Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cabera's Future Uncertain After DUI Charge

The Detroit Tigers front office was surprised to receive a call on Thursday morning informing them that their phenom 1B, Miguel Cabrera had been arrested in Florida on suspicion of drunken driving and not cooperating with law enforcement officials.

It was not the first time that Cabrera had been involved with the law due to alcohol, in 2008, Cabrera was picked up by police the night before a playoff game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers that would decide the American League Central. In that incident, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski picked Cabrera up from the precinct and the slugger was not charged. He was on the field for the playoff game, hungover, and failed to produce, leading the Tigers back to Detroit to clean out their lockers.

In another incident, Cabrera was accused by his wife of spousal abuse. While intoxicated, Cabrera allegedly struck his wife, who then fought back leaving visible scratches on the ballplayer's face. Again, no charges were filed and Cabrera got off with little more than a warning.

This time it was different, the officers stopped to investigate Cabrera's vehicle, which was parked on the side of the road and had steam coming from the engine. When the officer approached the car he found that Cabrera was sitting in the drivers seat, with a bottle of scotch next to him. The officer said that he could smell alcohol and the bottle of scotch was open and visible. When he questioned Cabrera, the slugger allegedly told the officer, "You don't know me, you don't know my problems," before drinking out of the scotch bottle.

Cabrera was ordered out of the vehicle, once out of the vehicle officers say that the ballplayer wandered around the street with his hands up, mumbling and refusing to cooperate. The officers were forced to strike Cabrera's legs repeatedly in order to get him to comply and the get in the back of their squad car.

Once at the police station, police filed papers detailing the nature of the arrest. According to the records Cabrera was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and for resisting an officer without violence. He was released Thursday morning on a $1350 bond. He has yet to report to Tigers spring training camp at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.

Major League Baseball is now in control of the situation, the league has created routes that players who are enduring addictions must go through before returning to play. Cabrera has accepted both the Detroit Tigers and MLB decision to receive help for his addiction. It is uncertain when he will return to the Tigers, but he is scheduled to meet with doctors early in the week to evaluate what is best for his future.

According to Cabrera's trainer, he had never seen the slugger exhibiting any signs of having abused alcohol during the winter months. He said that Cabrera would often beat him to the gym in the mornings and begin to look for him when he would be only a few minutes late, so that they could start their training sessions.

Regardless of the past, it is clear that this is a man in need of help, and it appears that he will finally be able to get the help that he needs. Tigers fans, and baseball fans in general, should not be angry at Cabrera, but instead give him the support that he will need to help break his addiction.

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