Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera Needs to Save It for the Season
Now is not the time for the best hitter on the planet to participate in a Home Run Derby just for funsies and Miguel Cabrera should know better. Fortunately for the Detroit Tigers and their fans, Cabrera was pulled from an event in the Dominican Republic. He was scheduled to complete against other MLB players like David Ortiz and Robinson Cano, until Tony Clark with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) advised the three hitters to stop.
In 2016 alone, Cabrera is a $28 million investment for Mike Ilitch. Last season, when Cabrera was out with injuries for several weeks, fewer seats at Comerica Park were filled because no one wanted to see random baseball players fill in for the best in the business. With 20 days left of the off-season, Cabrera has no business entering into a competition that could result in injuries. He may believe his is invincible, but history has proven otherwise.
If Cabrera, Ortiz, and Cano were to participate, the Caribbean Series sponsors would have to financially guarantee that these players would be covered if they were injured. The sponsors did not provide the guarantee, so the MLBPA did what was in the best interest of the players and their respective teams.
By this time in his career, Miguel Cabrera should simply know better. Of course, he is ready to hit the ball out of the park, but he cannot participate in contests against arch rivals on a whim. He needs to continue working out – safely – so he can lead his team to a pennant and ultimately a World Series championship.
While the decision to help grow the viewership for the Caribbean Series was a self-less act, Cabrera has to think about the team in Detroit he has committed to and that has committed to him. Mike Ilitch has spent a significant amount of money to keep Cabrera in Detroit, because he appreciates the skill and the draw of this hitting master. If Cabrera were to have injured himself in this Home Run Derby, the fans would be livid and the MLBPA would have no recourse to protect one of its biggest stars.
Of course, no one makes home run hitting look any easier than Miguel Cabrera. And, he has commented on how this offseason has been the best one in years because he is not recovering from injuries or surgeries. Yes, he could probably win this event with ease, but Cabrera’s age makes him more likely to pull a muscle than his younger counterparts. His age also makes the healing time take longer than players in their 20s.
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As one of the most recognizable faces in baseball, Cabrera is simply too valuable to the league. Cabrera-on-the-Bench does nothing for the sport. Ilitch is a generous owner who barely breaks even on his team and without Miggy on the field, the break-even number is harder to reach. Cabrera should know better and save it for the season, especially for Mr. I.