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Jim Leyland: Miguel Cabrera in Best Shape of His Life, Forget DUI Stuff

Miguel Cabrera has a drinking problem.  You know how I know?  Because he drinks, and it causes problems.  The 27-year old has been accused of showing up to a game hungover and battered from a drunken fight.  He recently made history when he became the first ever professional athlete to be sacked by the LBS Nut Bag, and that was because of his drunken, smiling mug shot.  One man who doesn’t seem all that concerned about any of it is Cabrera’s manager, Jim Leyland.

Hardball Talk shared some of Leyland’s comments about Cabrera with us on Friday morning, with which he basically praised his best hitter and brushed the DUI arrest aside. “Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life,” Leyland said. “He’s stronger than he’s ever been. And he’s quicker than he’s ever been. He’s probably going to have the biggest year of his life.”

That’s great, coach, but what about his problems with alcohol and the law? “It has no effect,” Leyland continued. “It might make some dramatic reading material. It’s not going to do s***. Believe me. Nothing.”

Someone should probably remind Leyland that this a player who was allegedly swigging from a bottle of scotch right in front of a police officer’s face while on the side of a public road.  We’re not talking about a speeding ticket.  It’s one thing to defend your players and not discuss “in-house” issues, but Leyland shouldn’t be acting like Cabrera’s latest issue with alcohol is nothing more than “dramatic reading material.”

As for the best year of his career?  At 27 and coming off a .328/38/126 season, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

Jim Leyland Does Not Want Instant Replay in MLB Despite Blown Call

Umpire Jim Joyce blew a call at first base that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. As a result, we said once again that baseball should expand its use of instant replay. Unfortunately, we have guys like Jim Leyland who like things the way they are. After the Tigers beat the Indians 3-0 and the perfect game was blown, the Tigers manager vouched for umpires citing the almighty “human element.” Here’s what he said:

This is the human element of the game, it’s going to remain that way forever — I think it should. I’m sure somebody’s going to say ‘If they had a replay on that play the kid would have had a perfect game.’ Somebody will say something like that but not me. That’s the human element and it’s a good element because the umpires to a great job, there’s no question about that. They’re a whole lot right more than they are wrong and they make some unbelievable calls on bang-bang plays. You’d be surprised how many replays you look at and you thought they were wrong and they’re right.

I agree with Leyland that umpires are right a lot more than they are wrong and that they do make unbelievable calls on bang-bang plays. Unfortunately, all the times they get calls right are meaningless when they blow it on significant plays like this one, or the Joe Mauer ball in the playoffs. Umpires already do a good job but why not allow them the opportunity to correct their mistakes? What’s so bad about striving for perfection?