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Tigers should do the right thing and bench Cabrera

Oct 5, 2009, 5:43 PM EDT

Let’s just forget for a minute the domestic assault, though I still have a frightened woman’s voice running through my head.
Miguel Cabrera betrayed his team on Friday night. It’s one thing to blow off some steam after a tough loss. It’s entirely another for a 250-pound man to blow a 0.26 on a breath test likely at least an hour or so after he stopped drinking.
That’s enough steam to power a locomotive from Detroit to Minneapolis.
And this was the Tigers’ biggest weekend of the year. Cabrera’s wife called 911 at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. This wasn’t a player going out for a couple of hours and then coming home. He was out nearly until dawn, and now the guess is that he was at a hotel partying with one or more members of the White Sox.
Sure, the Tigers could have been all forgive and forget had he shaken off his hangover and launched a homer or two in the series against the White Sox. But he went 0-for-11 with a walk, including 0-for-7 in the two games after the incident. In the bottom of the eighth inning of Saturday’s loss, he grounded into a double play to kill a potential rally with one run already in.
Obviously, the MVP candidate was nowhere near 100 percent that night. Cabrera let his employers down. You know, the ones who signed him to a $152.3 million contract a year and a half ago. He let his teammates down. He let his fans down. And he clearly let his family down.
If he were Adam Everett or Marcus Thames, the Tigers would take a stand and bench him on Tuesday. He’s Miguel Cabrera, though, so it’s not going to happen.
In the Tigers’ defense, that’d just be letting his teammates and the team’s fans down again. The Tigers have worked too hard for seven months to see it all vanish because the team took a stand against its cleanup hitter. Cabrera, though, deserves the fate, and he’ll certainly have some explaining to do this winter.
Dating back to his days with the Marlins, there have been concerns about how Cabrera takes care of himself. He’d never been in trouble with the law before — that we know of — but he wasn’t as into conditioning as anyone would have liked. That’s a big reason why he’s now a full-time first baseman; he began his pro career as a shortstop and showed some early promise at third base.
Hopefully, he’ll be scared straight by the incident. All signs point to him avoiding criminal charges for the scuffle with his wife that left both with minor injuries. If he were a lesser player, the complete lack of regard for his team would probably make him a trade candidate this winter. The Tigers, though, will stand by him, and perhaps he’ll reward them in the end.

  1. greg - Oct 5, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    in my 10 buck an hr job i would have been fired for showing up drunk, i guess there are better perks if you make more

  2. Omega - Oct 5, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    they let this drunken wife beater play after his arrest? doesn’t say a lot for the Tigers organization.
    Give the useless POS a lifetime ban if he is convicted of domestic assault. Give all the useless POS drunken wife beaters in the league a lifetime ban.

  3. Greg Rodich - Oct 5, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    I wish reporters like you would just shut up & find something worthwhile to write about like sports, you are not the judge the owner of the team & you don’t know the whole scene that went down, yet here you are shooting your mouth off just to get your article in. Half assing it is what I call it. DOn’t care if he did this or not, isn’t your call on what gets done, especially since you don’t have all the facts, maybe your boss should bench your ignorant ass.

  4. Joey B - Oct 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM

    ” especially since you don’t have all the facts,”
    Unless the report about the 0.26 BAC is incorrect, what other facts do you want? He basically showed up drunk for arguably the biggest game he’s seen in 6 years. I’ll blow off steam as well as anyone, but there is a time and place for everything.
    You can’t possibly be a Tigers fan and think it’s okay to show up drunk for any game, let alone for one with playoff implications.
    It’s ridiculous.

  5. SickOfSportsSalaries - Oct 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    Fire the punk. Before he kills somebody. What do you want, the Tigers to be loved as much as the Lions? Fire the punk.

  6. Tony - Oct 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    He did not show up drunk for the game, he blew the .26 @ 6 in the morning. Also, he’s not much of a wife beater…did you see his face?
    He was NOT arrested, because both he and his wife beat the crap out of each other, the police could not decide who the aggressor was. He was taken to the police station because his wife wanted him gone. I see no reason to bench him, besides his craptacular play.

