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Forgive and Forget: The Miguel Cabrera Debacle

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Should Miguel Cabrera be punished for his actions during the playoff run?The Detroit Tiger’s Miguel Cabrera apologized to his teammates after his drunken night of debauchery this past weekend. And while his hangover didn’t hurt his baseball skills, it did hurt his image and that of the team. When history looks back on the Detroit Tigers and their 2009 collapse, Cabrera’s indiscretion will be pointed out as beginning of the end of their playoff dreams.

On September 6, the Tigers had a comfortable seven game lead in the American League Central. By September 15, that lead dwindled to 4.5 games. Late season collapses are nothing new in a game where anything can happen, but neither are late season surges. Minnesota took charge. They never gave up hope. Now they head to New York to face the Yankees while the Tigers go home. The extra innings loss to the Twins only makes Cabrera’s antics stand out more. It will sum up the Tigers season.

Should Cabrera’s indiscretion really matter though?

Yes, it matters a lot. Cabrera can apologize to his teammates all he wants but he disgraced his organization, himself, and the game of baseball. The Tigers need to figure out what to do. And the Player’s Union has to have him face serious punishment.

Baseball players are held at a high standard. Boys and girls idolize them. Adults revel in their ability to play the game and get paid millions of dollars to do so. Then something like this happens. The Average Joe sits back and watches it unfold. In a situation where a regular employee might be terminated, we watch as these players get a slap on the hand and offer a half-hearted apology. We watch as they get fined more than we make in a year, knowing it won’t dent their wallet in the least. Nor will it change future behavior.

The Tigers and Major League Baseball owe it to their fans to make an example of Miguel Cabrera. They need to do more than just fine him. They need to show us that they do not tolerate this kind of behavior.

What would be a suitable punishment? Attend AA meetings maybe? Or spend time in the off-season going to different schools around Detroit and talking about alcohol abuse? Regardless of what we the fans may think, we already know what will happen: Cabrera’s apology will suffice.

Even if his actions essentially  tell kids it’s okay to get drunk and make a fool of yourself, all you need to do is apologize and it will all go away.

Written by LS Murphy. Mrs. Murphy is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and is a consistent contributor to Cardinal’s Mix. She can also be followed on Twitter.

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