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Octavio Dotel on Miguel Cabrera: “I don’t see him as a leader”

Feb 20, 2013, 7:58 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Eric Adelson of Yahoo! was in Lakeland and he spoke to Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel. Who is still stinging, apparently, that his efforts to get Miguel Cabrera to be go all rah-rah team leadery during the playoffs last season were unsuccessful:

“You have to step up and say something. Miggy’s more about his game. I don’t see him as a leader … Everybody has their eyes on Miggy Cabrera.”

This echoes what Dotel said last fall. And while, sure, you’d like to see your best player be your team leader, Cabrera has never been that guy. He’s reported by everyone to be a quiet, sometimes even introverted type. He is not a likely candidate to lead a team motivational meeting. Especially on a team with a manager like Jim Leyland, guys like Prince Fielder and, as of this year, Torii Hunter.

You’d think that Dotel would know that by now. And that there is zero upside and a lot of downside to saying stuff like this to the press. But then again, Dotel has been on 13 teams in 14 seasons as a big leaguer. I’m guessing that fact and these kinds of comments are somewhat related.

  1. heyblueyoustink - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    ” No Si, mother#@&%*+ !”

    • beelza - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      I’d like JV to tell him to shut the phuk up.

  2. jrs45 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:09 AM


  3. uyf1950 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Who cares if he’s a leader. What important is he “IN THE BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE”. Sorry couldn’t resist that since the article came just after the J.J. Putz piece.

  4. philliesblow - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Some guys lead. Some guys hit the $^%#&@ out of the ball and win Triple Crowns & MVPs. Some guys need to just shut their journeyman trap and enjoy playing on a World Series contender.

  5. papacrick - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Seriously, shut up dude

  6. vincentbojackson - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Rather have a guy speak with his bat than be a damn cheerleader.

    C’mon Dotel, know your roll and stay in your lane.

  7. xmatt0926x - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I think most here agree that this guy should shut his mouth. I don’t care what line of work anyone is in. If it’s the type of atmosphere where there are certain people that become leaders then I think most people give little respect to the people who aren’t really leader types but attempt to act like they are, maybe because their boss asked them to do it. I think that type of insincere rah-rah thing from someone who’s not a natural leader is easy to spot for most people. Like Craig said, it would be great if the people who were the most talented were also your leaders but if it’s not in Cabrera then he should not attempt it. His teammates would love his bat buy roll their eyes at him every time he tried the phony cheerleading crap. Outside of having natural leaders on a team, it;s also a good thing for people to know their roles and Octavio should understand his place and shut the bleep up with the media about a player who will provide much more to their teams success than he will.

  8. unclemosesgreen - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    There are many kinds of leaders, maybe Miggy is one of those who lead quietly, by example of their consistent hard work and production.

    Dotel is a different kind of leader – he leads the league in bridges burned.

  9. louhudson23 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    I don’t think Dotel is knocking him for not being a cheerleader. I think there are times when teams look to their best players for signals. When a star player keeps plugging,remains upright and demonstrates through his body language and attitude that he is there to win and that things will be fine,just keep busting your ass,we can do this and and that nothing is over till the last out and that he will go down fighting. Some great players pull their teams along with them,and others are just another player who can look as lost and bewildered as the the rest of the bench as they watch the ship sink ….no rah rah necessary…..just an attitude and body language can be enough….Cabrera is a very talented guy,but he isn’t “that” guy….

  10. Old Gator - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Well, Octavio, then why not just shut up, stop looking to cause problems in the clubhouse with your big mouth, and be the leader yourself?

    • historiophiliac - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Doesn’t have it in him…

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        He might have once…but he played for the Wilpoons for a while, didn’t he?

  11. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Even if he shouldn’t open his mouth he’s not so off. Think about them in the World Series you’re down 3-0 to the Giants, you look to the leader, to your captain. You look at Miggy who just won the triple crown soon to be MVP one of the best in the game, and say what do we do man. How do we turn this around? I don’t think it’s too far off and yes Leader on a team is WAY overblown. Yet there is some truth too both sides. Dotel isn’t completely wrong. Though he shouldn’t have said it because some people just don’t have that voice in them like lets say Scuturo and Pence have for the Giants when they were riling them up before each game. Still Miggy is one of the best and in that they should follow in his performance.

