As Detroit Tigers’ fans we are blessed to be able to watch on a daily basis the greatest baseball player on the planet in Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera was clearly missed in all aspects of his game during his recent disabled list stint. His absence probably not only cost the Tigers a run for the playoffs and was the deciding factor in the front office deciding to pursue a reboot.
But for many fans, it wasn’t so much the miss at the playoff run as it was missing the fun-loving Cabrera play baseball with passion and energy like a kid. Who doesn’t love Cabrera messing around with Jose Altuve like he did this past weekend (see below for the video).
I was able to see Cabrera up close and personal two rows behind the Tigers dugout two years ago at Yankee Stadium. Not only was it the game he hit the bomb of a home run to center field off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth to send the game to extra innings, he was goofing around with everyone around the dugout the entire game. Cabrera would pop his head out during the top of the innings to play around with the fans. Sometimes he’d look for kids to toss balls to and other times he was flirting with the young women and joking with them.
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Not only does he play with passion, fun and energy he is a beast. Since he has been in Detroit he has hit .327, his slash is .327/.406/.579!. He has hit 903 RBI and 268 home runs. All of this in eight years. He has been in the MVP voting all twelve years of his career, winning back to back in 2012 and 2013. He is a ten time all-star.
We as Tigers fans demand our post season runs, trophies and accomplishments. Sometimes we need to smell the roses in players like Cabrera. His moments and the legacy that he is leaving is something worth all of us tuning in each night and going to the ballpark.
My grandfather and I used to sit around and talk about Hall of Fame Tigers that he used to watch – Hal Newhouser, Hank Greenberg, George Kell and Al Kaline. I am fortunate that I get to watch the future Hall of Famer, Miguel Cabrera, on a daily basis and some day get to tell my kids about his swing and swagger. And that he played the game like the Mighty Casey.