I don’t think he’ll sit, and do think he’ll play most of the innings.
Sitting out to protect one’s stats reminds me of Jose Reyes, on the afternoon of Baseball’s Greatest Day, coming out of the New York Mets’ game after a first inning single to avoid three hitless at bats that might cost him the 2012 National League batting title. That the manager who allowed this was Terry Collins is IMO no surprise. Reyes’ and Collins’ decision remains an ugly footnote on what was otherwise a spectacularly memorable day of baseball.
It doesn’t remind me of Ted Williams, at .3996 on the last day of the 1941 season, playing both games of a doubleheader at Shibe Park.
“Mr. Mack (Connie, the Philadelphia Athletics’ manager) told us he’d run us all out of baseball if we let up on you,” catcher Frank Hayes said when the Splinter came to bat in inning one of game one.
Williams went 6 for 8 that day, and finished with a .406 average.
Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland is an old-school guy who thinks the game of baseball should be played that way, the right way.
He’ll start Cabrera, and leave him in for five, or seven, innings; or the whole game if the situation dictates.
If I was pitching and the game was close, I’d want my best hitter in there. Leyland, the player’s manager, knows this and, to be fair to his pitcher, will manage accordingly.
If the Tigers are way ahead, or way behind, Cabrera will come out, as he did several times this season; and Tiger fans will hope Josh Hamilton doesn’t go deep in Oakland.
Close game, or if the scoreboard watchers in the Tiger dugout see that Hamilton has homered two time zones to the west, he stays in.
But he won’t sit. Skipper Leyland respects the game, and will write “Cabrera” into the third spot on the lineup card in both of the Tigers’ remaining games.