Miguel 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
The 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.
Miguel Cabrera was not the same player in September and October. That was evident to anyone who watched the Detroit Tigers slugger grit through at-bats over the final month of the season and postseason. Based on the description of his symptoms, it sounded like he had a sports hernia or some injury of that nature that he was battling. On Monday, we learned that Cabrera has a slight groin tear and may need surgery.
MLive.com’s James Schmehl says Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski announced at a press conference Monday that Cabrera has a grade 2 or 3 groin tear and may need surgery.
When you consider he was playing through a groin injury that could require surgery, it’s pretty impressive that he got at least one hit in all but one of Detroit’s playoff games. Cabrera batted .262 with 7 RBIs in the postseason and even even hit two home runs.
Cabrera posted an OPS of at least .995 in every month except September. He batted .278 with a .729 OPS that month.
We already knew he was hurting, and this just confirmed it. Hopefully he comes back fully healthy next season because there’s nobody like him when he’s healthy.
Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera saw his night end almost before it began in a loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday night after he was ejected in the first inning. Chicago pitcher Chris Sale threw a slider that hit Cabrera on the leg, but home plate umpire Brian Gorman ruled that Miggy failed to check his swing and actually swung at the pitch. Cabrera was ejected in the middle of the at-bat for protesting the call.
The ejection seemed to thrill Sale, who got to pitch an entire game without having to retire the game’s best hitter. When he returned to the dugout following the first inning, Sale jokingly pointed to the sky and celebrated. He later told MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that he was giving thanks that “the best hitter to ever walk the planet” had to leave early.
Ted Williams fans would probably argue that Sale is exaggerating a bit, but you get the point. The 24-year-old lefty has been one of the best pitchers in the game this season, racking up 207 strikeouts to go along with a 2.90 ERA. He can probably handle Cabrera a bit better than the American League’s more average pitchers, yet he was still beyond pumped. Considering Cabrera is capable of homering on pitches like this, we can’t say we blame him.
H/T Big League Stew
At the moment, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is the only person standing between Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera and back-to-back American League Triple Crowns. Cabrera’s .357 batting average is a whopping 25 points higher than the next-best in the AL, which is Mike Trout’s .332. Miggy also has 130 RBI, which is 10 more than Davis. However, Davis currently holds the AL lead for home runs with 47. Cabrera has 43.
The Orioles are 4.5 games behind in the AL Wild Card and would love for Davis’ home run pace to continue, but the 27-year-old recently admitted he is pulling for Cabrera to win the Triple Crown again.
“As far as me being the obstruction for him doing it again, I hope he does do it again,” Davis said, via ESPN.com. “That would be awesome. He’s a great hitter. He deserves everything that he gets.
“My goal is not to go out there and keep Miguel Cabrera from winning the Triple Crown. It’s to do everything I can to put us in position to win, whether that means I hit 10 more home runs or two more home runs. I’ve had a productive year so far, but if we don’t make the playoffs, it doesn’t really mean a lot.”
If Cabrera does win another Triple Crown, he would become just the third player in baseball history to accomplish the feat twice and the first ever to do it in back-to-back seasons. But his team is also gearing up for another playoff run, so ideally Cabrera is more focused on winning than making history. Although, he has to be thinking about getting another sweet trophy like this to add to his collection.
And if Cabrera does somehow pull off another Triple Crown, the discussion of him as one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen will heat up even more.
For the first time in his career, Mariano Rivera blew three saves in a row. The New York Yankees closer also experienced another first: he allowed consecutive home runs to the same better — Miguel Cabrera.
Rivera’s semi-struggles began on Wednesday when he surrendered an RBI single to Adam Dunn to tie the Yankees-Chicago White Sox game at four. Rivera got the first two outs of the inning before surrendering a double and RBI single. He struck out the next batters to end the inning, and then he pitched a 1-2-3 10th.
On Friday, Rivera allowed a hit to Austin Jackson and 2-run home run to Cabrera to tie the Yanks-Detroit Tigers game at three. He also gave up a double to Prince Fielder and intentionally walked Victor Martinez before getting Andy Dirks out to end the inning. The Yankees won 4-3 in 10.
