Miguel Cabrera: public enemy No. 1

Alex Harkaway – For the Review. Here’s the situation: The company you work for is in the midst of the most crucial time period it will face all year. Your co-workers and bosses are relying on you for peak performance on a vital project to help guide them through this critical stretch.
What do you do? Do you exert yourself to the best of your ability while at work? Do you mentally prepare yourself for the next day’s work while at home? Do you make sure to get a good night’s sleep so you can be completely focused in the morning? Or do you stay out late drinking at a hotel before coming home drunk and proceeding to get into a nasty fight with your wife and ending up in jail?
Most would answer “no” to that last question. Miguel Cabrera is not like most people.
Cabrera is the Detroit Tigers’ star first baseman. He is their clean-up hitter and best offensive threat. Last weekend, the Tigers began their final series of the year against the White Sox, needing to win two of three games in order to clinch the division title. Needless to say, they were counting on Cabrera for these games.
Yet, after going 0-4 in a game-one loss, he apparently went out drinking at a hotel with a player from the other team. He couldn’t even party with a teammate. Nor could he let any of his teammates or coaches know where he was. That is, not until the next morning when he needed Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski to pick him up from jail.
As if relying on his boss to give him a ride to the ballpark from the jailhouse was not pathetic enough, Cabrera went on to go 0-4 once again in Oct. 3’s game, spoiling several key rallies.
Detroit then went on to miss the playoffs, becoming the first team in Major League Baseball history to have a three-game lead in its division with only four games to play, only to lose it all.
What remains unclear is if this incident was at all shocking for Cabrera’s teammates, or if events such as this are routine for him. After all, we are talking about a man who, back in August, was caught taunting a 15-year-old kid in a hotel for being overweight. Witnesses to the incident claimed Cabrera acted as if he were on drugs and stated that Cabrera went to the overweight teenager’s table and asked several kids if they wanted to go outside and fight before the hotel staff removed him. The only humorous thing about this situation is that Cabrera is 240 pounds of baby fat and is easily one of the slowest runners on his team.
Miguel Cabrera is not like most people. Who is he like? After watching Cabrera’s team play in Minnesota the other night and hearing 50,000 emphatic boos every time he stepped up to the plate, one could compare Cabrera to only one other recent ballplayer: Barry Bonds.
Not since Bonds has a player given fans so much ammunition to hate him. Yet, even Bonds never sank this low. From domestic violence to threatening children, Cabrera seems to have done everything in his power to achieve Public-Enemy-No.-1 status.
So, here’s the new situation: You are at a baseball game. The Tigers are playing. Miguel Cabrera is heading to home plate, ready to take an at-bat. What do you do? That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — you boo. You boo your hearts out. Miguel Cabrera is not like most people. Most people would not like Miguel Cabrera.

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