Four months ago, Detroit Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel called out teammate Miguel Cabrera for not speaking to the media after a loss in the playoffs. In Dotel’s opinion, Cabrera should be one of Detroit’s leaders since he is the team’s best player. On Tuesday, the topic was revisited.
In a story written by Eric Aldeson of Yahoo! Sports, Dotel was quoted as basically calling Cabrera selfish.
“You have to step up and say something,” Dotel told Yahoo! Sports. “Miggy’s more about his game. I don’t see him as a leader.”
The 39-year-old Dotel went on to explain how he feels the slugger should take on more of a leadership role seeing as how everyone “has their eyes on Miggy Cabrera.” Cabrera apparently did not appreciate the criticism, and Dotel felt the need to apologize for his comments on Wednesday.
“I don’t mean to make people think that he’s not the guy,” Dotel said, via MLive.com’s Chris Iott. “He’s our guy. He’s our horse. He’s our man. If we don’t have Miggy, hello, where are we going to be? I don’t know where we’re going to be.”
Cabrera had very little to say about the situation, but he made it clear that it did indeed bother him.
“If he’s saying that — wow — what do you want (me) to say,” the Triple Crown winner said. “That’s his opinion.”
Cabrera later told reporters that he is “good” with Dotel and has nothing to say, and Dotel gave the following response when asked if he was upset about the situation.
“Yes, big time,” he said. “Because that’s not what I was trying to mean. And I’m sorry that Miggy thinks the way he thinks. I feel bad. I apologized to him and everyone here about that leader comment.”
It’s certainly possible that Dotel’s comments didn’t come out the way he wanted them to, but the fact that he said something similar during the playoffs last year makes it a reoccurring theme. The best player on the team is not always a leader — just ask someone like Manny Ramirez. Dotel is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it’s probably time for him to accept that speaking to members of the media about it only creates drama.
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