For Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers clinching of the AL Central division Monday night was just as important and exciting as his teammates. Only difference was he could not celebrate with them in the locker room.
You see, there was champagne, and even though it was alcohol-free, Carbrea did not want to be a part of an image that portrayed him with alcohol in his possession. That would not have been a good look for a player who has had multiple arrests because of driving under the influence, which at one point threatened his career.
So, it was an awkward night for Cabrera. He went 4-for-5, hit a home run and virtually locked up the American League Triple Crown. It should have a wonderful moment for the slugger. Instead, while his teammates doused themselves in the beverages, Cabrera wandered about.
He hung outside the clubhouse at one point, holding his daughter. A few fans walked by, according to Yahoo Sports, oblivious to the man who .329 batting average, 44 home runs and 137 RBIs place him among some of history’s greats.
Then he went back inside and stowed away in the office of his manager, Jim Leyland, his confidant, his ally, his apologist, his steward, his friend. Through both of Cabrera’s public alcohol-related incidents, Leyland showed incredible loyalty, and Cabrera knew this would be a safe space.
And once it overflowed with people, Cabrera headed to small storage space, the clubhouse’s bowels, just him, alone with his thoughts.
Finally, the spraying of the fake bubbly ceased, and Cabrera rejoined the teammates who immediately feted him with chants of “M-V-P, M-V-P,” which at this point he’s bound to win. It didn’t matter that Mike Trout was going 4-for-4 off Felix Hernandez on Monday. Cabrera’s team is going to the postseason. Cabrera is almost surely going to win the Triple Crown. The award is going to be Cabrera’s.
“There was a lot of tension, a lot of speculation, a lot of talk,” Cabrera said. “I’m not that kind of guy. I’m the guy who goes out there and try and have fun and try and win games.”