Last Saturday, we were able to see a Triple Crown awarded when Justify beat out the field at the Belmont Stakes (even if there was some potential boxing out by Bob Baffert’s other horse Restoring Hope).
Tuesday night the first Triple Crown winner awarded in baseball since 1967 sustained a season-ending injury. Miguel Cabrera left the game against the Twins with a ruptured bicep tear that will require season-ending surgery.
Injuries are not an unheard of problem for Miggy. Over the past few seasons, he’s dealt with everything ranging from back issues to hamstring issues as well as a variety of others. This year with the Tigers in a re-building phase Tigers coaches and training staff have taken their due time in letting Miggy fully heal from his ailments instead of trying to push through them in years past when they were in contention for division, league, and even World Series victories.
What is potentially so crushing about this particular one is that at age 35 there is a big question looming…..
Will he ever play again?
Miggy is a born competitor so my gut says yes. But this is not even just a one season-ending injury, there is, in fact, a chance that he won’t return next year either. This hurts a team that is young and in need of positive veteran presence which Cabrera provides. Oh, and the fact that he is ONE OF THE GREATEST HITTERS OF ALL TIME!!!
As Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire pointed out, “he feels like he is letting everyone down.” No one likes that feeling, especially someone who has the pedigree and has long been the face of the franchise. It’s also disheartening when any athletes career comes to an abrupt end due to injury. My heart broke for Prince Fielder when he was forced to retire early because of neck issues. No one wants to see someone forced to walk away from the game they love for circumstances beyond their control.
Should this be the end of the line for Cabrera, the Tigers still owe him at least $150 million in guaranteed money but hopefully that’s where having a young team, most of which are carrying significantly smaller contracts, won’t hurt them too much. But the loss would be so much bigger than just what the team would owe him financially. They would lose a fun, baseball-loving, superstar that has been at the heart of the Tigers team.