This isn't the usual final day of the regular season for the Detroit Tigers. Fans are flooding into Comerica Park to watch Miguel Cabrera don a Tigers uniform for the last time. Several other storylines are at play; this could also mark the final start for Eduardo Rodriguez in a Tigers uniform and the last game for Cleveland manager Terry Francona.
But during the pregame press conference, Manager A.J. Hinch kept the tone of the presser light and totally focused on Cabrera. Hinch on the game plan today for Miguel:
"We want to do some really cool things for him to make sure he's recognized. And, so I'm going in a little uncertain as to what the day's going to look like. And I've joked about this with some of our fans that keep asking me to put Miguel in the game, even when he's in the game. I can't really hit him the next inning just because you want to see him the next inning."- A.J. Hinch
"He's going to hit third every time it rolls around, like it has the last hundred years. Can I hit him first every inning like in spring training? Can do I that? No, I can't. We got to play by the rules. So I think that the natural feel for the game is the longest, he wants to play deep into the game."- A.J. Hinch
On the excitement and vibe in the clubhouse:
"There's pure excitement with the environment that we know we're going to play in front of and there's a lot of perspective that we're trying to gain on what this actually really means. I mean, as a team, we're finishing the season, hopefully, on a high note."- A.J. Hinch
"I mean, a win today would mean a lot because we can get on happy flights or happy drives and know that we really finished strong. As we could have hoped in September, and then there's the obvious mixed emotions, knowing that we're closing the chapter of the playing career, one of the best right hand hitters of all time."- A.J. Hinch
"So, we're going to soak it all up. I mean, we're all, we're wearing the t-shirts, we're, you know, giving the hugs, wer'e soaking up as much time as we can. We all knew it was inevitable, but it's still emotional."- A.J. Hinch
On Miguel's role next year as the team's assistant to the general manager:
"I think his role can be very versatile as a baseball person. I mean, he could teach the game 24 hours a day if he, if he had the time and has the willingness to do it. I mean, he knows so much about the game and about, about preparing for a pitcher about in particular at bat, keeping things simple, keeping things fresh and challenging himself and challenging others."- A.J. Hinch
"So I think the baseball IQ part, we're going to try to tap into that as much as possible for our players in the big leagues, our players in the minor leagues, or players in Latin America. "- A.J. Hinch
The game will be aired for free on MLB.TV in addition to being aired on Bally Sports Detroit.