Happy anniversary, everyone!
Anniversary of what, you may ask? Well, on this date three years ago, Miguel Cabrera had his infamous drunk driving arrest in Florida. For a full recap of what happened, if you somehow forgot, that’s why Al Gore invented Google.
Immediately after hearing about it, I wrote this. I urge you to check it out if you weren’t with me back then. It was more personal information that I’d normally feel comfortable sharing with strangers on the internet, but I felt I had a unique point of view on the situation and thought it was an intelligent viewpoint on Cabrera’s situation. It may also give you a better idea of what irks me in the words that follow.
Now I’m not here to remind you of this date in Miguel Cabrera’s life that I’m sure he regrets and wishes never happened. No, I’m not here to celebrate that particular anniversary.
You see, this is the anniversary of the day (and week that followed) that I took the final step in my hatred for the majority of the sports media out there. The knee-jerk opinion pieces that followed on Cabrera disgusted me and time has not healed anything. They were the final straw in my ongoing distrust and distain of the majority of the sports media out there.
Today, I want to remind you what the local and national media were saying about Cabrera on those days. HOT SPORTZ TAKES came out in full force. Most took the lazy and ignorant position that anyone that has an incident or two involving alcohol is suddenly an alcoholic. Others got even more high and mighty with their b.s. speculating that Cabrera’s career was in jeopardy and that the Tigers were enablers. Everyone went into full overreaction mode with minimal information.
I mean no one in their 20’s, especially a multi-millionaire from another country, ever does anything stupid after drinking too much, right? Nope. He must have a DISEASE.
These are my “favorites”. I’m not providing links, but if you really want to read the full versions, you can find them still with some effort. Well, most, at least. Henning’s article has been removed from the News site for some reason. Good thing I save stuff!
Anyway, here you go.
Scott Miller, then with CBS Sports, since fired:
I don't say this often, but the Florida Marlins today look like geniuses. For trading Miguel Cabrera, long ago.
Yeah, Scott. Brilliant. GENIUSES, those Marlins are.
Michael Rosenberg, then of The Detroit Free Press, now with Sports Illustrated:
But he did not publicly say he was an alcoholic and could never drink again. In other words: Miguel Cabrera is like a lot of alcoholics. He struggles with the concept of "never." And until he fully comes to grips with that, we probably will see him in more mug shots.
Doctor Rosenberg diagnosed Cabrera as an alcoholic and decided what Cabrera’s thinking process was. What a fuckhead.
Lynn Henning, Detroit News:
Has the alcoholism for which Miguel Cabrera was treated more than a year ago gripped him so severely that a magnificent baseball player's career, at age 27, is threatened by a disease so unrelenting?
Not so much, Lynn. Stick to telling us how AMAZEBALLS the Tigers farm system is despite no evidence to support it.
Steve Kornacki, mLive:
Cabrera certainly looked worth the investment after finishing second in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting in 2010, when he led the league with 126 RBIs while batting .328 and hitting 38 home runs. But now you must wonder. Will he become another Doc Gooden or Darryl Strawberry and burn out after a brilliant beginning?
Nope. After writing this, Steve spied a child stepping on an ant, killing it. Immediately he thought, will this kid become THE NEXT HITLER???
Alan Babbitt, hollandsentinel.com:
The 27-year-old needs help before he kills himself, or even worse, an innocent bystander or more — let alone waste a promising baseball career. The Tigers are tied to Cabrera because the remaining money in his contract is guaranteed to him under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. His trade value is diminished for now, and the Tigers cannot cut someone of his immense production without handcuffing their franchise for the remainder of the deal.
Sigh…WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!
Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press:
You know what that makes him? A public menace.
I hate Mitch Albom more than Rod Allen hates making sense.
Drew Sharp: Detroit Free Press:
You want "tough love"? Try being tough.
The Tigers should suspend Cabrera indefinitely after his Wednesday night arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. They should demand that he check himself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility for an indeterminate amount of time. Should Cabrera refuse, the Tigers should seek voiding the remaining five years -- and $107 million -- of his contract.
Yes, if Drew Sharp had his way, Mike Hessman would have been in Cabrera’s place on the field the past three years.
Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News:
It's not Cabrera's first losing bout with alcohol, and the raw question must be asked: Can the Tigers truly count on their superstar first baseman anymore?
But there's a dark side, obviously, and if it isn't killing him, it's threatening to kill his career.
Overreaction, thy name is Wojo.
My favorite punching bag, Bill Simonson, mLive:
Please don’t preach to me that Cabrera has a disease and doesn’t know what he is doing. No one knows if he is an alcoholic.
Holy Mother of God! Simonson, of all people, had an intelligent take on the situation! It’s a bloody miracle! Thank you, Bill, for…
What if he is just an arrogant, stupid, multi-millionaire athlete who thinks he can do and say what he wants without any repercussion?
Cabrera has one more strike left with Tigers fans. If he rocks the Tigers nation again with another story of stupidity, he will have to be traded. Tigers fans never have sold out their baseball souls for bad headlines.
Never mind. Fuck you as always, Huge. You colossal dickhead.
And finally, by far the worst of the bunch, Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports:
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 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.
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!
Since he published this garbage, I refuse to read Passan anymore. He’s a disgrace.
As you can see, the general consensus of the respected sports media was that Miguel Cabrera was the antichrist, was a baseball-playing Keith Richards, and that he would probably be dead by the end of the season.
Instead, he went on to lead the league in hitting that year and led the Tigers to their first ever AL Central title before losing to Texas in the ALCS. The next year, Cabrera would win the AL MVP while becoming the first player to win the Triple Crown since 1968. He took his team to the World Series, as well. In 2013, he would repeat as MVP, lead the AL in hitting for the third straight season, and again lead the team to the ALCS.
Most importantly, and to the SHOCK (I’m sure) of these HOT TAKIN’ sportswriters, Cabrera has been a model citizen and a great teammate in addition to his amazing performance on the diamond. So much for being a menace, eh, Albom?
In those three years, I have seen NONE of the above writers follow up on Cabrera’s so-called “disease”. I mean these guys seemed so concerned that Cabrera was an alcoholic, a menace to society, and the face of what’s wrong with baseball. You’d think they would admit that maybe they jumped the gun on the whole “alcoholic” talk and admit they were wrong. Or at the very least, you’d think they would chronicle his “recovery” from his “disease”.
Ha…that’s silly talk. No, most just sing his praises now and pretend the situation never happened.
Miguel Cabrera did something stupid three years ago, something that people of all ages and races unfortunately do every day. He did something that around 900,000 people in the U.S. are arrested for each year. And he learned from it. And he has grown as a person. Thankfully, he didn’t pay attention to what was being assumed and written about him at the time.
I do not mean to excuse what he did. But the media response to his actions was a joke.
I’m proud that I had one of the few reasonable reactions at the time. And I’m glad I was right. It’s kind of sad that Captain Dick Joke ended up being the voice of reason, huh?
So yeah, this is one of the biggest reasons I’m so anti-lazy mainstream media.
Happy anniversary, everyone.