Cabrera had a previous run-in with the law

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File this under stuff no one ever would have known or cared about if Miguel Cabrera hadn’t screwed up on Saturday:

During an altercation at a Birmingham bar in August, Detroit Tigers
slugger Miguel Cabrera allegedly mocked a teenager about his weight and
challenged a man to a fight in an incident that resulted in no criminal
charges but prompted Tigers management to order Cabrera to avoid the
bar, according to information provided to The Detroit News . . .

. . . In the August incident, according to the information, a man told
Birmingham police that he and an unnamed teen encountered Cabrera at
the Rugby Grille on Aug. 31 about 6:30 p.m. Cabrera allegedly asked the
teen, who weighs about 300 pounds, “What’s up, big boy? You need to
work out,” according to the information provided to The News.

After that things apparently escalated, and Cabrera — though unarmed — implied that he had a gun out in his car.  He was not charged, but the irony police did issue the often out-of-shape Cabrera a citation for making fun of someone else’s weight.

The significant thing about this is that the Tigers were made aware of it at the time, their security people got involved, and Cabrera was ordered by the team to avoid the bar.  He didn’t, however, because according to this and other stories in the Detroit News, Cabrera’s Friday night/Saturday morning drinking occurred at the same place.

Last night Matthew argued that the Tigers should bench Cabrera for tonight’s playoff. I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to do or not, but let’s do the math: (a) the team knew that Saturday was not Cabrera’s first problem with going out and getting rowdy; (b) the team knew that Cabrera had violated their specific order that he stay away from that particular bar; and (c) the team nonetheless allowed him to play on Saturday and Sunday.

In light of this, if the Tigers bench Cabrera they should get absolutely no credit for “doing the right thing.”  To the contrary, because they had all of the same information in hand over the weekend and took no action against Cabrera, benching him now would constitute a transparent P.R. move on the team’s part, not something they do because they actually think that Cabrera is deserving of punishment.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.