  7. Andrew - Oct 5, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    If he wasn’t drunk at the game, he certainly was hungover. Hitting a baseball seems hard enough to do when sober, let alone when it feels like you have an elephant tap-dancing on your cranium.

  8. doc - Oct 5, 2009 at 7:40 PM

    Chill out people. Outrage? WTW? this was a domestic dispute-period. They beat the crap out of each other? Who cares? It’s between them and considering no one shot each other in the leg or beat the crap out of some dogs-how can people be outraged?
    His wife prolly forgave him already and she’s not going anywhere. No one knows the facts yet but who’s to say the story isn’t different than what’s being reported? I’d be much more concerned of the lack of production on one hell of an important weekend! I wouldn’t bench him due to the playoff, it wouldn’t be fair to the team but I would fine him (mid 5 digits)and have him sit 5 games to start the season in order to send a message about team expectations and responsibilities

  9. Warren G - Oct 5, 2009 at 7:47 PM

    While I certainly appreciate some of Mr. Pouliot’s points and agree that Cabrera let down his team this is a poor piece of journalism in my opinion.
    I too have listened to the 911 call and while Mrs. Cabrera certainly sounds upset one of the salient facts to me is her answer of “No” to the question : “Has he ever done this before”.
    The needless link to the article where the Birmingham police state that “We learned that he was possibly at the local hotel with (a) … player from another team, the White Sox. Now, that hasn’t been verified” is of the poorest quality of yellow journalism – repeating an unverified third party rumor.
    Elsewhere in the link Birmingham Police Chief is quoted as saying: “We determined that they both contributed to the domestic assault,” Patterson said. “It was minor in nature. They did have some marks on their faces. We could not determine who the aggressor was.”
    This doesn’t sound to me like a “wife beater”, it sounds to me very much like an isolated incident. One that cannot be condoned but one that must be put in perspective.
    Cabrera needs counseling, not time on the bench.

  10. Colin Ellsworth - Oct 5, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    You’ve got to be kidding! This is not college, where you bench a kid for doing something wrong. He is an adult, who did a horrible adult thing, but it should not effect his contract to play an important baseball game, as is expected of him by his contractual obligation. No way should he be “benched” like you would a kid. He just needs to play through it, just like any adult would work through something.

  11. scary haircut guy - Oct 5, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    They should not bench him because the implications may be worse for the team.
    Instead they should fine him after the season ends and shop him to other teams just to rattle his cage and discuss other options at first base. Find out what the man is really made of.

  12. scary haircut guy - Oct 5, 2009 at 8:22 PM

    Warren, I have to respectfully disagree with a couple of your points. First, I don’t think that there is ever a situation where its ok to beat your wife. first time is just as bad as the sixtieth time and just a little beating or a lot of beating offers no distinction. If you are beating your wife you are a disgraceful-pile-of-crap.
    Second, this is a blog where we are allowed to speculate and write opinions. Speculation on his whereabouts is fair game. I am curious where he was and why he wouldn’t be resting up for the game. If I were part of the Tigers organisation I would certainly question why my best player was out until the wee hours during one of the most important series of the year. It would tick-me-the-hell-off! It only proves that he really doesn’t care if his team wins.

  13. sepulveda - Oct 5, 2009 at 8:46 PM

    Doesn’t matter if the Tigers make the playoffs. The Yankees will knock them off anyway.

  14. Charlie - Oct 5, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    Benching Cabrera ? Are you crazy ? How about all the Drunken Senators and Congressman ? Is there a poll for benching them ? I think the nedia plays a very important role in this issue !!!
    It ia a shame how the systens works…Money after all is what call the shots !!!!!
    Good for the American people who can be manipuled very easyly !!!
    Charalie

  15. GimmeSomeSteel - Oct 5, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    “Doesn’t matter if the Tigers make the playoffs. The Yankees will knock them off anyway.”
    I remember all the self-appointed experts saying that only three years ago.

  16. Beaks - Oct 5, 2009 at 10:35 PM

    This sounds about right for a Detroit team…and I’m a fan for 20 years. Leyland will make this right in his own way. I was a big fan and will wait for judgment after all the facts are out but if this story is true this is just another example of a young sports figure not understanding his role in society and his responsibility to the fans and his city.

