DUI Stops Tiger in His Tracks

Three days after his epic DUI arrest, hard-drinking slugger Miguel Cabrera was a no-show as the Detroit Tigers opened spring training workouts for the entire club today. It’s unclear when, or even if, Cabrera will join his teammates this spring in Lakeland, FL, according to The Detroit Free Press and a number of other sources. Cabrera is expected to enter an alcohol rehabilitation center within the next several days, which could keep him away from baseball until just before the start of the regular season in early April. But Tigers management and Cabrera’s teammates were more concerned about Cabrera the person than Cabrera the ballplayer and today and universally voiced support and concern for their missing teammate.

“He’s going to be welcomed here with open arms by his teammates,” Tigers skipper Jim Leyland said to reporters. “And they’re going to want to see him hit that ball over the right-centerfield fence with two men on, and he’s going to do that.”

Cabrera, a native of Venezeula, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Fort Pierce, FL late Wednesday night as he was making his way to spring training from his winter home in Boca Raton. Cabrera, driving a black 2005 Range Rover–a definite undercar for a guy who signed a $153 million contract in 2008–was pulled over by a St Lucie County deputy who saw the SUV swerving through traffic. Arresting officer Deputy Peter Lamborghini–yes, that’s his name– wrote in his arrest report that Cabrera not only declined a breathalyzer test, wandered frequently onto the road and refused several requests to get in the back seat of the officer’s car, but at one point Cabrera also reached into his own car and “picked up a bottle of James Buchanan’s scotch whiskey and started drinking it.” Well, why not? It’s not like he was going to be driving anymore that night.

Cabrera, notes the police report, also pulled the Fame Card and and at one point said to Deputy Lamborghini, “Fuck you…do you know who I am.” While no audio has yet been released of the arrest, almost certainly the exchange sounded more like “Faaaaa uuuuu, nooooo who ayemm?” Excellent work by the deputy translating Drunk English into Standard English so quickly.

In October 2009, Cabrera was arrested, but never charged, on a domestic disturbance report at his home in suburban Detroit. His blood alcohol content was .26 when measured by police after being taken into custody. Cabrera reportedly went through an alcohol counseling outpatient program following the 2009 season. No off-the-field incidents involving Cabrera occured in 2010, a season in which he hit .328 with 38 home runs. The Tigers still owe Cabrera over $100 million.

Photo: Flickr

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