Miguel Cabrera declines playoff bonus money

Miguel CabreraWith Major League Baseball’s playoffs here, the focus from here on out is getting to (and winning) the World Series.

There’s also the formality of the shares of playoff money teams receive for their participation in the postseason. Players must sign a form to receive their piece of the pie.

This year, Miguel Cabrera isn’t interested in the money.

Ahead of the Detroit Tigers’ division series against the Baltimore Orioles, Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer was making his way through the locker room with the forms for players to sign when he arrived at Cabrera’s locker. Last season’s American League MVP made it known he was going to pass this time around.

“I’m not signing anything,” Cabrera told Scherzer via USA Today, who also notes Cabrera later told teammate Victor Martinez that he “just wants the ring.”

This will be the Tigers’ fourth consecutive season in the playoffs with the previous three ending in the American League Championship Series (twice) and a sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

General manager Dave Dombrowski signaled his intent to bring a championship to Detroit this time around by trading for David Price at the trade deadline to bolster and already impressive starting rotation. It sounds like Miguel Cabrera is as focused as ever to do his part to help the cause.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Tigers give away Miguel Cabrera bobblehead with him holding National League MVP Award

Miguel CabreraThe Seattle Mariners are in Detroit this weekend for a series against the Tigers with American League wild card implications.

Prior to the first game of series on Friday, the Tigers gave Miguel Two-Time MVP bobbleheads to the first 10,000 fans in attendance.

The first baseman, of course, took home the AL version of the award in 2012 after becoming the first player since Carl Yastrzemski to earn the batting triple crown, then became a back-to-back winner in 2013.

The bobblehead is Cabrera with both of his MVP Awards, one in each hand. There’s one small problem, however. The nine-time All-Star is holding the National League version of the award.

You won’t get many arguments for saying Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in baseball today. Unfortunately, that standing won’t get him the MVP in a league he doesn’t play in.

H/T Eye On Baseball

Miguel Cabrera: Justin Verlander and I having trouble recovering from surgery

Miguel-Cabrera-TigersMiguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander both underwent the same surgical procedure within the past year. The two Detroit Tigers stars had sports hernia surgery, with Cabrera going under the knife last October and Verlander having it done in January. According to Cabrera, neither player has fully recovered.

Miggy is having another fantastic season, leading Major League Baseball with 75 RBI and the AL with 34 doubles. However, his 14 home runs are well behind last season’s pace. Verlander struggled throughout the first half of the season, compiling an 8-8 record with a 4.88 ERA.

“There are times when I feel good, but there are always muscles that are tightening, muscles that are not functioning properly,” Cabrera said Monday, via a translation from Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today Sports. “It’s part of the process. The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don’t see it as frequently.”

Despite the nagging injury, Cabrera said he and Verlander do not want to use their ongoing recovery as a crutch.

“But as he and I talked about, we’re never going to offer any excuses for our performance,” Miggy added. “We always want to be out on the field and compete, and I think that’s the most important thing we can do, compete and try to get past this tough time. And the main thing is we’re in first place.”

Sports hernia injuries can affect the waist and lower body area, so that explanation certainly makes sense. It would help explain why Cabrera isn’t blasting as many home runs and why Verlander’s velocity has been down.

As Cabrera mentioned, the Tigers have a 6.5-game lead in the AL Central despite Verlander’s slow start and Miggy’s somewhat human-like numbers. If both can get healthy in the second half, Detroit will be even more dangerous.

Miguel Cabrera gets another sack whack for touching Adrian Beltre’s head (Video)

Adrian-Beltre-Miguel-CabreraAdrian Beltre hates having his head touched, and Miguel Cabrera knows that. On Tuesday night, Beltre collected the 2,500th hit of his MLB career. So naturally, Miggy had to mess with his buddy when he got to first.

Like a good friend, Cabrera tracked down the ball for Beltre so he could keep it for a souvenir. The Texas Rangers PA announcer then informed the fans in attendance that Beltre had reached a milestone, so he took his helmet off to acknowledge the standing ovation. Cabrera saw that as an opportunity to touch Beltre’s head and took advantage.

