Detroit Tigers: The Trials of Miguel Cabrera and its Possible Effects in 2018

DETROIT, MI - JULY 14: Miguel Cabrera
DETROIT, MI - JULY 14: Miguel Cabrera /

For a man who epitomizes how to play major league baseball, Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.

After a dismal 2017 season, Detroit Tigers fans are pinning their hopes for success on Miguel Cabrera.

The career .317 hitter is now entering his 16th year in major league baseball.  He has won two MVP awards, seven Silver Slugger titles and has played in 11 All-Star games.

Yet, with all that success questions arise.  What Miguel Cabrera will take the field for Detroit Tigers this upcoming season?

After 14 Hall of Fame worthy seasons, Miggy had a disastrous 2017 campaign. Cabrera played in only 130 games and had the worst batting average of his career, hitting .249.

He suffered from herniated disks in his back, which could be a contributing factor in his poor season. Others surmise that he was affected by Worldly events in the country of his birth.

Personal Concerns

In an article of July 11, 2017, TMZ reported that Miguel expressed the concern “My Family’s in Grave Danger in Venezuela“. Cabrera went on to state that he “has, in fact, paid protection money but does not know where the real danger” lies.

Clearly, at the time this article was published, Miggy was already in the depths of that horrendous season.

Aside from average, Cabrera saw decreases in home runs, OBP, SLG and more. It was the first time in his illustrious career that Cabrera did not receive a postseason award.

Cabrera has fought through personal struggles in the past. The domestic altercation in 2009, and his infamous run in with the police in 2011 had two things in common; alcohol. In both cases his blood alcohol level exceeded .24.

Miggy, under the watchful eye of the Detroit Tigers, did take steps to alleviate the problem. He, apparently, has had successful periods of sobriety and no alcohol related incidents have since arisen.

In the season following these incidents, Cabrera had some of his best years, statistically, in his baseball career.

These incidents were self-inflicted and he seems to be able to handle things of that nature.

Domestic Concerns

Most recently, a judge in Orlando Florida ordered the Detroit Tigers slugger to pay attorney fees and temporary child support to a former mistress.

Cabrera is married to Rosangel Cabrera and is a father of three from that marriage.  He is also a father of two from a relationship with Mariela Rodriguez.

The dispute arose after Cabrera was given an ultimatum, by his wife, to cut off contact with Rodriguez. Prior to the ultimatum, Cabrera had furnished his mistress with a house, a vehicle and monthly allowance.

Rodriguez was seeking $20,000 per month. Court documents did not , however, state the amount of the award.

Cabrera seems helpless when it comes to dealing with problems outside of his immediate control.

While Rosangel is not a party to the action, she is allowed, for some unknown reason, to participate the mediation process.

If mediation continues to falter, the court will have to intercede.  A final decision may be months away and could have an impact on this year’s season.

The Big Kid

Those that follow the game know that there is no one who likes to joke and have more fun, on the field, than Cabrera.

Rarely does a batter reach first base without receiving a playful push or banter from the Detroit Tigers first baseman.

Cabrera, clearly, plays the game as it should be played. There are few players who are as studious. Cabrera does not study game film, as he believes it leads to “over thinking”.  However, there is not a better student of the game.

Word is that he can recall the repertoire of every pitcher he faces. Once the game begins, Cabrera’s attention is fully directed to events on the field.

In a 2013 article writer Alipour described Cabrera “as a man who is absolutely fearless in the batter’s box“.  Perhaps his game winning home-run hit during his first major league game is indicative of that fearlessness.

Alipour also described Miggy as a “big kid” when it comes to things like a visit to Disney World. Cabrera has not only been there multiple times but will even stand in line to buy a tee-shirt.

Next: Our unique 2018 Tigers predictions

Impact on Detroit Tigers

A productive 2018 Detroit Tigers season is heavily reliant on upon the success of Jose Miguel Cabrera Torres. Cabrera is the silent leader of the team and one of the most prominent offensive forces in the league.

It is the hope, of many, that outside forces will not impact this year’s performance and he will be, once again, the Miggy of old.

Remember, however, that down deep Cabrera is a big kid.  Maybe the big kid doesn’t want to deal with adult problems.