Miguel Cabrera: One of Baseball’s BestPublished on 09. 16. 2015
There’s little disagreement that Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is one of baseball’s all-time best power hitters. Known by teammates as “Miggy,” Cabrera is highly respected both on and off the field. He is a Triple Crown winner, was named Most Valuable Player in 2012 and again in 2013, and voted MLB All-Star at least ten times. He isn’t finished yet, and the list of accolades continues to expand.
Although Cabrera continues to amaze, a drinking problem could easily have put the kibosh on an entire career for the Venezuelan-born baseball star.
Cabrera was signed by the Florida Marlins in 1999 and progressed through the team’s minor league system before being traded to Detroit in late 2007.
Alcohol and an Early Morning Altercation
Alcohol began to interfere in a very public way in 2009 when Cabrera had a 5 a.m. altercation with his wife, after a night of hard drinking at a local hotel. His wife called 911 and Cabrera was arrested and taken into custody on a domestic abuse charge. He was later released, picked up by the team president, and was fit to play against the Chicago White Sox a few hours later.
Cabrera was reportedly close-mouthed about the incident and blamed his dog for the scratches and bruises on his face. However, he apologized to his teammates before the game.
News reports at the time stated that Cabrera admitted he had a problem and entered outpatient treatment willingly. Cabrera said he was committed to treatment and promised to continue into the coming season.
A Second Incident Leads to Another Stint in Rehab
There were no further incidents until February, 2011, when Cabrera found himself in hot water again, in a big way. After a bar manager threatened to serve Cabrera after he demanded a steak at closing time, the baseball player reportedly shouted obscenities, threatened to kill the bar manager and customers, and said he could “blow the place up.” Police stopped Cabrera after the bar manager called and said the baseball player was in no shape to drive. Cabrera, “belligerent and combative,” was cited for resisting arrest and drunken driving.
The incident landed Cabrera back into treatment, this time as a result of MLB and player union recommendations, along with a warning that similar episodes in the future would result in more serious consequences.
Admired and Respected
Today, Cabrera reportedly continues to abstain from events involving alcohol. He is still under contract with the Detroit Tigers, and is one of baseball’s highest paid players, with a multi-year contract reportedly worth in the neighborhood of $292 million.
A resident of Michigan along with his wife and kids, Cabrera is an active force in the community. The Miguel Cabrera foundation, formed in 2012 with a philosophy of “Work Hard, Dream Big and Help Others,” provides funds to various children’s charities and promotes youth baseball through educational achievement programs and academic scholarships. Cabrera was nominated by his team for the Roberto Clemente award for players who best represent baseball both off and on the playing field.
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