Just a few days after attending the Indians-Red Sox game, I made the drive to Comerica Park in Detroit to see a rematch of the 1909 World Series between the Pirates and Tigers.

Old school jerseys for Tigers and Bucs

I went to two games (June 12 and June 13) and both were pretty much the same result. The Pirates blew late leads in both games and lost by one run in each game on their way to a three-game sweep at the hands of the Motor City boys. The June 12th game featured throwback jerseys as the teams honored their hometown teams from the Negro League. For some reason, I didn’t take pictures of this trip so I do not own the picture above. Anyway, Carlos Guillen ended the game Saturday night in the 10th inning with a walkoff home run.

On the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon, I still can’t believe Dotel pitched to Miguel Cabrera in the 8th inning of a 2-1 game with two outs. Cabrera predictably took Dotel deep for a three-run home run and that was that. Despite how much Pirates baseball I’ve seen in the past 17 years, sometimes I still can’t believe some of the decisions that are made. Unreal. I also witnessed a rare occurrence in that game as well that you can read here.


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.

We’ve hit the halfway point in 2010 with most teams playing their 81st game of the season this past weekend. So let’s take a look at the weekly recap, full of All-Star news and a managerial change in the desert.

Moneyball in Hollywood
Eight years ago, the Oakland A’s were featured in Michael Lewis’ hit book “Moneyball.” The popularity of the book over the years has reached the Hollywood level where a movie is apparently necessary. With parts of the movie being filmed at the end of this month, it’s bringing back memories for the players and fans. I haven’t researched enough info on this film, but I’m wondering how well it will be done. Should be an interesting baseball movie nonetheless.

Changing of the guard in Arizona
AJ Hinch out, Kirk Gibson in as manager of the Diamondbacks.

July 1st division leaders
Good news for the respective division leaders according to this MLB.com article as the majority of the leaders on July 1st have clinched a playoff berth in the past 15 years. Very interesting article.

What you taking about, Willis?
Dontrelle Willis was designated for assignment for the second time this season this time via the D-Backs. Big League Stew writes about the quick and sad descent of Dontrelle Willis‘ career. No matter what happens now for the D-Train, he’ll always have those couple of seasons where he dominated in Florida along with a World Series ring over the Yankees in his rookie year of 2003.

Show me the money
In case you missed it, the All-Star rosters were unveiled Sunday. I had a problem with part of it, but see the post below if you’re interested. But who gets the extra bonus money for earning the All-Star honor? MLB Trade Rumors breaks it down.

How Rivera Dominates
The New York Times put together a fascinating two-minute video on how Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been able to dominant for the majority of his career. I found this link via Baseball-Reference.com, and they were right—this video is a must watch for baseball fans.

Miguel Cabrera
Need any additional evidence that the Marlins-Tigers deal for Miguel Cabrera was one of the most lopsided trades ever? The Baseball Analysts breaks down Cabrera’s career so far, and given his age, how he should be hitting his prime over the next couple of years and where he stands on the list of great hitters in the past 50 years.

There have been some horrible, one-sided trades throughout MLB history. For time purposes, I won’t go into details on some of the other ones, but every time I watch a Tigers or see Miguel Cabrera’s stats continue to rise, I can’t help but be reminded of how the Tigers deal with Florida is getting more and more lopsided by the day.

Let’s break this trade down. On December 4, 2007 the Marlins sent said slugger Cabrera along with pitcher Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for a handful of talent minor leagues that included Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo and pitchers Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern and Eulogio De La Cruz.

I’ll be blunt—Cabrera is a beast. He’s a perennial MVP-candidate every season as he hits for average, power, and middle-of-the-order production. He was a 24-year-old stud when the Marlins traded him, and he continues to amaze and improve every year. Cabrera has averaged 33 home runs since 2004, and so far this year, he’s hitting .340/.428/.603 with nine homers and 38 RBIs. Then there’s Willis, who seemed like a lost cause after two horrendous years, but the Tigers have stuck with him and he’s actually pitching middle of the road at the back-end of their rotation. Willis is 1-1 with a 4.68 ERA through seven games this year. If Willis even ends up being somewhat decent and stick in the rotation this year and possibly more than this deal will just look worse for the Marlins.

And what about the players Florida acquired? Well, De La Cruz has been in the Padres organization since last year, and Rabelo is back in the Tigers farm system after he was cut and resigned by Detroit. Miller, who was the top pitcher prospect in the deal, has had little success in 70 career major league games (5.50 ERA) and currently pitching at Double-A Jacksonville. Trahern has never made it to the bigs, and I can’t find him to have pitched anywhere this season according to Baseball Reference. Badenhop is the only pitcher in the deal to pitch for the Marlins this year, but he’s 0-4 with a 5.49 ERA in 13 games out of the bullpen.

Basically, these guys aren’t anything to write home about. Maybin was the key prospect in this deal, and his success or lack thereof will eventually be the verdict of this trade. The Tigers received a lot of criticism for dealing their potential star in Maybin, but two and half years later Maybin has done almost nothing with plenty of opportunities. He went back and forth between Florida and the minors in ’08 and ’09, but heading into Friday’s game he has three home runs with a line of .241/.303/.340 in 37 games with Florida. Not exactly the stud player the Marlins expected they were getting in the trade. His power has never really developed as he’s been very inconsistent. He is only 23 years old still, but the more he continues to struggle while Cabrera continues to produce, the gap in this deal widens.

People will argue that the Marlins did this deal to dump payroll on another one of their fire sales, but I’m not going into that aspect of it and will just look at it as a baseball deal. Even the Marlins keep franchise players around every once in a while (see Hanley Ramirez), so I find it hard to believe they couldn’t have kept Cabrera to a big deal or acquire more in return for him.

It’s only been two and half years so it’s still not enough time to fully dissect the trade, but man does it look heavily lopsided right now and has the potential to be one of the worst deals of all-time if the Tigers and Cabrera win championships or reach the World Series during his career.