  17. Upset Tiger fan - Oct 5, 2009 at 11:26 PM

    Just another embarrassment for the city of Detroit. Here was a chance for Cabrera to set himself apart and put his name in the books as a clutch player. Now he’s out partying during the biggest weekend of his career. What a dumbass. He is not worthy of any uniform. Just another stupid drunken player that can’t take care of himself. And he knew he had problems. The only way out is to seek treatment and make restitution with his family and the community. or go back home.

  18. Mike Erickson - Oct 6, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    I can’t believe these people that are posting. According to most of them, the domestic dispute was just a fight between the two of them, so ignore it … ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? There is NO excuse for a so-called “man” hitting a woman – wife or otherwise. He can home drunk and physically abused her. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
    It’s only because the Tigers “need” him for the play-in game that people are saying forget about the “incident”. The Tiger organization and all fans of that team should be embarrassed and ashamed of what he did, and he should have been suspended IMMEDIATELY. I’m surprised most of all by Jim Leyland. I thought he was a quality person, but evidently it’s ok with him too if he plays. SICKENING!

  19. Bill Cllinton - Oct 6, 2009 at 12:52 AM

    Matthew Pouliot, in my opinion should be wearing a dress and makeup, because it is quite obvious that he has no idea what women are like, especially hispanic women. Cabrera’s wife attacked him and made the politically correct call by reporting him to the police. Funny how none of the police, nor anyone else noticed that Cabrera was the only one who had any physical damage. 10 bucks says that all the men who commented against Cabrera are either gay, feminized men, which are no different than gay men except for the fact that gay men have sex and feminized men do not (their wives have sex, but not them) or are some perverted form of cross dressers.

  20. eric - Oct 6, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    thats hilarious!!!! already coming up with excuses why the tigers blew a 3 game lead with 4 to go!!!! thought the game was a team effort?

  21. Scary Haircut Guy - Oct 6, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Well Bill, since it is obvious that you were in the room and had a great birds-eye-view to all the action (not to mention your expertise on hispanic women and domestic violence in the modern societies) and did such a thorough job in methodical observation, I would say that you cleared it all up for us. In fact I just put on a dress and panties and feel pretty swell about it. Thanks for clearing up that whole sexual ambiguity thing for us. Where should I send my 10 bucks too?

  22. Rich - Oct 6, 2009 at 3:46 AM

    From one Latino to another, BENDEJO, STUPIDIO, MENSO! I would love to have the talent you have and get paid $100,000 a year to play. English translation, ‘Dumb Ass’!

  23. LFresh - Oct 6, 2009 at 5:27 AM

    I heard he was out with Jose Tabata’s old lady boozing all night.
    Or maybe it was Julio Lugo/Armando Benitez/Brian Giles/Chuck Knoblach/Pedro Astacio/Scott Erickson/etc etc.
    Same same but different? These guys are above the law. That is a journalistic fact.
    People, no matter what their profession is, are capable of stupidity and often far worse.
    Bench humanity……

  24. j - Oct 6, 2009 at 7:19 AM

    isn’t it time all the overpaid pro athletes had performance based contracts.
    give them a base salary – and then the bulk of it should be based on performance – on and off the field.
    i think this would have a pretty dramatic effect on the attitude, performance and behaviour of athletes pretty fast.
    what is the motivation of some barely educated kid, with some talent, who gets lucky and signs a mega-contract? why should he bother making the effort? he is already guaranteed of enough money for the rest of his life.
    i am tired of the way some of these athletes complain about stuff – while they are making more in a year than the average worker will earn in a lifetime!
    and as for the argument that they have a short career – do the sums.
    what do you prefer – play pro sports for a few years for a few million + endorsements.
    or, a lifetime on minumum wage?

  25. gary churchill - Oct 6, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Will somebody on the Tiger team explain to the first baseman that his “Friends” played him big time. His “friends” do not pay him many-million dollars a year. The Tigers should give him an IQ test, possibly it’s not his fault?

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