The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

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So I guess this happened

Miguel Cabrera got arrested for DUI again, and apparently no sportswriter on earth has any fucking other thing to write about today, since they’re all covering it. I’ll choose Tim Brown’s version to make fun of. Why? Because only his is headlined with this picture:

MIGGY

Come the fuck on, Yahoo sports. Just remember next time I assassinate somebody’s character that allegedly-legitimate journalists tacked that photograph up on their front page to intro their ridiculous witch huntin’ piece, which they’ve comically entitled:

Cabrera is lost on a bleak stretch of road

Nice. Good title. Got kind of a Hotel California vibe going on already. Now hit me with the bit about how he can check out any time he likes, but he can never leave.

Miguel Cabrera was 75 miles from home late Wednesday night, taking pulls from a bottle of whisky, being obstinate with the men who had come to save the rest of us from him, his Land Rover dead on the side of the road.

What’s this, now? Save us from him? How were "we" in danger? I was like three thousand miles away, and, like you say, his car was dead. What was he going to do?

A police report did not indicate where he was headed in what officers determined was a drunken and profane stupor, or where he’d come from.

Glad they didn’t waste time gathering any facts. Like Joe Friday used to say: "All we want is the visceral outrage."

Perhaps, through the haze, Miguel Cabrera knew exactly where he was.

Perhaps! But thank god he got locked in a box anyhow.

We might better conclude he was – and is – desperately lost.

Preach on, brother!

He will turn 28 in April.

He possesses bat speed gifted from the baseball gods.

In all seriousness, I hate this shit. Not the goofy "baseball gods" jive — I get that, it’s just goofy frippery playing into the fact that baseball is old-tymey and superstitious. That’s fine. But, seriously, when was the last time a sportswriter wrote about how hard an athlete worked to get where he is? Miguel Cabrera was born in East Rat’s Ass, Venezuela. Don’t you think there might be a story here? Maybe something about the challenges he had to face chasing a dream in a shithole like that? Maybe something that could provide actual psychological insight, something that could help us understand any problems Cabrera might be facing?

Nah, fuck that. He was just handed success by the gods. And I assume he only drinks because of the baseball devil.

He’s been granted an organization that cares for him, whose general manager picked him up from jail one morning just 17 months ago, then applauded his decision to seek offseason counseling for alcohol abuse.

Said organisation has a hundred million dollars worth of dudes who suck at baseball, and really really needs its one good player to put on a show in order to pay the bills.

The Detroit Tigers were rewarded with yet another fine season by Cabrera, who’d likely have been the American League MVP had the rest of the Tigers not collapsed around him.

What? No, that’s wrong. The American League MVP was Josh Hamilton in a walk. Miggy had a great season, but Hamilton’s a good defensive CF who just so happened to hit .359. His lead on Miggy in the voting was 96 points.

Also, the Tigers didn’t "collapse." They were never in first place after 10 July, and never held more than a one-game lead over the Twinkies anyhow. They were 81-81 at the end of the year, and, all season long, played like a .500 team. Here are their win percentages by month:

April: .583
May: .462
June: .556
July: .423
August: .448
September: .577
October: .250 (in four games)

Do you see this alleged collapse? I see a team that played damn near .500 ball all season long.

And yet two days before he was supposed to be on a baseball field in Lakeland, Fla., to begin spring training, Cabrera was some 110 miles away, standing handcuffed on the shoulder of Okeechobee Road and demanding of his arresters, "Do you know who I am?"

Why is everybody so concerned with what Miggy does when he’s not supposed to be playing baseball? I mean, I can see where there’s a story if he actually blew off spring training to go on a bender. But it hadn’t started yet, yeah?

At that very moment, sadly, the officers had a far clearer notion of that than Cabrera did.

In fact, in a portion of the police report headed, "Psychophysical Evaluations," an officer checked the boxes that come morning would tell Jose Miguel Cabrera exactly who he is.

If you’re allergic to pathos, you might want to get an EpiPen ready, because it’s about to get thick.

Odor of Breath: Strong.

Condition of Eyes: Bloodshot, Watery, Glassy.

Speech: Slurred, Incoherent, Accent.

Condition of Face: Flushed.

Attitude: Cocky, Combative, Argumentative, Belligerent.

Do you hear me, Jose Miguel Cabrera? This is exactly who you are! Cocky, strong breath odor, speaks with an accent. Sound familiar, asshole?

God. If only you had realised these truths before!

A year ago almost to the day, arriving to spring training after three months of what he said was therapy, abstinence and cleanup, Cabrera told reporters, "Drinking was a problem. Right now I feel really good. What happened last year is not gonna happen again. I feel like a new man. … It’s a beautiful life right now."

Three months of "what he said was therapy?" Laying the asshole on a bit thick here, Tim. Why are you implying that he lied about going to therapy?

We hoped he was right. The Tigers hoped he was right. Probably, Cabrera hoped he was right.

And again, sneaking in the "probably."

A month later, however, he snapped to those same reporters, "You guys write in the paper ‘alcoholic.’ That’s not right. I don’t know how to explain, but it’s not an alcohol problem."

