Blog Entry

Skeptical reactions to Tigers, Cabrera abound

Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: February 25, 2011 12:43 pm
Miguel Cabrera faced the media Thursday afternoon following a week-long hiatus in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. It was his second alcohol-related offense since the fall of 2009. Not surprisingly, many in the media were not impressed with Cabrera's statements nor the fact that the Tigers are letting back with the team -- he's already working out with his teammates. Here's a sampling from around the 'net:

- Michael Rosenberg writes that Cabrera said some right things, but not enough.
Ask yourself this: What if Cabrera were your brother?

Imagine that your brother got completely hammered on the eve of his biggest work day of the year, then allegedly got into a dispute with his wife and police were called. Suppose he then went into a treatment program and came out promising he was a "new man" ... but also saying "I don't know how to explain, but it's not an alcohol problem."

Then, imagine that, a year later, your brother was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Imagine him allegedly taking a swig of scotch in the car after the police showed up. And then imagine him saying he was terribly sorry for this incident ... but also ducking questions about whether he had fallen off the wagon before, and saying it wasn't up to him to say he is an alcoholic.

You would be terrified, right?
He also notes there are reasons to be skeptical there won't be a third offense. (Detroit Free-Press )

- Jeff Passan pans the organization for not punishing Cabrera, calling them the "Pussy Cats" instead of the Tigers. (Yahoo! )
Seriously, what does Cabrera have to do for the Tigers to punish him? Run a dog-fighting ring? Kill someone? Insult Little Caesars? Cabrera’s apology, delivered Thursday almost entirely in Spanish and translated by assistant general manager Al Avila, was a joke. He still refuses to admit that he is an alcoholic. He hid behind medical privilege rather than answer legitimate questions, such as why doctors recommended he rejoin the booze-soaked baseball life today rather than check in to a rehabilitation center.
- Jayson Stark notes that if Cabrera doesn't want to publicly admit he has a drinking problem, he should at least do so to himself. ( )
There was no doubt Cabrera was nervous. Nobody would dispute that he was genuinely repentant. And we understand that he's far more comfortable answering questions about how it is he can launch opposite-field home runs into distant upper decks than he is answering pointed questions about addiction.

Nevertheless, this is an important point. Does it matter whether Miguel Cabrera can say the word "addiction" in a nationally televised news conference? Not really. But what does matter -- what's critical here, in fact -- is whether he can admit to himself that he has an addiction problem serious enough to jeopardize his otherwise great career.
- Joe Lemire believes Cabrera's return to the diamond is too quick and lacks any real ownership of the situation. ( )
... on a day when Cabrera wasn't ready to concede he had a problem with alcohol, his hasty return to baseball is, quite clearly, a problem of insufficient accountability.
 - Craig Calcaterra points out that while checklists aren't always perfect, Cabrera is able to check a lot of problem areas off on a list of warning signs. (NBC's Hardball Talk )
* He drank scotch when he was pulled over, suggesting that he drinks to deal with problems;
* By virtue of the incident before the White Sox series in 2009 and his late start to spring training this year, alcohol has interfered with his job;
* The altercation with his wife showed that it has impacted his personal relationships;
* The 2009 thing showed he had a damn high tolerance.
- Bob Wojnowski says Cabrera now needs to earn back his trust. (Detroit News )
I'm not a doctor and probably neither are you, so there's no sense trying to define Cabrera's exact level of addiction. But it's a bit surprising he's already in camp, already taking batting practice, while undergoing out-patient treatment through Major League Baseball. He can be inserted in the lineup whenever Jim Leyland deems him ready, and physically, it won't take him long to be ready.

Emotionally? Call me a softie — go ahead, I'm used to it — but I always believe in trying to fix people. The harsh truth is, it doesn't always work.
-- Matt Snyder

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Category: MLB

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:38 pm

Skeptical reactions to Tigers, Cabrera abound

This is a society that forgives everything for success unless it is the finally straw.  Example: Charlie Sheen.  Look at this guy.  He does everything possible to lose his job.  In fact, we would be in jail, locked up, lose our jobs, if we did what he has done.  It was only until the final straw came that CBS cancelled the Men show (4 1/2 men since that boy is huge now!).  Cabrera is no where near the bottom for the Tigers I guess.  He might have to hurt someone, strip naked and run in the street, or anything else horrible to get in trouble.  If I were the team, I would suspend him now until I know he was better.

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