By now, many are familiar with the story of Miguel Cabrera’s DUI arrest last month. The Detroit Tigers slugger was pulled over after police saw his car on the side of the road in Ft. Pierce, Florida near the Tigers’ spring training facility. He asked the cops if they knew who he was and continued to take swigs from a whiskey bottle while being arrested.
The Florida State’s Attorney’s office released their evidence against Cabrera on Wednesday and let’s just say it’s not pretty. The Smoking Gun reports that prior to his arrest, he was in a bar after closing. He was asked to leave by the manager and refused.
[Bar manager Fletcher] Nail said that Cabrera “leaned down close to my face” and said, “I will kill you.” Nail added that the ballplayer looked around the bar and added, “I know all of you, and I will kill all of you and blow this place up.” Another witness, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agent, told investigators that Cabrera threatened him and Nail “by saying he had a gun in his bag for us.”
Cabrera left while cussing at Nail and a bar patron. Police found him on the side of the road. When they approached him, he threatened to kill an imaginary passenger and refused to cooperate.
After giving a Florida cop the middle finger, baseball star Miguel Cabrera shouted at police, “Fucking shoot me, kill me” when ordered to drop to his knees so that officers could handcuff him, according to a sheriff’s report.
The 27-year-old athlete, busted last month in Fort Pierce for drunk driving, also stated, “Fuck you. Do you know who I am? I’m Miguel Cabrera, I play for the Detroit Tigers, you don’t know my family.”
This incident is the most recent in a long line of incidents involving Cabrera and alcohol. In 2009, GM Dave Dombrowski had to pick him up from the police station the morning before a game after police were called to his house. He was found with scratches on his face and blew a .26. Since then, he’s been in rehab and also threatened restaurant patrons by claiming he had a gun.
Cabrera has exhibited an extremely disturbing pattern of behavior since he’s been in the majors and especially with the Tigers. One has to wonder if this is why the Marlins dumped him (besides being incredibly cheap). He’s one of the best players in baseball but with all due respect to Charlie Sheen, he’s slowly destroying himself.
The Tigers put Dontrelle Willis on the DL twice in 2009 so he could deal with his anxiety issues yet they can’t step up and make Cabrera sort himself out? Teams often ignore off the field problems as long as the player concerned continues to put up numbers and perform. He may continue to produce on the field but that shouldn’t be the limit of their concern.
The additional information released yesterday should encourage the team’s hierarchy to intervene and make him get the help he needs. It’s long overdue. They’re also better off doing it now than in July and August when it happens again. So far it’s business as usual.