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Joe Maddon wishes Miguel Cabrera “wouldn’t cry so much”

Jul 1, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

Miguel Cabrera

I don’t know that I get this weekend’s unpleasantness between the Tigers and Rays. If there is a backstory I don’t know about, fine, but all I saw was Fernando Rodney buzzing Miguel Cabrera. Which, sure, you don’t guys throwing up and in like that, but it’s not like he hit him or, based on the game situation and their histories, had any reason to hit him.

But Cabrera jawed at Rodney, Jim Leyland jawed after the game and then yesterday Rick Porcello hit Ben Zobrist. This left Joe Maddon in a reflective mood after yesterday’s game:

“I don’t debate, this guy is outstanding,” Maddon said of Cabrera. “He’s wonderful. I just wish he wouldn’t cry so much.”

And it kinda is about the crying, you’d have to think. If Cabrera just walks back to the dugout on Saturday rather than yell at Rodney, I bet Leyland doesn’t say anything after that game and Porcello doesn’t feel obligated to plunk Zobrist. But when your big star does that you get questions asked about you. And when you’re on the bubble like Porcello, you err on the side of abiding by all of baseball’s macho “we protect our own” code because when push comes to shove let no man say you’re not a team player.

In this case, no harm done. But it’s not hard to imagine Zobrist breaking his wrist on a hit-by-pitch. Or someone getting hurt in a brawl after any of it. And it’s just the stupidest thing in baseball.

  1. dawgpoundmember - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    Can anyone name another instance when Miggy “cried?”

    • Bryz - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:50 AM

      I remember a time when Livan Hernandez was with the Twins and threw that Bugs Bunny curveball to get Miggy to pop out. Miggy barked at Livan the whole way back to the dugout (probably telling him that he would have hit Livan’s 85 MPH “fastball” to the moon) and all Livan did was laugh.

    • thespinemelter - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      Not hitting the ball past the pitcher’s mound in the World Series after signing that huge contract and winning the triple crown?

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2011/2/17/1998924/miguel-cabrera-arrested-dui-tigers

      Well is this close enough? I hope he doesn’t kill everyone here and blow the virtual place up after reading about his crying…

      • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM

        Ooof… low blow…

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      I don’t know when he last cried on the baseball field. But I seem to recall him getting pulled over by the Police and crying…”don’t you know who I am?”

    • schm1471 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      He walked against Pelfrey earlier this year and was jawing all the way to first base (I guess because Pelfrey had the gall to pitch around him??). Forget that the walk came on a 3-2 pitch so he had at least 2 chances to make solid contact. Seems like he thinks pitchers owe him the ball on a tee.

  2. stex52 - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Pretty much nailed it, Craig. Superstars have a tendency to want to be treated like superstars. A sense of entitlement was just dripping from that event. Judging from the way it bugged Miggy, if I were any pitcher in the league I’d pitch him high and tight to keep him disturbed.

    Fortunately the Rays kept their cool and the game went on.

  3. onbucky96 - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Hit..the…bull.

  4. js20011041 - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Wow, Joe Maddon calling out an opponent for “crying.” That’s a pretty bold statement considering the Rays, as an organization, buy their tampons in bulk from Costco.

    • bobwsc - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      no kidding. didn’t Maddon unfriend Lackey for hitting one of his guys?

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/11/joe-maddon-says-john-lackey-is-a-bad-teammate/

    • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      To be fair, Costco has the best price for tampons in bulk.

  5. breastfedted - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    The stupidest thing in baseball is Craig’s writing. Plus, the burning question on everyone’s minds: Is Craig a white supremacist?

    • stex52 - Jul 1, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Trolls are out early for a Monday.

  6. breastfedted - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Troll? More like Internet Jackal of Truth Deliverance.

    • cofran2004 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      back to your overpass, troll! away with you!

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Jackal or jackoff?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        Damn it Chip! I had to give you another thumbs up. Stop it.

    • drewzducks - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      I think you meant to say “just walked off the set of Deliverance”.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      I bet you’re a big Alex Jones fan…aren’t you, Slingblade?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        Come on Man…Slingblade was a great movie.
        I cried at the end. There…I said it!

  7. steve7921 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Cabrera started it Friday night after the win by mocking the shooting arrow celebration and laughing/pointing at the Rays dugout. When Farnsworth was brought on to face him yesterday in the 8th inning…JoMa was playing his own mind games with Cabrera, ‘cos I think if Cabrera had gotten hit he would have taken first instead of charging Farnsworth!

  8. darthicarus - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    As a note about Porcello, I don’t think he really is afraid of a guy charging him. Just ask Youkilis.