As some of you might remember, Miggy touched Beltre’s head last month when he got to third base and Beltre responded by punching him in the nuts. What do you think he did on Tuesday?

Cabrera should have seen that coming. By now he should know the deal — touch Beltre’s head and get a sack whack in return. He can’t say he hasn’t been warned.

GIF via SB Nation

Miguel Cabrera touches Adrian Beltre’s head, gets punched in nuts in return (Video)

Miguel Cabrera was feeling a little saucy on Friday night and decided to tempt fate by touching Adrian Beltre’s head. And you all know what happens if you touch Beltre’s head — you’re going to get a boot up your butt in return.

Cabrera doubled for the Tigers against the Rangers in the third and advanced to third on a groundout. While hanging out on the bag, he struck up a conversation with Beltre. Then he looked down to create a diversion, and when Beltre wasn’t paying attention, he did the unspeakable.

Miguel Cabrera Adrian Beltre

Beltre smacked Cabrera with his glove in return, and then followed up with a nut punch. Miggy hit back at Beltre’s nuts, making it look like a couple of third graders quibbling on the playground at recess.

Gotta love it when a bunch of grown men play around like kids.

Austin Jackson had great reaction after Miguel Cabrera home run (Video)

Austin Jackson Miguel CabreraMiguel Cabrera did what Miguel Cabrera does … yet it was all a little too much for Austin Jackson to take in Tuesday.

The Detroit Tigers were getting shut out by the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in the top of the ninth. They had two on with two outs and Miggy at the plate. And of course Cabrera belted a 3-run home run to put the Tigers ahead, and they went on to win 4-1. But the best part was Austin Jackson’s reaction to what Miggy did.

That’s the total, “bro, are you even human?” look. And it was so appropriate.

By the way, how textbook was Miggy’s approach on that pitch? 1-0 count and he was totally thinking “sit back on fastball, adjust to the curve.” He strided ahead for the fastball, kept his body weight back and had enough left to launch the breaking ball over the fence. That’s why he’s the best.

GIF via Guyism

MLB executives reportedly ‘appalled’ and disgusted by Miguel Cabrera extension

Miguel CabreraThe Detroit Tigers decided to give franchise player and back-to-back MVP Miguel Cabrera a contract extension, but the terms and circumstances of the deal apparently have outraged some MLB executives.

ESPN MLB reporter Buster Olney says the industry is “in shock” over the deal and that some people are “appalled” by it.

Cabrera was already signed through 2015 and scheduled to make $22 million in each of the next two seasons. He turns 31 in April, and Detroit wanted to keep him long term.

According to FOX’s Jon Morosi, Cabrera’s extension will be for eight years after his current deal expires, which puts him under contract with the Tigers through 2023. The deal calls for him to be paid $292 million. On top of that, Jon Heyman says there are $30 million vesting options for years 2024 and 2025 which, if reached, would keep Cabrera with the Tigers for the next 12 years!

Now is this a crazy contract people should be “appalled” over? I think we need to find out the terms of the vesting options before we evaluate it. Assuming that it will be difficult for a 40-year-old Cabrera to make it vest, I’ll look at the contract as one that will pay Miggy $292 million through 2023. That seems completely reasonable for the best hitter in baseball. Nobody likes the thought of paying a guy $30 million a year when he’s 37, 38, 39 and 40, but that’s what you have to do if you want to keep the best player in baseball on your team. Plus, for as good of a hitter as Miggy is, he’ll probably still be an asset when he’s 37 and 38 and, with inflation, $30 million then won’t seem like quite as much as it does now.

Assuming the vesting years will be tough to achieve, I don’t mind this deal one bit. You have to pay to keep great players, and if there’s one player whose bat I’m most confident in long term, it’s definitely Miggy’s!

Plus, look at this reasoning from Detroit’s side:

Well that would explain why the Tigers rushed to give a player who’s getting older such a big contract despite having him signed for two more seasons. Had they waited a year, they wouldn’t have had to worry about having such a huge financial commitment to the slugger in case he gets injured. Other teams are probably wondering why they assumed that risk when they had no reason to.