  12. beelza - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Apparently.Dotel has no problem making dumb-ass statements which will lead to him being booed mercilessly at Tiger Stadium. He’s a mediocre role player at 39 for 3.5 per. When deetroit fans turned on one-time folk hero Inge, they booed his ass down to Toledo and eventually off the roster-and for good reason. He made 2 really bad errors in one month that cost Verlander 2 wins. That was it. You mess with JV, Miggy the fans will be relentless. Dotel may not make it to the All-Star break if he doesn’t shut his donkey ass up. 13 teams, now we know why.

  13. Detroit Michael - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Dotel sort of walked back these comments, but not really.

    “On the field, of course he’s our leader. He’s our horse.”

  14. IdahoMariner - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    My only happiness in having Ichiro traded to the Yankees last year was that I would no longer have to read/hear about how Ichiro just wasn’t stepping up and being a leader. Apparently, it’s not enough that someone is present every day, demonstrates his commitment to the team and the sport by always being in peak physical form, always adhering to a training and flexibility regimen that ensured he was injured extremely rarely, could move at top speed through the outfield and around the bases, and picked up a bat to start practicing for the next season within a week of the old one. The man was one of the best hitters and defenders and baserunners in baseball for almost the entirety of his time with Mariners, and it apparently never occurred to many of his teammates to simply watch, mimic, steal, emulate what he was doing. Or ask him how he did what he did. As I understand the tradition in Japan, the older players lead by example, and it’s the younger ones’ job to ask, train, emulate Ichiro is a quiet guy, steeped in the tradition of a very tradition-oriented country. So, the criticism of some fans, one slightly racist local writer, eric wedge (who is just…so, so wrong on so many levels) and a couple of underperforming teammates just was tiring. So lame, so beside the point. Do your job, and if someone isn’t actively poisoning your workplace atmosphere, but is instead workng his ass off – shut up. Just, work.

    I have nothing but loathing for what Miguel Cabrera is as a person off the field. But even I can see that he is a ridiculously talented hitter. But that is all he is. So, watch him hit and steal what you can from that – whether it’s his prep, or his swing, or that he watches video of pitchers – whatever it is that he does that contributes to being a great hitter. But ignore his baserunning and his fielding, and ignore what he is, or has been very recently, as a person. Don’t try to make someone something they don’t want to be. If he is a quiet guy, leave him alone to be a quiet guy – because if you force him to be something he’s not, you might get a side effect you weren’t looking for. He might become so uncomfortable in that role that his hitting starts to suffer. I don’t have a problem with that as a fan of a rival team, but i would think one of his teammates would want to avoid that.

  15. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Having a “leader” is baseball is vastly over-rated, and has little effect on the standings.

  16. jibzek - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    He will lead you to Old Town Buffet and to a plate of delicious cheesy nachos.

    As long as he keeps hitting .330 and cranks bombs like a stud, nobody will care? ie Manny, Albert Belle, etc.

    Bad Boy Sluggaz.

  17. pellypell - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Miguel Cabrera on Octavio Dotel, “Who?”

  18. xjokerz - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Lmao……. Miggy and Verlander 1a / 1b for the heart and soul of this time

    Miggy might be going to jail tonight, but not for another DUI..beating the piss out of Dotel

    what a loser

  19. shoehole - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Great post IdahoMariner. Earlier before this story was published, It was reported in the Tigers blog that Dotel got on Verlander and Fielder during the World Series for not being team leaders while the Tigers were losing the Series.

    • IdahoMariner - Feb 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM


  20. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Yeah, this is basically a d!ck move by Dotel. All players are differnt, and leaders don’t necessarily need to be the best players. Looking at hockey, it’s not always the leading scorers who are named captain. Calling team mates out in the press like this does nothing but get spring training off to a negative start, and this team does not need that at all. Maybe time for a ‘code red’ on Dotel…

  21. Cereal - Feb 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Dotel looks a little like a fatter Dwight Gooden in that pic

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