Detroit Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera showed up with some strange marks on his face and neck Saturday morning at Comerica Park and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the Tigers choked away their division lead. Seems as though he and Goodwife Cabrera got into a bit of a tussle when Miggy got himself three sheets to the wind after a night of drinking with White Sox players (read: Freddy Garcia) and came home just before sunrise:
According to the police report, Cabrera's wife, whose name is listed as Rosangel, was upset when the ballplayer woke up the couple's 4-year-old daughter and was talking on the phone when he came home. Investigators noticed his wife had an injury to her lower lip; they noted the injury to the left side of Cabrera's face.
After investigators determined both Cabrera and his wife were "aggressors" in the situation, Patterson said, the first baseman was released. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski picked Cabrera up at the station between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Saturday, he added.
Cabrera registered a .26 blood-alcohol level when tested by police, Commander Mark Clemence said. A person is considered drunk at .08.
Do you have any ideas how many caipirinhas one has to drink before they register a BAC that high? Especially when one is built like a Clydesdale horse, like Detroit's favorite Venezuelan hero is.
Some folks are calling for the Tigers to put Miggy out to pasture for the rest of 2009, playoffs or no playoffs. Here's Big League Stew's Duk arguing his point:
How can anyone trust or root for him after he blew a Breathalyzer test (.26) that was double the number of hours remaining until a Saturday night game that could have prevented the need for the Twins showdown? (The Tigers lost, 5-1.) How can Dombrowski continue to play a player he had to pick up from the police station that morning?
The answers are 1) no one can and 2) he shouldn't. Opponents will argue that taking Cabrera's bat out of Detroit's lineup will only punish everyone further, but there's no guarantee that Cabrera will produce. He went 0-for-7 after showing up to Comerica Park on Saturday with fresh scratches on his face and his mind will be a clouded and distracted one. You can throw out season totals when a player enters a situation like this one, so let the players who were fully on board with winning a division title get the playing time.
Yeah, you can't guarantee that the guy is going to make a positive contribution to the team in the playoffs but, on the same hand, you can't guarantee that his poor performance over the weekend was due to being positively blotto. Baseball players have been showing up to the ballpark drunk, hungover, and stoned since Dutch Leonard invented the frozen lingonberry margarita back in nineteen dickety-two. Cabrera's only problem was creating a ruckus in his family's home, a no-no for sure, but probably not punishable by suspension.
Yet I agree with 'Duk in that the Tigers need not evaluate the situation based on whether they need Miggy's Pujols-esque bat in this crucial playoff game. If the higher-ups decide that his behavior was inappropriate enough to warrant a suspension, then so be it. We don't know all the facts, so let's not be so quick to judge him a drunken wifebeater. For now, he is merely a drunken lout who spends way too much time with Freddy Garcia.