Cabrera has been down this road before

Seems that Miguel Cabrera doing stupid drunk things in suburban bars is nothing new:

During an altercation at a Birmingham bar in August, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera allegedly mocked a teenager about his weight and challenged a man to a fight in an incident that resulted in no criminal charges but prompted Tigers management to order Cabrera to avoid the bar, according to information provided to The Detroit News . . .

. . . In the August incident, according to the information, a man told Birmingham police that he and an unnamed teen encountered Cabrera at the Rugby Grille on Aug. 31 about 6:30 p.m. Cabrera allegedly asked the teen, who weighs about 300 pounds, “What’s up, big boy? You need to work out,” according to the information provided to The News.

It escalated a bit afterwards, with Cabrera making veiled (albeit pathetic) threats that he had a gun out in his car. The Tigers knew about that incident at the time and helped defuse it with the cops.

They also told Cabrera not to go back to that bar. The same bar where he set up shop on Friday night/Saturday morning. To sum up, we have multiple incidents about which the Tigers knew, and Cabrera directly violating a team order to find a different place to hang out. Some folks are wondering whether the Tigers should bench Cabrera tonight. Given that there is nothing they know now that they didn’t know on Saturday morning, the Tigers benching Cabrera tonight will be an utterly empty gesture in P.R. (after all, they didn’t bench him on Saturday).

My view: the Tigers should play him tonight — why punish the fans and Cabrera’s Tiger teammates because he’s a jackass? — and get Cabrera involved in some sort of alcohol and behavioral program this offseason.

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  1. mando3b said...

    Let’s see: alleged superstar gets ratfaced drunk on the final weekend of the season as the team that built its lineup around him is fighting for his life. He then winds up going 0-7 the final two games. ShysterBall’s spin: he may be a jackass but boys will be boys and anyway it’s the front office’s fault. What’s wrong with this picture? Why should we assume that his team mates would consider it “punishment” to have him on the bench under these circumstances?

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    That’s not my spin at all. My view is that if the Tigers do decide to bench him, it won’t be because THEY think that Cabrera did something wrong. If they did think what he did was wrong, they would have benched him on Saturday and/or Sunday.  If they bench him now it will because they are caving to P.R. pressure, not because they think it’s the right thing to do.

    Either way, there’s no escaping the fact that not having Cabrera in the lineup will diminsih the Tigers’ chances at victory, and that will be a negative for the team and the fans. Acknowledging such a thing in no way excuses Cabrera’s behavior, and it should absolutely be taken into account when figuring out what to do with him. If the Tigers want to do that, great, that’s up to them.

    The larger point is that benching him and fogetting about it is not the best course of action. Indeed, it may not even be much punishment for him given how little he seems to care about the actual games anyway.  The bigger issue here is that Cabrera seems to have trouble with alcohol and his behavior, and the best thing the Tigers can do is to help him straighten out his life. That won’t happen tonight, no matter what they do. It can start to happen in an offseason program.

  3. Rob in CT said...

    That’s not his spin.  His spin is:

    The Tigers knew about this crap for a while, as it has been an ongoing thing.  They have, so far, not chosen to do anything about it, and that includes the last couple of games (they knew about this most recent incident, and yet did not bench him).  The only thing that has changed is that the rest of us know what they already knew a few days ago.  Therefore, benching him now would be a bullshit PR move.  It would also hurt the ballclub in the short term, consider he’s their best player, but that’s not really the point.

  4. Chris in Dallas said...

    Craig:  Yeah, you’ve pretty much summed it up.  Now go tell that to the Tigers blogosphere.  They are, in a word, not taking this story very well…

  5. Rob² said...

    I can only guess that MLB is hoping to the high heavens that the Twins win today so that they can at least have the next week be fluff stories about the final days of baseball at the Metrodome instead of Cabrera’s alcohol and domestic problems.

    Although how pathetic will it be if (when) Cabrera comes up to bat against the Yankees, eliciting the obvious comparison to those alcoholic superstars of the 50’s and 60’s, and McCarver excuses it all with misplaced nostalgia for the “different time” in which Mantle, et al were behaving badly.

  6. Mitch said...

    On August 31, the Tigers played the Rays in a 1:05 start.  The game lasted 2 hours and 50 minutes, placing the end of game at 3:55, but Cabrera actually came out of the lineup early.  Regardless, it took him a little over 90 minutes to get to the Rugby Grill, get sloshed and make fun of a teenager.  More likely, he started drinking in the clubhouse, drove under the influence and then made fun of the teenager.  Classy guy, Miggy C, classy guy.

  7. Beanster said...

    A lot of serious, important topics here for sure, but what about the whole pot/kettle angle:

    “Cabrera allegedly mocked a teenager about his weight… ‘What’s up, big boy? You need to work out,’ according to the information provided to The News”

    I mean, this is Detroit’s most famous arepa* lover we’re talking about!

    * Venezuela’s signature fast food is the arepa, a cornmeal pocket stuffed with a savory filling, usually grilled in a light coating of oil. Depending on the filling, a snack of arepas can pack 550 calories or more. The arepa, rather than hard cheese, is Cabrera’s weakness. (from 2007 article)

  8. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    Nobody’s keying on the irony of Cabrera mocking someone about being fat? Really?

    A lot of serious, important topics here for sure, but what about the whole pot/kettle angle:

    Finally. *Whew*

  9. Jeff said...

    I don’t always agree with you, but you are exactly right on this one.  The Tigers should have benched Cabrera Saturday AND Sunday.  The position he is in as far as a chance at a division title, a shot at the playoffs and World Series, is a position a lot of major league players never get a shot at in their career, and he acts like he doesn’t care.  It’s obvious he doesn’t like the negative attention he has garnered, because he really hasn’t been a man about it.  Then to learn he was putting down a teenage fan about his appearance, when he himself battles the same issues that he is putting down, makes him come across as a person who has a serious problem with alcohol, or just a serious problem with dealing with the fame that his skills have brought to him along with the fat paycheck he commands.

  10. umpty said...

    i watched a four game series in chattanooga (the southern league) when cabrera was in AA for the marlins.

    i wasn’t at all impressed with his attitude, then.

    i understand that the national anthem isn’t his national anthem, but he was totally oblivious to the ceremony.

    and, it was obvious that he was being treated as the AA team’s star player…when he was, what, eighteen or nineteen?

    sure, he’s a hell of a hitter.  but he’s never been much of a defensive player at any position, and i got the distinct feeling that he’s one of those guys who’s so talented that he’s willing to skate by on that talent, rather than work to improve his weaknesses…and, further, that he was allowed to do so, because he’s such an obviously talented hitter.

    i was kinda happy to hear my beloved tigers had picked him up when they did, because he’s the next best thing to manny ramirez with the bat…but he really hasn’t developed much from where he was when he entered the majors, and his lack of care for his body is damn troubling.

    and now…these reports?  jesus.

    i really hope DD and company can get him into some sort of program that will help him get his head and life straightened out some…

  11. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    If the kid wasn’t 300 lbs, we wouldn’t even have this problem, right?

    Sure, because it’s just *fine* for a 26-year-old man to pick a fight with a teenager to get warmed up for beating up a woman.

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