Say what you want about Joba Chamberlain’s weight, at least he seems (thus far) to have learned his lesson regarding driving under the influence. Slipping back into destructive behavior this spring, though, is Miguel Cabrera, who got arrested last night on DUI charges and then some. Per the TCPalm, when police arrived:
Cabrera, of Boca Raton, grabbed a bottle of James Buchanan’s Scotch Whiskey and started drinking.
…Cabrera, whose eyes were bloodshot and speech “heavily slurred,” was handcuffed and walked towards a patrol vehicle before being told to get in the vehicle.
“Do you know who I am, you don’t know anything about my problems,” Miguel Cabrera is quoted as saying.
A deputy reported Cabrera was put in handcuffs after not following orders. Cabrera also “kept running out in the road with his hands up.”
A deputy asked Cabrera to get his a patrol vehicle, and he said, “(Expletive) you.”…
Yikes. And this mug shot is not at all reassuring:
I’ve had a special fondness for Cabrera ever since 2006, when in the 10th inning of a game against Baltimore, he swung at an intentional walk pitch that wasn’t far enough outside and knocked a single into center field, leading to a Marlins win. It was just an awesome moment, and while I’m sure it’s happened at some point before in baseball’s long history, I’d never seen it before, and was delighted. I don’t know how long this video will be up (since MLB still doesn’t understand how to interact with fans online and insists on removing every 3-second clip of free advertising anyone puts up), but here it is for now:
Anyway, needless to say his epic screw-up in 2009 took some of the shine off, but it’s sad to see such a fun player careening off the rails. (Probably unnecessary disclaimer: of course, from a human standpoint, it’s sad no matter who it is.)
Meanwhile, over in Dodgers camp, a somewhat different kind of freakout: a day after his agent said that reliever Ronald Belisario might not be able to play in the US this year because of visa issues, Belisario says the delay is simply the result of a lost passport. From the LA Times Dodgers’ blog:
Ronald Belisario told a Venezuelan newspaper that he lost his passport and that he should be able to report to camp soon after obtaining a new one.
But that’s news to Belisario’s agent, Paul Kinzer, who said on Wednesday that his client will probably miss the entire season because of his inability to gain legal entry into the United States.
“That would be news to me,” Kinzer said. “I hope that’s true.”
Kinzer said he has lost touch with the hard-throwing reliever, who hasn’t reported to camp on time for the third consecutive spring.
“He’s gone kind of quiet,” Kinzer said. “I haven’t heard from him in a few weeks.”
That’s just… really weird. Missing passport or no – being late to camp (again, and just a year after treatment for substance abuse) and not even checking in with your agent is a sign that something is very off.
So, it’s been kind of a rough first week of spring training so far for a few teams. Maybe baseball needs to develop a more aggressive substance abuse program for its players, or tougher rules about getting help, counseling, or rehab after incidents like this. And maybe let’s ease off Joba’s extra 15 pounds, at least until we see how he pitches. There are problems and then there are problems.