  9. flamethrower101 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    I don’t understand all the bagging on Miggy. Had he taken that fastball to the head none of you would be making fun of him. No, you’d be slamming Rodney for hitting him. I can only imagine that a fastball right at your head – especially one that can flirt with 100 – is no fun, intentional or unintenional.

    • cofran2004 - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      the point is, it didnt hit his head. therefore, he’s whining

      • albertmn - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        So, if someone only “attempted” to murder you and you luckily avoided it, they shouldn’t be charged with anything? Just because you avoided a calamity does not mean the person that caused it isn’t to blame. So, no, the point ISN’T whether or not it actually hit his head, but rather the throw was in a bad place, especially if intentional.

      • stex52 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Did you actually see the pitch? It wasn’t that close.

      • cofran2004 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        as stex said, have you seen the pitch? it wasn’t that close.

        and attempted murder? really??? your choice of examples is off. a baseball sorta close to your head =/= attempted murder.

    • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      It was not intentional. Rodney’s first pitch was to the backstop. He was as wild as Rick Vaughn in Major League. Of course, I do not want anyone hit on the head, much less a talent like Miggy but he needs to be pitched inside. The pitch got away. Miggy whined about it. An innocent batter got hit. Luckily cooler heads prevailed, no one got hurt, and the Rays got what matters. The win.

  10. craigatoth - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Miggy cries so much? When was the last time this so much happened? I watch every game and can’t remember it ever happening before.

    There was no reason to buzz his head? How about to make one down and away more effective? There is always a reason to buzz a hitter’s head, but just about as much can be accomplished with one around the chest and one around the head is considered a no-no. More effective, but a no-no.

  11. oimakkamio - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    why is it always Joe Maddon? I mean almost everytime, someone gets thrown at , or hit, he has some stupid comment. Joe you are not as good as ESPN makes you out to be, You’re a good but not great manager, and its ok for you to buzz or hit players, but when the other team calls you on it, or retaliates, they are cry babies or, bad teammates. Bottom line is, i’d ignore it if it happened once or twice a season but this seems to be happening every other week. Its like if we can’t win the Rays pitchers all of a sudden have a pitch that slips…but hey it was an accident. Problem these “accidents” happen a lot with the Rays and Joe Maddon.

  12. rockthered1286 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Miggy’s, just like Joey Bats, hugs the inside of that plate so tight you are almost forced to throw over the dish or hit them (or obviously outside but it’s erroneous for my point). So as a pitcher you don’t abide to their plate hugging ways, you throw inside and either back them off or plunk them. They take one to the backside? Comes with the territory. But pitchers should’ve cave to every hitter who wants to sit on top of the plate.

    And yes I am still super bitter about Joey Bats whose front elbow literally sits on the outside corner of the plate at all times. Arrogant SOB.

    • paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Bautista was the first comparison I thought of as well, from both style and response perspectives.

    • albertmn - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      If they are still in the batter’s box, then they aren’t doing anything wrong as hitters. I may not like it either, but just because a pitcher doesn’t like the way the rules of the game are set up doesn’t mean you have to hit the players who work within those same rules to try to gain an advantage.

      • crackersnap - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        It doesn’t matter if they are standing inside the batter’s box. If they are leaning to the point that they are within the strike zone, the rules say that they can be hit by a pitched baseball with impunity as long as that pitch is also in the zone.

        The problem is that umpires grant batters that part of the zone within which they are leaning, taking that space away from the pitcher. I cannot recall a time when a batter was hit but the ump ruled the pitch a strike. Which means, of course, that batters are gaining a material advantage by playing BEYOND the rules.

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        crackersnap would be correct other than the fact that Miggy doesn’t lean out over the plate. Watch a game before commenting.

      • crackersnap - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        Relax grumpy. I was commenting only on albertmn’s focus on the rule book.

        But thanks for the tip: watching baseball games. That must be fun!

        Watching Sergio Romo striking out Cabrera to win the WS turns out to be pretty cool (http://cdn.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/RomoCabrera2.gif.opt_.gif), especially the part where Cabrera has both entire forearms over the plate and in the zone as he is totally fooled by the winning strike.

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM

        I know in tee ball you probably never extended your arms out to hit the ball before striking out but in real baseball you do have to guess where a pitch is going and reach across the plate for a ball now and then.. Didn’t relaise they recently came up with a rule that called you out for crossing the chalk line.

