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Cabrera had a previous run-in with the law

Oct 6, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

File this under stuff no one ever would have known or cared about if Miguel Cabrera hadn’t screwed up on Saturday:

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.

After that things apparently escalated, and Cabrera — though unarmed — implied that he had a gun out in his car.  He was not charged, but the irony police did issue the often out-of-shape Cabrera a citation for making fun of someone else’s weight.

The significant thing about this is that the Tigers were made aware of it at the time, their security people got involved, and Cabrera was ordered by the team to avoid the bar.  He didn’t, however, because according to this and other stories in the Detroit News, Cabrera’s Friday night/Saturday morning drinking occurred at the same place.

Last night Matthew argued that the Tigers should bench Cabrera for tonight’s playoff. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not, but let’s do the math: (a) the team knew that Saturday was not Cabrera’s first problem with going out and getting rowdy; (b) the team knew that Cabrera had violated their specific order that he stay away from that particular bar; and (c) the team nonetheless allowed him to play on Saturday and Sunday.

In light of this, if the Tigers bench Cabrera they should get absolutely no credit for “doing the right thing.”  To the contrary, because they had all of the same information in hand over the weekend and took no action against Cabrera, benching him now would constitute a transparent P.R. move on the team’s part, not something they do because they actually think that Cabrera is deserving of punishment.

  1. martha - Oct 6, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    As a proud venezuelan and a true baseball fan I find the attitued displayed by Miguel Cabrera was shamefull and destructive, and in need of control and punishment. We are bringing up children towards sports focusing on these people to put an example. I beleive, sadden by his behaviour, that he should be not only benched but suspended as they do to the players in the NFL, who as soon as the teams have the facts of the infoumus act, suspend inmediatly the player.
    Sad, sad news…hope you get straight Miguel, not only for your fans and family…but for your own sake!

  2. motorcitykitty80 - Oct 6, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    The time to bench Miguel is long gone… The Tigers organization was well aware of this little bender he went on friday night, as the president and general manager is the one who sprung him from the clink at 7:30 am on saturday… Miguel should have sat out saturday’s game. Its almost as if the organization was silently implying to the public “well if it doesn’t get out to the media it’s not worth punishing him for” -well it got out and now its too late for punishment. To have Miguel sit out now would NOT be punishing Miguel, it would be punishing his fellow teammates, his organization, but above all it would be a huge punishment for the fans and city of Detroit.
    The only way to make this problem ease a little is to win today against the Twins – otherwise, Miguel (deservedly so) becomes the poster child for an epic collapse to a promising season…

  3. Dan - Oct 6, 2009 at 10:13 AM

    I’m a Twins fan and I think he should be allowed to play today. I don’t think it’s right to punish baseball fans: Detroit needs their slugger and, to me, it would be a hollow victory if we beat the Tigers when they’ve intentionally handicapped themselves.
    Maybe a team fine, or some sort of punishment last season.
    Just curious, if charges had been filed, would the league suspend Cabrera at some point? I know some sports seem to suspend players just for making the news in a negative fashion; they don’t want players making the league look bad.

  4. yacantfixstupid - Oct 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Come on…this guy is an overpaid child. He is making millions playing a game. If he can’t control his attitude and his liquor his parents (in this case the management of the Detroit Tigers) need to tan his ass. If the fans of Detroit think it would be unfair to prevent him from playing(oh boo freakin’ hoo)…take money out of his pocket. Fine him until he has to change his ways. You won’t get a child to act like a man.

  5. ryan - Oct 6, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    “police did issue the often out-of-shape Cabrera a citation for making fun of someone else’s weight.”
    Are you kidding me? You can get a citation for making fun of someone’s weight? Just the jokes you guys make in your articles should be deserving of a citation then, no?

  6. Dale C. Scott - Oct 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Hey, Martha —– Your words hit the nail right on the head. Thank you.

  7. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM

    He is making millions playing a game. If he can’t control his attitude and his liquor his parents (in this case the management of the Detroit Tigers) need to tan his ass.

    Is this some new euphemism that I’m unaware of?

  8. bert - Oct 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    to “tan someone’s hide” is actually a very old euphemism, along the lines of “taking someone behind the woodshed”

  9. pajamash - Oct 6, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Why shouldn’t he be punished. I will give the example of George Patton slapping a soldier. Patton was punished during World War II. If Patton can be punished during such a crucial time why can’t Cabrera before a baseball game?
    The following is from Wikipedia – “Near the end of the Sicilian campaign, Patton jeopardized his career by slapping a soldier recuperating from battle fatigue at a hospital; Patton considered him a coward. The well-publicized incident caused General Dwight D. Eisenhower to relieve him of command. Thus, instead of playing a major part in the Normandy Landings and Operation Overlord, he was relegated to commanding the decoy mission Operation Quicksilver.”

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