As of now, when I started writing this, it still wasn’t decided whether or not Miguel Cabrera was going to play against Kansas City tonight. I am not even sure where the debate is to this question. The answer should be an easy no.
There really is nothing for the Tigers to gain, or Miguel Cabrera to gain by playing tonight. So why would Jim Leyland even consider it?
One, Miguel Cabrera himself might be lobbying to play. My guess is the Tigers are watching the Rangers/A’s game closely to see if Josh Hamilton goes deep. If he doesn’t, then there is no reason to play Miguel for his personal benefit. The triple crown will be his.
Two, the media could potentially whine about sitting a guy who is the triple crown leader, so his batting average doesn’t go down and Cabrera is all but assured the feat that hasn’t been accomplished in over 40 years. That’s not a very good argument either. Miguel Cabrera would have to go 0-4 and Mike Trout would have to go 4-4 for him to surpass Cabrera. Jim Leyland of all people should care less about whether or not some media members would cry about the triple crown win being tainted. I would hope that I don’t hear that if Cabrera sits tonight, because, well, that is just stupid.
The only thing the Tigers should be concerned about is the health of their best player going into the playoffs. I know the chances are slim, but can you imagine the fans reaction if Cabrera gets hurt playing in a meaningless game before the eve of the playoffs? It wouldn’t be good, and it would get ugly for Tigers management.
So unless Rangers Josh Hamilton hits a homer this afternoon, this is a no-brainer. Miguel Cabrera has to sit tonight.