photo by Samara Pearlstein
We haven’t even had the first full-team workout yet this spring, and things have already gotten depressing.
Miguel Cabrera was arrested Wednesday night for driving under the influence and resisting arrest without violence. There does not seem to be a whole lot of ambiguity about what happened.
Cabrera, 27, was spotted by a deputy in a car with a smoking engine alongside a road in Fort Pierce [FL]. Inside the vehicle, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. He refused to cooperate and more deputies were called to the scene.
According to the police report, Cabrera was wandering into the road with his hands up before he was handcuffed. The report quoted him as saying, “Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems,” and cursed at deputies who tried to get him into a patrol car.
One deputy struck Cabrera in the left thigh several times with his knee after Cabrera pushed into him, causing the ballplayer to fall into the patrol car. Cabrera refused to take a breath test, deputies said.
He was drinking scotch out of the bottle, while sitting in his car, in front of police officers. It’s pretty tough to argue with that. That is not the action of a person who is thinking clearly or, you know, soberly. That’s not even the action of someone who is slightly tipsy. You have to be pretty catdamn trashed– or INCREDIBLY stupid– to openly drink in front of a cop who has just approached you with the suspicion that you have been operating a vehicle while drunk.
The resisting arrest stuff– which apparently involved Miggy staggering around in the street, muttering obscenities and “do you know who I am” stuff, refusing to get into police cars, etc– seems pretty clearly to have happened because he was drunk as hell, not because he’s some kind of thug or whatever (note the verbally aggressive but otherwise more or less nonviolent resistance, the fact that he was unarmed [thank Paws], etc). So there’s your teeny tiny silver lining. This all appears to be part and parcel of one issue (the drinking), not an excitingly varied host of behavioral and attitudinal problems.
You want more? Fine.
When a deputy made contact with the five-time All-Star and former Florida Marlin before 11 p.m. in the 30000 block of Okeechobee Road, which is west of I-95 near the Okeechobee County line, the deputy asked Miguel Cabrera who was with him.
“I am going to (expletive) kill him,” Miguel Cabrera is quoted as saying.
The deputy saw no one else in the 2005 Land Rover or in the area. Cabrera, of Boca Raton, grabbed a bottle of James Buchanan’s scotch and started drinking.
Will Greenlee/TC Palm
Drunk to the point of belligerent incoherence. Splendid. Unless there was someone else with him who had left the scene before the police got there, in which case this story becomes more bizarre.
Miguel Cabrera, whose eyes were bloodshot and watery and speech “heavily slurred,” was handcuffed and walked toward a patrol vehicle before being told to get in the vehicle.
“Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems,” Miguel Cabrera is quoted as saying.
A deputy reported Cabrera was put in handcuffs after not following orders. Cabrera also “kept running out in the road with his hands up.”
A deputy asked Cabrera to get in a patrol vehicle, and he said, “(Expletive) you.”
Miguel Cabrera pushed off a vehicle into a deputy, who “delivered 3-4 knee spikes” into Cabrera’s left thigh.
A DUI case report lists Miguel Cabrera’s attitude as belligerent, cocky, combative and argumentative. His vehicle was towed.
Will Greenlee/TC Palm
Fort Piece is over 100 miles away from Lakeland (Fort Pierce is on the east coast, Lakeland is in the middle of the state), and somewhere between 75 and 90 miles north of Boca Raton (where Miggy apparently has a residence). It’s not clear why he was there. Rick Ankiel is from that area, for your random fact of the post.
The Tigers have not said anything about this as of yet (3pm-ish on Thursday). Tom Gage has reported that the media were all kicked out of the clubhouse this morning, and there’s a short line in the Mothership article saying that Leyland had a closed-door meeting with the team before workouts today. Somehow various media folks managed to talk to Carlos Guillen, who expressed shock and concern. You can find those quotes on your own if you want. They are pretty much what you would expect.
I thought we were past this; obviously the team thought we were past this, and if Carlos’ shocked statements (and Alex Avila’s, again from the Mothership article) are anything to go by, even Tigers who are fairly close to Miggy thought we were past this.
Alcoholism isn’t the kind of thing that goes away quickly or easily, but it seemed clear that the Tigers were willing to give Miggy as much of a support system as he needed, and it seemed like he had a better chance of managing this thing than people without so many readily available resources might have. I don’t know. Everything sucks. First ‘unmitigated disaster’ tag usage of the season.
ETA: Jason Beck twitter-termined that Miggy was working out in Miami yesterday afternoon. Fort Pierce/the Port St. Lucie area is between Miami and Lakeland, but according to the police report Miggy was west of 95, almost at the Okeechobee line, which is decidedly out of the way. Of course a drunk person is not necessarily going to be making the best directional decisions, especially once his engine starts overheating, but in any event, it’s still not really clear what Miggy was doing in that area, aside from drinking in his car.
ETA2: Dave Dombrowski spoke to the media.
Dombrowski did admit, however, that with Cabrera, the Tigers “have an issue here that needs to be addressed and helped — and we’re going to help him. We fully support him in trying to get help. But it also can be tough help sometimes.”
“I was completely shocked. I had no idea,” Dombrowski said. “He’s been working out hard, so I don’t really know what happened. But I know when you deal with issues of alcohol, it’s a constant battle for the rest of their lives.”
Tom Gage/Detroit News
Well, it’s not like the organization was going to throw him under the bus. Of course they’re going to do what they can to help him. I wonder about the “tough help” bit, though… does that mean “in these cases, it can be tough to help”, or “this may be a situation that requires some tough love”?
If you would like a reason to smile in the midst of all this codtrompery, click through to the article and check out the shirt that Mr. D was wearing.