Amidst all the changes with the Tigers, there is one constant. Miguel Cabrera is still a Tiger. But, after coming off the worst year of his career, news has come out about more issues with Miggy’s personal life. Our writers have agreed to tackle this topic for analysis.
As is the norm, Holly and Kurt have not shared their responses to today’s topic. It’s the best way for our readers to get the best bang for their buck. So here is our question to address.
Are the reports of a paternity suit against Miguel Cabrera newsworthy to his career or should we file this info under “personal life”? Should the Tigers be concerned?
(To facilitate meaningful and user-friendly dialog, we ask that comments be focused on the impact as it pertains to baseball and not on opinions based on either party’s character as it pertains to their private lives.)
I’m sure the midnight oil is burning over at Comerica’s Media/Communications/PR departments as well as those within the legal offices.
Given the extensive evidence, we also know that many within the Tigers’ executive offices, as well as those within the clubhouse, knew about Miggy’s messy personal life – and hoped it wouldn’t see the light of day – or a courtroom.
It is so very upsetting to once again see an unattractive side of Cabrera coming out in public. The 2009-2011 time period of very unacceptable behavior gave us great cause for concern and the past 6 years of calm lulled us into thinking that Miggy had righted his ship and expelled his demons.
But now we know that is not the case and it’s made even worse because, unlike the previous rocky stretch, he has failed to perform on the field. (Insert your own joke here.) And his salary will climb once again in 2018.
Fans were willing to forgive him 6 years ago because he was hitting .344 and had an OPS of 1.033 but 2017 was his worst year ever and many are now understandably thinking that his messy personal life contributed to it. And these same people probably believe that if Miggy had his life in order, his numbers would have been better and he might have helped mitigate the sell-off of some players.
It’s one thing when you are a top performer – it’s another when you aren’t. This time, Cabrera may not be able to dig himself out of another bad PR hole.
His inability to successfully manage his personal life will create significant problems for the Tigers. First, the PR nightmare in which they are undoubtedly fielding thousands of calls and emails from upset fans. The Tigers will be mopping up the mess for much of 2018 and potentially beyond. Like they don’t have enough to do.
And during a time when the Tigers are pushing 2018 ticket sales.
It’s hard enough to sell season packages when you finish in last place and some of the fan-favorite players have been traded. But it’s another when your remaining face of the team has flushed himself down the dumper.
The Tigers now are effectively without a franchise face – the player who drives the turnstiles and marketing sales. Justin Verlander is gone so who are the Tigers going to use in hawking their product? Michael Fulmer who is still young and unproven while also recovering from surgery or Nick Castellanos? This is bad, folks.
I don’t know which is more upsetting – the reality and disappointment in learning that Miggy has not successfully corrected his personal life and allowed it to impact his career once again – or that the Tigers will now be faced with much lower-than-expected attendance figures for 2018. The latter which will also impact the financial decisions pertaining to the rest of their roster.
Let me tell you something. If your franchise player is coming off the worst year of his career, issues with his personal life are worthy for discussion.
If your franchise player is being compensated with a $30M a year salary, issues with his personal life, unfortunately become our business.
First of all, it’s nearly impossible to keep things personal when you are a high-profile celebrity. Eventually, whatever you are dealing with is going to come out. Eventually, when the public and the media are puzzled over what could be compromising your play other than an injury, you can find out with enough digging; or things simply become part of the public record.
Nothing stays a secret very long. And yes, the Tigers should be concerned. Cabrera hasn’t exactly been living a clean life. The Tigers weathered the storm of his drinking issues years ago and Miggy effectively put it aside and resumed his career with a fury.
Also, people not only speculated but seemed certain that Miggy’s issues at the plate this past season were all tied to his family struggles amidst the political unrest in his homeland of Venezuela. I even wrote a blog on how poorly I felt that I had criticized him at all, given what he was dealing with in his personal life; fearing for the life of his mother.
Of course, the back wasn’t helping him physically, but mentally and emotionally, who are we to question whether the issues in Venezuela were contributing to his poor play?
It’s great that Jose Altuve could have an MVP season despite the problems back home, but people deal with things differently. Some can put things aside and others can’t.
Which is where the concern should lie with the Tigers. Miggy has been so mentally strong his whole career. But maybe there are exceptions and the cracks open for him when he is dealing with personal issues.
Whether it is a drinking incident, family endangerment back home or an unforeseen paternity suit, these are all personal battles. And they are all worthy issues that could be, or are, impacting his ability to focus on his baseball obligations with the Tigers.
No wonder he’s having back issues, with all the baggage he has been carrying around over the last year.
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