Look closely in to the picture and what do you see? There are the obvious Detroit Tigers players celebrating their clinching of the American League Central Division title last night. The better question would be, what DON’T you see in the picture. Or more importantly, who is missing from the celebration?
Miguel Cabrera didn’t participate in the celebration, even though the Tigers opted to celebrate with FRE. FRE is a brand of wine where the alcohol is removed before it is bottled. This is the choice of many people who have had troubles with alcohol in the past. Since Cabrera has had a couple of incidents with the law and being under the influence of alcohol, it was a considerate thing for the Tigers to do. But, he still opted to stay away from the celebrating.
What did Cabrera do instead? He chose to hold on to his daughter and mingle with some fans out on the field. After fans left, Cabrera went inside and sat in the space coach Jim Leyland used for an office. The game was in Kansas City, so he couldn’t just retreat to home like he could have if they had played in Detroit. Once the coaches and players started filing in to the area, Cabrera left again and hid out until the spraying and celebrating in the locker room had toned down. Then he joined his teammates for a couple of pictures.
Was he angry? No. Was he thinking ahead? Definitely. Having the willpower to skip out on the celebration with teammates takes effort. Is that strong willpower also what helped him to *almost* achieve the Triple Crown in baseball, which hasn’t been done since 1967? Probably. Throw in some clean living and the desire to play for fun and it is a recipe to be a leader in home runs, runs batted in and in the batting average figures.
(In case you were wondering, the last Tiger player who achieved the Triple Crown, the only other one, was Ty Cobb back in 1909.)
Kudos to Cabrera for sitting out of the celebration that could have tempted him to cross a line. A celebration that he had a very large part in creating for the rest of his teammates to be able to enjoy. Without his power at the bat, the Tigers might not have clenched the berth when they did or even at all. A little more focus for the two remaining games is all he needs and then he might be the first man in 45 years to win baseball’s Triple Crown. Having the title might be all the celebration he needs.
Good luck Cabrera!