Detroit Tigers say star player's DUI arrest won't affect team

Feb 18, 2011

Detroit Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera was arrested this week on suspicion of drunk driving.  Baseball Spring training is already underway.    The Detroit Free Press reports when the team starts regular practices on Saturday Cabrera will likely not be there. 

Cabrera won't be cleared to get on the field until he has been examined by a doctor who will prescribe a course of treatment. The doctor is appointed jointly by baseball management and the players union. He could undergo the treatment while continuing to play.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday that he expects Cabrera to join the team at some point. He said Cabrera wanted to report to camp today in time for Saturday's first full-squad workout. But Dombrowski said "we still have to work through some issues." He said the commissioner's office and players union are involved in "the process."

This is not Cabrera's first troubling incident involving alcohol.  Free Press columnist Mitch Albom says the star slugger has no excuse for his behavior: 

Who swigs a bottle of scotch in front of a police officer? A guy with a problem, that's who. And Miguel Cabrera has a problem. Doesn't matter if he had a reason. Doesn't matter if he says he's sorry. Doesn't matter how the Tigers try to spin this to save him.

Cabrera has a problem because, police say, he was drinking, resisted arrest and faces a driving under the influence charge. But most important, because he was out on the road. And booze and cars are an absolute no-no. Don't care who you are. No ifs or buts. You cannot mix alcohol and driving. 

Cabrera's arrest comes about 17 months after police responded to an alleged incident involving Cabrera and his wife in October 2009 in suburban Detroit. No charges were filed, but Cabrera was held overnight in that situation after registering a .26 blood-alcohol level. The incident occurred in the final weekend of the regular season, with the Tigers in the midst of a playoff race with the Twins.