Chuck and I are not alone: time to dump the dude

Cabrera’s outpatient treatment isn’t sufficient

By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports
Feb 24, 6:49 pm EST

Miguel Cabrera drank himself into a violent, abusive state in October 2009, and the Detroit Tigers responded by playing him hours after they picked him up from jail. Cabrera drank himself so silly a week ago he didn’t bother to stop swigging from a bottle of scotch in front of the police, and the Tigers are responding by welcoming him to spring training like nothing happened.

At this rate, the next time Cabrera takes a drink the Tigers will give him a raise.

Seriously, what does Cabrera have to do for the Tigers to punish him? Run a dog-fighting ring? Kill someone? Insult Little Caesars? Cabrera’s apology, delivered Thursday almost entirely in Spanish and translated by assistant general manager Al Avila, was a joke. He still refuses to admit that he is an alcoholic. He hid behind medical privilege rather than answer legitimate questions, such as why doctors recommended he rejoin the booze-soaked baseball life today rather than check in to a rehabilitation center. And he skated once again, the Pussy Cats happy to enable the player to whom they’ll pay more than $100 million over the next five years because it’s so much easier than holding him accountable.

Cabrera will slip into his Tigers uniform Friday morning and practice with his teammates in Lakeland, Fla., eight days after police detained him on DUI and resisting-arrest charges. This is special treatment even by superstar standards. To invite Cabrera back into their clubhouse so soon – and so consequence-free – after such a spectacular arrest screams: Come ye, alcoholic baseball players, for we at the Detroit Tigers welcome your kind!

Even if the doctors chosen by Major League Baseball and the players’ union recommended that Cabrera follow a program rather than commit to inpatient treatment, it doesn’t lessen the severity of what he has done – and what he faces. This is now two extreme incidents of alcohol abuse that ended in embarrassment. Certainly they’re not the only two times Cabrera drank himself into oblivion.

The Pussy Cats are, essentially, doubling down on an alcoholic whose sobriety lasted barely a year. There is supportive, and there is coddling, and for somebody who said he has worked with dozens of players with substance-abuse issues, general manager Dave Dombrowski should know better than to skew toward the latter.

Forget a reprimand. The Pussy Cats couldn’t even slap him on the wrist.

“He acknowledges he has a problem,” Dombrowski said.

He does, huh? Asked directly if he was an alcoholic, here was Cabrera’s response: “The doctors … are the ones that would know best how to answer that.”

It’s no surprise Cabrera is in denial. It’s not like the Pussy Cats have given him any reason to believe he has a problem.

Dombrowski said the team will help Cabrera find someone to shadow him at all times and help prevent relapses. A full-time sponsor is a nice idea. It can help. By no means, though, does it stop an addict from going back to his old ways. Johnny Narron was supposed to be with Josh Hamilton(notes) for 24 hours a day. Hamilton ended up in a Phoenix-area bar getting whipped cream licked off him by random women. Slip-ups happen. They happen far less when a person understands his disease and how it affects those around him.

Cabrera’s apology tour began during a press conference – he even said he was sorry for acting like a drunken lout to the policeman who needed to give him four Charley horses before arresting him – and will continue tomorrow when, he said, he’ll roam around the clubhouse with contrition on his tongue. Then he’ll step into the batting cage, smack balls over a fence and all will be forgiven.

His manager, Jim Leyland, was right: This won’t cause distractions. The furor over Cabrera will pass much quicker than if he were in rehab. He’ll hide behind medical privilege as an excuse not to talk about it – you don’t see Hamilton and other addicts who are honest with themselves taking that tack – and hit his 30 home runs and drive in his 100 runs and earn his $20 million while in what MLB termed a “multifaceted, professionally-administered program.”

It sounds good. Lots of … facets. And professional … administration. And – oh, hell, who are they kidding? Miguel Cabrera, alcoholic, is back in precisely the place he needn’t be. And every time the urge hits him – and it’s not going away anytime soon – he’ll have a choice to make: drink or don’t. If he’s in a proper program, he’ll be able to resist almost every time. That one time he doesn’t, though, he’ll go through the repercussions in his mind. The law won’t like it. Neither will his family. Even MLB said, in a statement, “any future alcohol-related incidents could involve more serious consequences.” With so many pitfalls, Cabrera can take solace in at least one thing.

The Pussy Cats won’t do a thing about it.

Jeff Passan is a national writer for Yahoo! Sports. He is the co-author of the new book "Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series." Follow him on Twitter. Send Jeff a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.;_ylt=AiqRTUcVFnjCjht8.N_7q.YRvLYF?slug=jp-cabrerareportstigers022411

"Same old song, just a different beat..."

Well, at least Miggie isn't misbehaving on the eve of a playoff game, and he didn't get into a fight with his wife; this time it was a cop.

But really, it's time to move on from this one-ring circus. With his talent we should be able to acquire a top quality starting pitcher. Let's make a deal.

This is just too much of a distraction.

Dreams of Fields

Minor leaguer Daniel Fields, a graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, relaxes after a workout at Tigertown. He spent most of last season paying center field for the Lakeland Flying Tigers.


Joel Zumaya races to field a bunt during a spring training drill.