  13. mike082475 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Everyone knows Miggy is the best hitter on the planet. As a pitcher I wouldn’t want him sitting comfortably in the box waiting for batting practice pitches that he can easily deposit into the seats. I don’t have a problem with Rodney pitching him in and I’m thinking that one might have got away from him and was a little further up than he wanted but guess what it worked and he struck out chasing a bad pitch. I don’t remember any history of these teams having any bad blood and he didn’t hit him so for the Tigers to throw at Zobrist to me is a little whiny. The Tigers line up is tough enough without Leyland wanting batting practice thrown to his hitters every game.

  14. paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    It was Fernando Rodney, he of the career 4.52 BB/9. He doesn’t always know where the ball is going and a tailing FB is a pretty common pitch to “get away”. There was no intent, and pitches like this happen almost everyday. I am sure it is scary as shit to see that ball coming up and in, but most guys seem to whine about it less than Cabrera, especially when 1) there is no history and 2) there is obviously no intent.

    Cabrera should have let it go, and walked back to the dug out. End of story.

    Hitting Zobrist the next day when no Tigers had even been hit was stupid. The Tigers are just lucky the Rays were more concerned with winning than with retaliation for an obvious intentional HBP.

    If I was pitching against Cabrera today, the first pitch would be high and tight just to make him uncomfortable. In fact, until he demonstrates that he can get over it, I’d throw inside off the plate to begin every AB, nothing higher than chest high, but inside enough to make him nervous.

    • stex52 - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Absolutely, Paper. Miggy just demonstrated a weakness. Pitchers will be all over it until he hits a couple out to show he can’t be pushed back. If he had just gone back to the dugout, no one was likely to have noticed.

    • yahmule - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      The game started to change sometime in the 70’s and 80’s. Pedro Martinez was unfairly labeled a headhunter for years because he wasn’t afraid to back guys off the plate. He even took a couple ass kickings on the mound and kept throwing inside.

      • stex52 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Oswalt in his prime made the point that no one was going to make him back off the inside corner, either. No reason they should.

    • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      I like how you’re thinking, ‘lions.

      Lots of ragging on Joe Ma. He’s a flamboyant nerd. I get it.

      Here’s some heresy. If the Tigers were managed by Joe Maddon, the Tigers would have a World Series ring. Don’t get me wrong. I love Leyland. He’s a throwback, a man’s man. I would love to share some whiskey with him and pick his brain. Hear him croon a couple of songs. But be honest, Tigers fans. Imagine Joe as your manager. That precious ring would be yours.

      Let the thumbing down begin.

    • grumpyoleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Yeah there are so many guys out there that get thrown at around the head and don’t say anything about it. But I suppose you can come up with some stupid stat to prove that too.

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        It is nice when people that are anti-fact and anti-information self identify. Thanks.

        Please note:

        1) Cabrera was NOT thrown at. A pitch went high and tight but it was obviously not intentional. Plus, if you bothered to actually watch the video, it isn’t clear that it would have hit Cabrera if he doesn’t move, might have glanced off of the top of his shoulder or his chin, probably would have narrowly missed him.

        2) I did NOT say that guys that have balls come up and in didn’t say anything. I said they “whine about it less than Cabrera”. If Cabrera yells something once, fine….but he kept bitching all the way to the dugout.

        3) Stats are not stupid. They are a record of what happened. The fact that many people (who are stupid) insist on mis-using stats does not render the stats stupid or useless.

        4) It is the acme of irony that people that decry “stupid stats”, such as yourself, are those that most frequently mis-use stats and latch on to and refuse to let go of the most useless stats around (e.g. pitcher wins, batting average, RBI)

      • grumpyoleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        You are 100% correct. Those stats are so useless. Everyone knows Verlander is pitching better than Max and should have the 12 wins. Miggies batting average does not show that all three catchers on the Tigers are better hitters than him. We could easily plug Santiago into the third spot and he would have just as many if not more RBI’s than Miguel.

        He was thrown at whether intentional or not. Who cares if it would have missed by an inch. What if it didn’t.

        Carry on with nerd speak because you know nothing about the actual game of baseball.

  15. 13arod - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    dawgpoundmember every time he strikes out he cries

  16. gunpowderjones - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Attempted murder has intent. I think you murdered that analogy.

    • cofran2004 - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      agreed. i cant believe the guy that made that suggestion got so many up-votes!

      butt-hurt tiger fans, im assuning…

  17. Uncle Charlie - Jul 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    The first paragraph is what happens when you drink and write. Be smart kids, take your vitamins and do your homework. Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you.

  18. valarmorghuliss - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Nobody in baseball cries more than Joe Maddon
    And this is further proof of it.

