He is the best hitter they have had in my lifetime and a Hall of Fame caliber player. I think he is the best hitter in the game. I'm not alone.
The Tigers are running a business with an annual budget conservatively estimated at $200 million per year - 10 percent of which goes to pay their top player's salary.
The other thing, who is to say Cabrera wouldn't better dealing with this issue while playing? While the road is tempting and the baseball lifestyle slanted toward the "beer or two after the game" mentality, it is much easier to keep him under control when he is under the watchful eye of the team.
There is also the matter of due process. This is, albeit technically because he wasn't charged with anything in Birmingham in 2009, a first-time offense for Cabrera. He shouldn't be treated by the law and Major League Baseball any differently than anyone else. I have no issues with the way the Tigers are handling this matter.
The only thing I do wish, is that Cabrera would admit that has a drinking problem. There does seem to be self-denial going on there.

Random Thoughts

- The piling on Richard Hamilton continues. The Pistons reportedly could have traded him to Cleveland, but only if he had agreed to an undisclosed buyout of his contract. Yeah. So he is selfish for not giving up $25 million the next two years? Please. Joe Dumars made his bed here when he gave Hamilton that contract extension. Don't blame Hamilton because the Pistons - and their confused and suffering fans - have to sleep in it.

- Three reasons Michigan's basketball team has turned the corner: Tim Hardaway Jr, Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan.

- If I'm the Carolina Panthers, I'd take Missouri QB
Blaine Gabbert with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. He is the most underrated player in this draft, and a much better player than Jimmy Clausen



Blogger Fred Brill said...

I couldn't agree more with your points Pat, I guess all that's left now is to see what the court appearance brings.

I can't imagine Miggy simply walks out of the court room and goes back home - paying merely a fine. He went a little over the top for that. And a DUI like his is a big deal and should have a legal penalty.

At least yank his license and force him to get a driver. And some jail time wouldn't hurt either - although it hurts the Tigers more than Miggy.

You just can't do that and walk away.

It's one thing to say that his employer should treat him differently than other employees.

But not the legal system.

Although it is Florida.

12:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope you are feeling better Pat. Glad to see you back typing for my enjoyment.

1:06 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

I don't know that I know enough about alcohol rehab to have an opinion as to whether he should be on the field now. I do know of course that the Tigers would be under enormous pressure to see that he misses no games.

That said, I don't think they could have handled his previous situation any worse by allowing him on the field in a known inebriated state, Leyland alleging he didn't know of Cabrera's condition at game time and also angrily chastising anybody that wanted to talk about as engaging in "gossip".

I guess I give them the benefit of the doubt this time but....

2:28 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

We pretty much agree on Cabrera.

That Hamilton extension was one of Dumars' worst moves ever, and I said that at the time too. The whole point of the Billups trade was suppose to be to free up cap space for the summer of 2010, then he wastes a huge chunk of that by giving the lesser of the two guards a huge extension.

Then when you combine that with nonsensically wasting the rest on two 3 point shooters that don't play defense it really looks like Joe had no plan whatsoever.

3:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It's a first-time offense for DUI and rarely do people get jail time in that case. His behavior with police was really bad, and might make a difference. His right to drive will be revoked, which will cause him much less hardship than an Average Joe.

6:14 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

To you and everybody else who send good wishes while I was recovering from surgery, I appreciate it. Glad to be working again. And it's great to be back doing this blog.

6:15 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
Couldn't agree with you more about 2009. There is no way Miggy should have been allowed to play that night against the White Sox.

6:17 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
Unless Dumars' plan was to have 11 clones take the floor doing the exact same thing.

6:18 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glad you're feeling better.

RE Cabrera, I have a bad feeling we're looking at another Probert situation. The Wings used to send Probie out for a spin dry, then bring him right back, then he'd fall off the wagon again and get sent off, then back playing again, then...

This went on for some years.

That's what I'm picturing when the Tigers bring back Cabrera so quickly. And there is really no "watchful eye" when he's with the team, not unless he consents to 24 hour surveillance, and the Tigers pay for it, which they won't. He's free to do whatever he wants.

If he's one of the greatest hitters ever, and I agree he just may be, then he's worth more than throwaway handling, under short term thinking.

11:45 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess if you are a star in sports, movies, whatever you are allowed to get away with almost anything. There were no consequences to beating up his wife while drunk, driving in Birmingham. How can it be said a first time offence when we all know it happened before? I am more disgusted with the Tiger's stance (and sports writers) on this. protect our "star" , sweep it under the rug, while we keep our heads in the sand. I hoe it's not your family member he injures or kills.

9:29 AM 
Blogger Lynn Benoit said...

Yep, can't deny Cabrera has a drinking problem. OK. He's in a "program" now.

This fan is ready for baseball. I hope Cabrera bats well and stays sober so he can do his job. Beyond that, it seems to me, is none of our business.

10:35 AM 

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