To be fair to Migs, I’d be pretty goddamn sick of reporters with nothing better to write about, too. Oh, wait.

Then he batted .328, hit 38 home runs and drove in 126 runs. Life, presumably, was still beautiful.

So, in other words — or, in this case, in other completely retarded preschool stats — he did his job just fine. So there was really no problem.

On the very morning the Detroit papers carried stories of pitchers and catchers in Lakeland awaiting the arrival of their cleanup hitter, Cabrera’s mug shot dominated those pages. His face carried an expression not of combativeness or belligerence, but of carefree mirth. You wonder, in that moment, if he had the slightest idea who he is.

What? No I don’t. Here is the mug shot in question. Here are the things I wonder when I look at that mug shot:

• Why Miguel Cabrera looks so much like my old boss
• If the police can find some time in their busy schedule of pointlessly harassing athletes to train their photographers to take decent goddamn pictures already
• Why nobody thinks to cast Miguel Cabrera as the Joker in a Batman movie, since, seriously, his smile is perfect for it
• If that’s an extra chin I see peeking out at me there, fatty first baseman

Can’t say I was busy brooding about whether or not he knows who he is, which I don’t think means anything. This isn’t your LiveJournal, Tim.

What led Cabrera to that stretch of road Wednesday night – both physically and metaphorically – is for Cabrera to sort through, assuming he’s game for it.

Tim. What the fuck.

What led Cabrera there "physically" was, like, his car. He doesn’t need to sort through anything. That’s… what it was. What led him there "metaphorically" is nothing, because that doesn’t mean anything. I think you’re trying to write something like "what led him there and why," but you’ve overdosed on purple.

He and his wife, the woman with whom he argued after drinking himself to combativeness and belligerence in the fall of 2009, had their second child last spring. The Tigers stuck by him, as they should have, and still owe him $107 million over the next five seasons. Teammates stuck by him, in spite of his grossly unprofessional contribution to their collapse that final weekend of ’09.

Miguel Cabrera’s contribution to their collapse, that weekend (counting the "weekend" as 2, 3, 4 October, the series they played against the White Sox): .000 / .083 / .000. What an asshole head-case chokemaster, amirite? Having three bad games.

Wait, what? The Tigers played another game the following Tuesday? Tiebreaker? Really? And he hit a double and a homer? And had a walk, too? And a WPA of .176? Wow, that’s pretty good. Good thing you data-searched that out, Tim, because it’s pretty damaging to your argument.

What they received in return was the comfort that Cabrera might become a better man for it, a better husband and father. Perhaps, too, he’d be a better ballplayer for it, and they did indeed receive 126 RBIs for their support.

Well, I have nothing to say about what his perpetually-unnamed wife received in return, since I can’t find any spreadsheets full of numbers about her. But here’s what the Tigers got:

.328 / .420 / .622 / 1.042, 179 OPS+, .429 wOBA, 6.9 WAR. 38 goddamn home runs.

Oh, and, also, they received the peace of mind of knowing they would not be obliterated by the Player’s Association for violating the CBA.

Except now the image of Cabrera is of a man taking knee spikes from a cop while being shoved into the backseat of a police cruiser, pleading, "You don’t know anything about my problems," then refusing to submit to a breath test.

Dammit, Miguel, submit to coercion! It’s the American way! They only kick you for your own good.

I have no idea if Cabrera is an alcoholic.

So why did you write this article, again?

What I do know is he needs help that won’t come from batting practice.

Also won’t come from having thugs in uniforms beat him up.

Those 17 months ago the Tigers picked up Cabrera from jail and fewer than 12 hours later delivered him to their starting lineup. They probably got that wrong.

Depends. They definitely got it right if their goal was to win baseball games. Which I’m fairly sure it is. To be sure, if their goal was to stand up for your politics, then, yeah, they fucked up big time.

Their opportunity now is to tend to Cabrera first, their lineup second.

I think you mean "responsibility," there, Tim, where you have "opportunity." Clearly you’re on a wild bender! Tim, do you even know who you are?

Presumably, he’ll need more counseling. Perhaps, he’ll need time away from his job to get it right.

Or maybe he’ll need to get back to work so he’ll have something to do besides drink. Or maybe something else. But since you clearly — admittedly, even — don’t know anything about the situation, maybe you aren’t the best one to decide on policy, Dr. Phil Tim.

And, hopefully, the next time Cabrera asks the question – "Do you know who I am?" – he’ll have an answer he and the Tigers can be proud of.

Okay, I was kind of kidding before, Tim, but do you really not understand the principle behind a rich, famous guy asking other people if they know who he is? It’s not like he’s forgotten, like, "hey, do you know where I left my monocle and bowler hat? Pip pip, old bean! Say, I seem to have forgotten who I am — do you perchance have a guide book?" No, see, the idea is to intimidate them with your famousness, like, hey, they better recognise or you’re going to unload a whole bunch of goddamn opposite-field home runs on their asses.

Sucka.


February 17th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | no comments

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