This was not the headline the Tigers were hoping would kick off spring training 2011. Miguel Cabrera, one of the top five best young hitters in the game, is starting to become a distraction for the Tigers off the field. Cabrera was arrested early Thursday morning in Florida and charged with a DUI.

The situation was ugly according to police reports that not only was he found intoxication behind the wheel of a smoking vehicle, but also resisting arrest and even at one point, grabbing a bottle of scotch and taking a drink right in front of the police officer. Yikes. Not to mention his bizarre mug shot where he’s smiling while being booked at the police station.

This isn’t the first problem Cabrera has had with alcohol considering he showed up to games drunk after an apparent domestic fight with his wife in 2009 while the Tigers were attempting to clinch a division title from the Twins. That prompted an apology to the Tigers organization and his word that he would never drink again. Obviously, that turns out to not be true. A further look into what transpired early Thursday morning shows this is becoming a serious problem for Cabrera.

He was found alone in his car while the engine was smoking on the side on the road. Where were his teammates? Where were his friends that he went out with Wednesday night? Did he go drinking by himself? He’s making $20 million a year, why doesn’t he hire a driver or just take a cab if he wants to go out and have fun. One thing is for certain—someone in his life (a teammate, family member or friend) needs to step in before this gets out of control and derails his career just like a Darryl Strawberry or Josh Hamilton. Hamilton has since turned his career around, but he lost valuable years due to drugs and alcohol and almost never got back on the right track.

So far this hasn’t cost Cabrera or his team his dominant play on the field as he’s been one of the premier power hitters in today’s game over the past seven years, but we’ve seen personal problems eventually consume a player’s career in the past. It would be sad to see this happen here, but he needs to get help or accept the help that is being offered by the Tigers, family and friends.

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