The first home run allowed to Cabrera was a long at-bat that featured several foul balls. Cabrera even fouled two balls off his leg and could barely move around the bases, yet he managed to jack a fastball deep to center. Rivera was supposed to throw the pitch inside, but he missed too far out over the plate:
Miguel Cabrera certainly has the flare of an entertainer, even when he’s not hitting home runs.
The Detroit Tigers third baseman took his eye off the bag as he was heading to third base on a fielder’s choice by Don Kelly in the fourth inning of the Tigers’ 10-3 win over the Cleveland Indians, and he tripped on the base. Cabrera went down the ground and, after realizing his blunder garnered some embarrassing attention, he tipped his helmet to the Cleveland crowd.
Cabrera’s teammates were watching from the dugout when it happened, and they instantly began razzing him. Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder had great reactions:
There are some things at LBS that we will never get tired of posting about. Athletes doing stupid things to get arrested. Topless fans jiggling their breasts at games. Johnny Football’s partying ways. Something else that will always have a place here is highlights of Miguel Cabrera being an absolute bada– at the plate.
This guy is the best hitter in baseball and has been for the past several years. He is a total wizard with the bat. Just look at that pitch from Kansas City Royals starter James Shields that he took out down the left field line in the top of the first on Sunday. The pitch was nearly a foot inside and almost exactly where catcher Salvador Perez wanted it. Cabrera let it get deep enough so he could hit it fair, but he still managed to get around on it and drive it out of the park with power. If you watch the replay, you’ll see that he didn’t even extend his arms into a powerful position. 90 percent of hitters would either take the pitch; get jammed and make an out had they swung; or yank it foul. Not Cabrera. This guy somehow manages to knock it out of the park.
The angle from the TV camera doesn’t truly show how far inside the pitch was, but this FOX Trax image does:
You might have to wipe your eyes to actually believe what you see. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, two of the most imposing hitters in baseball, actually pulled off a double steal during the Detroit Tigers’ 9-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. Sure, they got some help when catcher Carlos Santana dropped the ball on his exchange, but that was definitely unexpected. It was Prince’s first stolen base of the season and Miggy’s third. Cabrera probably would have been thrown out at third had Santana fielded the ball cleanly, but Prince probably would have had second stolen. Did you see the huge lead he got at first? Cabrera also went 4-for-4 with a home run in the loss. He leads all MLB hitters with a .368 average and 90 RBIs. And as you can see from the screenshot, he got a big kick out of the double steal.
Things got heated between the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, and slugger Miguel Cabrera was at the center of the drama. It all started on Saturday, when Rays closer Fernando Rodney was struggling with his control in the tenth inning and threw a pitch up and in to Cabrera. That’s right, the tenth inning.
For whatever reason, Cabrera thought Rodney was trying to hit him intentionally in a tie game in extra inning with no outs. Cabrera barked at Rodney a bit, but nothing happened. On Sunday, Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello came up and in on Ben Zobrist in the first inning and hit him on the shoulder. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was not pleased.
“I thought it was absolutely uncalled for and hopefully the league will take a look at that,” Maddon said, via MLB.com’s Sam Strong. “That’s totally premeditated. There’s no question about that.
“We didn’t hit anybody. I want that to be duly noted. When this is all processed, I would hope that people process it properly.”
Zobrist agreed that Porcello hit him intentionally, noting how Cabrera is awfully “sensitive” for someone who is considered the best hitter in baseball.
“I think it was pretty clear in everyone’s minds that it was intentional after the things that were said last night,” he said. “It was at my face. I was fortunate to get out of the way enough to only get hit in the wrist. I would expect a little bit better after the words that were said.”
Cabrera got his revenge — even though none was needed — on Sunday when he smashed a towering home run into the rays tank in center field. Maddon joked about that feat after the game and praised Cabrera’s ability, but he also criticized him for complaining.
“The rays were in danger,” Maddon said. “He could have gotten a phone call or a letter from some activist group, I’m sure. It was a helium ball. I don’t debate this guy is outstanding. He’s wonderful. I just wish he wouldn’t cry so much.”
I second that. Zobrist is mostly likely right about Cabrera being frustrated that he struck out on Saturday in a crucial situation. He may be the best hitter in MLB, but he’s not good enough that someone would hit him to lead off the tenth inning of a tie game.