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Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life

Feb 18, 2011, 9:19 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees Getty Images

UPDATE:  In addition to saying that Miguel Cabrera was going to have the biggest year of his life — see below — Jim Leyland just threw one right into my wheelhouse.  Jeff Passan is on the scene passing quotes along:

“Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life. He’s stronger than he’s ever been. And he’s quicker than he’s ever been.”

The BSOML meme is officially broken.  I can’t write about it with a straight face anymore. Well, I probably still will, but I’ll never top Leyland.  Leyland went on to say this about Cabrera’s arrest:

“It has no effect. It might make some dramatic reading material. It’s not going to do shit. Believe me. Nothing.”

I laud Leyland for having his player’s back. But that’s a bridge too far. Cabrera may have a good season because, after all, he’s a great player.  But the man also has a serious problem with alcohol, and that’s not nothing. There will be an effect. There has to be, because Miguel Cabrera needs to change his life.

9:06 A.M.: Jim Leyland spoke to reporters this morning. I would not have guessed beforehand that this is something he’d say about Miguel Cabrera

“he’s probably going to have the biggest year of his life”

Well, it has certainly started out with a bang.

Although I suppose it’s entirely possible too.  If there is any bright side at all to this — and yes, I realize I’m reaching — it’s that this happened just as spring training is getting underway.  There are obviously major issues to deal with here — this was not a case of one too many beers at the barbecue — but he has a month and a half in which his primary job is to focus on physical conditioning. And those around him, including Leyland, the front office, teammates and other, have more time to help him get his head right than they would if the routines of the regular season were underway.

At least that’s the hope.

  1. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    I am starting to wonder if years after his retirement there will be legends of his drinking a la Wade Boggs.

  2. Panda Claus - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    The “biggest” year of his life could be taken either way: great year on the diamond or a great disaster of a year off the field. He’s taken a step towards the latter already, let’s see if he can correct the course.

    As for Leyland’s sentiment, could that be the most ambiguous quote of the year?

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Craig, for fun’s sake, I’ll bet you $20 that Cabrera is the AL MVP this year.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      I’ll put up $2000 that says you’re wrong. How fun would that be???

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Not fun at all. You have to pick a guy to win the MVP instead, then I’ll consider it.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 18, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        It would be an intriguing study in sociology if it came down to Josh Hamilton and Cabrera.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    He’s round, round is a shape….

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      Cabrera? No sir. The scotch bottle is ’round, ’round his person all the time.

  5. phukyouk - Feb 18, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    “Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life. He’s stronger than he’s ever been. And he’s quicker than he’s ever been.”

    Just ask the officer that had to knee him in the leg over and over.

  6. ja4ed - Feb 18, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    I think there was a study recently released that found heavy drinkers workout more often and more intensely. Maybe Leyland read that study.

    • Ace - Feb 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      Is this the study to which you’re referring? Because I’m not sure how scientific it was:,18198/

      • ja4ed - Feb 18, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        Nope, it’s legitimate:

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 18, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Maybe he meant Cabrera FEELS stronger. After half a bottle of Scotch I usually feel like friggin superman!

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      Not me. I usually feel like either Sleepy the dwarf or the smurf.

  8. tomemos - Feb 18, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Not to be a downer, but I’m seriously grossed out by Leyland’s comments. That’s just what Cabrera needs, another person telling him, “You’re fine, you don’t have a problem, just keep hitting the baseball and you can do whatever you want.”

  9. henryd3rd - Feb 18, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Obviously Jim Leylan is a great baseball man and I love that he’s backing his player like this; but please stop lauding this young man who obviously has a serious problem. His greatest accomplishment for 2011 would be staying sober. Many a great sports career, excuse the puns “went up in smoke” or “drowned in a bottle” because of an addiction of one sort of another. Let’s hope that the Tigers get Cabrera the help he needs.

  10. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 18, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Leyland: go back in time and instead say “This will not affect his 2011 performance. However, the Tigers organization is going to help Cabrera with this, and will help him stay on track going forward, and I’m behind that 100%.”

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    the “best shape of my life” articles were that funny and now they are pathetic, time to get a new joke craig

    • phukyouk - Feb 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

      so a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar…..

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