Do you think Miguel Cabrera needs a handler for the season like Josh Hamilton does?
A handler? That’s an interesting question. After all, he is a Tiger and no one would think of letting a tiger just roam free. Except in India where tigers live. But that’s different. But seriously, after Hamilton’s experience falling back off the wagon, I think many teams realized that a contract and shame alone aren’t always enough to keep players in line.
For me, the question comes down to an economic consideration. The Tigers are already into Cabrera for quite a few million and if they want to get the full return on their investment, what do they need to do? When you pose the question this way, it seems like a no-brainer. Of course you get him a handler.
I guess for me this is a pretty simple answer. Alcoholism is a disease and sometimes despite the best intentions of those afflicted, they just don’t have enough to fight it off. The real question is, who pays?
Here, my feeling is that the the team and Cabrera should split the costs. The Tigers knew when they signed Cabrera that he had a history of problem drinking. Similarly, Cabrera knows that he needs to avoid the alcohol in order to perform at the expected level. If the Tigers want the full return on their investment and to avoid a repeat of Cabrera’s 2009 meltdown that cost the team a trip to the playoffs, they should pony up. If Cabrera wants to actually win a championship with the Tigers and avoid spending some serious time in prison as well as possibly getting himself deported, he needs to pony up.
In a way, this debate is actually a good sign. Baseball was more than happy to let players do whatever they wanted up until a few years ago. You weren’t supposed to cheat but pretty much everything else was fair game. But imagine if a program like this had been put in place 25 years ago and covered things like problem gambling. Maybe then we wouldn’t have this inane controversy about whether or not Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. If putting a handler on Cabrera keeps him from experiencing a similar fate, I’m all for it. I’ll even do my part by ponying up and buying the leash.
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Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you’re the long-serving president of a country and your re-election chances aren’t looking so good, you just pass a couple laws, tweak the electoral system slightly and then sit back and watch as the votes start rolling in. Except for when they don’t, like what happened this past weekend in Venezuela.
Now, we love our Venezuelans over here at RSBS, especially when they come in the form of Ozzie Guillen or Miguel Cabrera. And we really love the neverending stream of inspiration Senor Chavez sends our way. But Chavez had better put his game face on or the Bolivarian revolution might go the way of Bolivar himself (He’s dead, in case you were wondering).
But this sense of desperation hasn’t limited itself to just Venezuela. A similar aura of dread has definitely enveloped the Mets’ locker room and front office. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we just popped on the ol’ television here for a second and found out something new:
Well, I guess that about says it all. And if any of our loyal readers need help polishing up their resumes before making a run at a position with the Mets….or the presidency of Venezuela…..feel free to send them our way and we’ll take a look. It’s what we do.
But aren’t we going to miss D-train? Haha.
I think every Tigers’ fan was stoked when Dontrelle and Cabrera came over. Sure, we were giving up a potential phenomenon in Maybin but Miggy? The guy just hits. And even though Dontrelle had some issues, he was young enough that it made sense to think he could rediscover his form and again be a dominating pitcher.
A couple years later it hasn’t turned out to be the steal it seemed at the time but, despite wasting all that money on the D-Train, the fact of the matter is that we still have Cabrera and he’s on pace for an MVP season. Look further south and you’ll also notice that Maybin has been a huge bust so far.
Hope springs eternal when you’re a fan and when you look at who Willis’ replacement is, you can’t help but think that maybe we’ll be all right. Sure, Galarraga hasn’t been dominating in every start and has even been roughed up at times. But a guy who has the stuff to throw a perfect game also has the stuff to be a solid addition to the rotation.
Honestly, I’m a little sad to see Willis go. He didn’t pitch great for the Tigers but I always wanted to see the guy do well. Maybe it was his goofy windup or maybe it was his promise as a pitcher but I couldn’t help but like the guy.
So, yes. The D-Train has left D-Town. And even though I won’t miss his abundance of walks and botched starts, I am going to miss the guy himself.
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A friend of mine came into town from Venezuela a week ago and she came bearing gifts. The first thing she handed me was a thoughtful yet dangerous history of the American cocktail. So many recipes, so little time. Next up was what is surprisingly my first Scrabble set.
But the final item, although the smallest, was really what got me excited. It’s a calendar handed out by the US embassy in Caracas where each month features a different Venezuelan major leaguer. Of course there was the requisite Johan Santana and K-Rod but when I reached November and Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat, that was when I realized just how great of a gift it was.
I didn’t realize how amazing it was, though, until I turned the final page to an unknown pitcher for the Tigers. Well, unknown at the time. In the last couple days I think the entire country, even someone who has never watched a baseball game in their life, now knows who Armando Galarraga is.
And with all the events of the last couple days, I got to thinking. Despite MLB’s reliance on Venezuelan superstar players, relations
between the two countries are not exactly warm. Was it possible that Joyce’s blown call at first base was actually a conspiracy? Was this a subtle thumbing of the nose toward the often belligerent president of Venezuela? And if so, why, two days later, has Mr. Chavez still not weighed in on the subject?
We don’t have answers to these questions but with the weekend approaching and another edition of El Presidente’s weekly diatribe, “Alo Presidente”, set to hit the airwaves, you can be sure he’ll have something to say. And as always, we here at RSBS will make sure to keep you updated on all the events. Well, unless we get sucked into that first gift. Who knew you could do so much with whiskey, sugar and a lemon?
Special thanks to L for the calendar and all the other gifts. Be safe down there.
The incidental aspects move around several minor leaguers and role-players but the entirely unexpected part includes the swapping of the two teams’ first basemen: Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. Obviously we will have much more to say about this but you can get a general idea of our initial sentiments here.
Jeff & Al
As though any further proof was needed that we live in a crazy, mixed-up world, I submit the following:
Miguel Cabrera has an alcohol problem but says he feels like a new man after a stint in rehab.
Kyle Farnsworth has somehow avoided resorting to alcoholism and even has a legitimate shot at becoming a starting pitcher.
I don’t mean to sound the alarm too early but if these two events taken together aren’t a sign of the apocalypse, I’m not sure what is. Baseball: Drama as compelling off the field as on.
With the new decade almost a week old, I figured it was about time for us to check in with our old pal, Hugo, in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela. Now, in the ongoing drama playing out down south, we have most recently seen El Jefe making nice with close American ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and threatening his next door neighbor, Colombia.
However, with the long Christmas break just finishing up and the people full of holiday cheer, this would be the time to announce some good news and keep the warm fuzzies going, right?
Wrong. Instead the government decided it needed to ration electricity and one of the best places to start was with shopping malls. Now, much like New Jersey, shopping malls in Venezuela are the epicenter of the social scene. So, forcing the malls to close at nine o’clock is akin to telling New Jersey-ites that they can still go out to bars, they just can’t do any more Jager-bombs. Exactly, full scale revolt would ensue.
Luckily, the government has now eased the restrictions slightly but is that any way to start a new decade? And when you also stop and realize that Venezuela is a major oil-producer, you really wonder what’s going on. How is it possible that with all that oil they can’t find a way to keep the electricity flowing?
For the time being, things are fine. And I feel no need to get personally involved. But the second that Chavez tries to pull Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez back from the Tigers, well, then the blue state half of this duo might be forced to go reckon with that affront personally.