To cover the immediate question that many of you are likely thinking after that first paragraph, this is not an absolution of Miguel Cabrera. What he did was harmful to himself, and even worse, could have harmed others. I’m not a doctor, nor a medical expert, nor do I have any firsthand knowledge of Cabrera’s lifestyle and potential issues, so I won’t attempt to place a label on what this is.
What we do know is that this isn’t the first time Cabrera has had not just one too many, but a few too many, and the incident ended with police involvement. Whatever needs to happen, from both a personal and a professional standpoint, is something that he, along with the Tigers, need to address.
In addition, Cabrera is going to have to deal with the legal ramifications of his actions and accept the associated punishment that is likely to come along with that.
But, for the fans, both of these things are not within our control, and not something that we’re likely to be following. Nor, as fans, should we. Over the past ten days, fans have rushed to conclusions, labeling Cabrera an alcoholic, some clamoring for extremes as far as voiding his contract. The reality is though that this is a private matter that should be handled as such; privately.
This doesn’t mean that his actions or the repercussions won’t have any impact on his performance on the team. They very well could. It just means that it doesn’t make it the fans right to know about it, or criticize or judge him for it. Many times, personal situations impact a player’s performance on the field – they are after all, human.
With skyrocketing salaries and the superstar nature of the sport, along with the likes of TMZ.com reporting on the Hollywood-style obsessive rumors, players have come to be viewed as something beyond that – someone that should live a pristine life, because if Joe Fan had the skill and the opportunity, he’d take advantage of it. So too, the logic goes, should the player.
But that idealist state is often times far from reality, and the reality is that Cabrera has his faults and his issues, just like everyone else, regardless of how well and how far he can hit a baseball.
So, as fans, we should all hope that Cabrera is able to address those issues and put himself in the best possible personal position that he can. But beyond that, it’s simply not our business what goes on when he steps off the diamond.
And so, for us, it’s time we get back to focusing on what’s happening and what we can see on the diamond, and stop obsessing about what might happen off it.