Spring Fling

Robbie Weinhardt takes part in a fielding drill. Feb. 14, 2011.

Miguel Cabrera faces DUI charge

From the Associated Press

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has been arrested on drunken driving charges in Florida.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said the 27-year-old's car engine was smoking alongside a road late Wednesday when a deputy spotted the vehicle.

According to the arrest report, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of Scotch in front of a deputy. Police say Cabrera repeatedly refused to cooperate, saying, "Do you know who I am, you don't know anything about my problems." In 2009, the All-Star first baseman got into a fight with his wife after a night of drinking, right before his team surrendered the American League Central Division title to the Minnesota Twins.

Cabrera posted $1,350 bond and was released Thursday.

Smiling Faces

Justin Verlander smiles for my camera yesterday as the Tigers held their first official workout for pitchers and catchers at Tigertown in Lakeland, Florida.

Gibbie in training

Gregg's latest poll asksif Gibbie will manage a contender. Not with the Diamondbacks - that is for sure. I do believe he could be in training for an upcoming job with our Tigers. Illitch is loyal to the Tigers. If the Tigers do not produce what they are capable of - I think it is a possibility that Leyland can be gone and then the Tigs will bring in Gibbie. Just a thought -- something for discussion in this Hot Stove league.

Woodie Fryman, key contributor on Tigers’ 1972 playoff team, dies at 70

From the Detroit News

DETROIT -- A hero of a Tigers' team that nearly went to the World Series has died.

Woodie Fryman, the left-handed pitcher who gave the 1972 Tigers such a lift in the last two months of their successful drive to win the American League East, died Friday night at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

His death was confirmed by Price Brothers Funeral Home in Flemingsburg, Ky, which will handle funeral arrangements.

Fryman was 70.

A tobacco farmer much of his life, he was a Tiger from 1972-74, and had non-descript records for them the last two years, But what he did while going 10-3 for the Tigers in 1972, after being claimed on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies, endeared him to Tigers fans.

On a team that eventually won the American League East by a half-game over Boston -- a margin caused by a scheduling quirk following a work stoppage to begin the season -- Fryman prevented the Tigers from collapsing that August, then pitched them to the pennant in September.

Fryman won three games while the Tigers were going through a rough 5-12 stretch in August, then went 7-1 with a 1.79 ERA in his last eight starts.

He lost twice in the playoffs as the Tigers lost a best-of-5 series in five games to the Oakland A's, and he never recaptured as a Tiger that summer magic of 1972 -- but what a memorable two months he had.

Fryman wasn't done as a player, though. He was an All-Star for the Montreal Expos in 1976, reinvented himself as a relief pitcher who topped out with 17 saves in 1980, eventually was voted into the Expos' Hall of Fame, and pitched in the majors until 1983.

In 2005, he was also inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

Fryman's career record was 141-155 with a 3.77 ERA and 58 saves. He was not related to Travis Fryman, who was the Tigers' third baseman from 1990-97.

Bonderman Close To Signing With Indians

It is quite appropriate that Jeremy Bonderman is about to sign a major league contract with the Cleveland Indians, of all teams. He has had a rough time through the years with the Indians and maybe he figures if you can't whomp em, then join em.

I saw him in his 1st Spring Training with the Tigers. My friends were down in Florida for our annual mecca and we went over to Winter Haven to see the game. It was the final game for the Indians in Winter Haven, home of my Grandparents, and where my Dad was raised.

Everyone was out that day. There were three of us guys, in our late 40's to early 50's, and that day we found out about the Spring Training Shuffle. That is the dance of the old people making their way to their seats. We brought down the average age in attendance that day by decades.

We stayed in the parking lot after the game, because the old people speeded up so they could be first in line at the buffet featuring the senior discount and free dessert. Those old people were running people and off of the road.

Bob Feller was running around in a baggy 40's Indians uniform and a diaper, signing autographs and telling those old stories over and over again.

It was a fond memory. Winter Haven is probably 100 miles from the Kennedy Space Center, but on that day, Karim Garcia was doing all of the launching. Garcia hit 3 bombs off of Jeremy that day, and the last one was the farthest ball that I have ever seen hit. EVER!!! Please remember that I was at the 1971 All Star game and saw Reggie's shot. The last ball that Garcia hit has now docked with the International Space Station. I think that he is still scarred from that day. At least he didn't have a meltdown and cry on the mound like Byung-Hyun Kim. He was on the mound at Yankee Stadium weeping after Tino Martinez and then Derek Jeter took him deep to win the game.

Can you picture Miguel batting against Bonderman in the 9th inning of a tie game? As Crash Davis said, throw that weak ass shit up here meat". Miguel, take your time and don't miss that beach ball. If it has a hump in it, jump all over it.

Oh the things that you remember!!!! Spring Training in 10 days!!!

Sometimes I Hate MLB TV

Here I am, minding my own business, and channel flipping last night and this afternoon. MLB TV is showing the 50 Top Games ever played. Of course, number 16 is the Tigers - Twins playoff in 2009. I has been almost 18 months since that game was played. I consider myself a somewhat stable individual, and mild mannered, but I have a major problem.