    He sure does talk a lot for a guy who’s won nothing

  19. stabonerichard - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Leyland: “I don’t care about throwing inside but I don’t like it up there. We will not tolerate that … we won’t tolerate that up to the head to anybody.”

    I agree with that sentiment. As a commenter touched on above, Rodney doesn’t have particularly good control. So that’s all the more reason why coming in high & tight around a guy’s head is so dangerous… the margin for error is very thin. What if Rodney’s triple-digit heater had put Miggy on the DL with a concussion (or worse)? Sure, you can say “Well, it didn’t” but anyone with that much faith in Rodney’s control to just dismiss the danger of a pitch like that might want to reconsider.

    And if you saw the entire pitch sequence there was a previous 0-2 pitch that Rodney had airmailed to the backstop. Immediately after, as he was walking toward home plate to receive a new ball from the home plate ump, he gestured with his head and made some type of comment in Miggy’s direction. So that happened before he came with the chin music shortly thereafter (which was the 2nd pitch in the AB that sailed to the backstop). That’s bullsh*t as far as I’m concerned, and the fact the 100-mph fastball didn’t connect with Cabrera’s head doesn’t excuse it.

    So I can understand Miggy’s reaction… it was natural emotion in the heat of the moment. It’s easy for us to sit here and say how he should have reacted, but Miggy is the one who had a 100-mph fastball thrown near his head. The outside spectators are entitled to their opinion, but I’d question who the real whiners are in this scenario.

    As far as plunking Zobrist the next day, Leyland’s comments made it clear he’s not going to tolerate chin music. Otherwise, what’s to prevent Rodney (or Farnsy or whomever) from continuing to flirt with drilling a guy above the letters? This is where the players (and managers) police the action on the diamond. If Rodney is going to airmail pitches, he understands he’s putting his teammates in harm’s way, and that helps keep things in check.

    And FWIW, I’m a Twins fans… not a Tigers fans in the least.

    • grumpyoleman - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      Well said.

    • cofran2004 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      no, it doesnt excuse it. but all he is doing by p!ssing and moaning about it is giving people like me reasons to post on the internet about him being a crybaby. and it didnt hit him. and there was obviously no intent. it was a mistake by a guy with control issues.

      its baseball……… it happens.

  20. psousa1 - Jul 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Who cries more than Joe Maddon? Nobody talks more crap about opposing players than Joe Maddon. But he is wild, wacky, unconventional, thinks outside the box Joe Maddon!!!!!!!!!

    His act is old. Nobody has more excuses than him.

  21. tigersfandan - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Cabrera probably did overreact, although, from what I heard, he wasn’t the first Tiger who had been buzzed. Still, with Joe Maddon, it’s never his team’s fault. It’s always the other guys who started it.

    • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Well, his job isn’t to be impartial. It’s to back the boys on his team, to let them know I have your back.

      • tigersfandan - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        I agree. Still, he’s more impartial than most and that doesn’t help his credibility.

      • indaburg - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        It helps with his credibility to the only people who really matter, the only people who have to buy what he’s selling–his players. I don’t think he gives a rat’s ass what we think.

      • tigersfandan - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Fair enough.

  22. km9000 - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Regarding Cabrera “crying”, there was that incident just a week ago where CJ Wilson let out a “woo” after striking him out and Cabrera glared at him long after getting back in the dugout. I know Wilson’s not the most sympathetic guy, but I can’t blame him for getting excited about striking out the league’s best hitter in a tight situation. Cabrera’s reactions then and now just give off an entitled “How dare you?” vibe.

  23. jburrell4 - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Joe Maddon – the same guy who headlines the ‘accidental preppie’ article and has his hat on over his pulled up hood…. and like one poster already pointed out – this guy ALWAYS has something to say about guys getting hit, thrown at, etc. If they published an article every time he talked about that or his boys getting no-hit, there would be no room for real baseball news….

  24. junglerat524 - Jul 1, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Baseball players today are pussies. It’s part of the game. Deal with it. And when you are at home in your mansion try googling Old School Baseball. That’s what built the game that has you set for life.

  25. mornelithe - Jul 1, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Only pussies throw at players in the AL. Takes a real big man to plunk a player when you’ll never have to face the music yourself. I wonder how the view is from inside that glass house there Maddon. I think he’s an exceptional coach, but I personally think anyone who sticks up for this kind of behavior is bad for baseball.

    Given how much they’re paid, any player who gets nailed by a pitcher (intentionally) in the AL, should immediately grab the ball, and attempt to drill the pitcher in question. Worth the suspension, and it’d send a clear message to the faeries on the mound.

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