Remember when the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols skipped a session with the media following last year’s World Series Game 2 loss to the Rangers and everyone made a big stink about it? Now the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera is traveling that same road.
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Cabrera “was showered, dressed and heading out the door as the media arrived” in the Tigers’ clubhouse after Saturday night’s Game 3 loss to the Giants. Prince Fielder stayed behind to answer questions, as did many of Detroit’s other prominent players. But Cabrera wanted no part.
Here is Crasnick’s take on Miggy’s decision to bolt:
Superstars and team leaders have an obligation to stand at their lockers on good days and bad, and Cabrera failed the leadership test by fleeing the scene and leaving his teammates to face a never-ending assault of questions about the Tigers’ offensive futility.
The leadership angle also got heavy play when Pujols went silent, and it seems a little silly in both cases. Cabrera should have stayed because he’s a professional and speaking with the people who cover his sport is part of the profession, but do his teammates really think less of him because he didn’t want to talk after a third straight World Series loss? Haven’t his teammates already formed their opinions on what kind of guy he is? And don’t they care more about his on-field production than anything? The media has a right to be upset, but to suggest that Cabrera walking out would form some sort of rift in the Detroit clubhouse is, well, projecting.
Pujols went on to crank three home runs the next game. We’ll see what Miggy has in store Sunday night.
Here are the Cubs and Cardinals lineups for Game 2 of the NLDS. First pitch is scheduled for 5:37 p.m. ET in St. Louis:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Starlin Castro
LF Austin Jackson
C Miguel Montero
SP Kyle Hendricks
SS Addison Russell
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has made a number of changes with a left-hander on the mound for St. Louis. Jorge Soler will start in right field and bat second base while Kyle Schwarber is on the bench. Meanwhile, Austin Jackson will start over Chris Coghlan in left field. Miguel Montero is behind the plate after David Ross caught Jon Lester in Game 1 on Friday. Finally, Kyle Hendricks will bat eighth while Addison Russell will hit ninth, which he did often during the regular season.
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Stephen Piscotty
LF Matt Holliday
CF Jason Heyward
SS Jhonny Peralta
1B Brandon Moss
C Yadier Molina
2B Kolten Wong
SP Jaime Garcia
The Cardinals’ lineup isn’t much different from Game 1 against left-hander Jon Lester, but there is one notable change with a right-hander on the mound. Randal Grichuk is out while Brandon Moss is in. Stephen Piscotty played first base in Game 1, but he’ll be in right field this afternoon. This means that Moss will start at first base. Yadier Molina reported no issues with his thumb in Game 1 and is right back in there to catch Garcia.
We often hear that someone “tattooed” a baseball. Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took that literally with his home run against Clayton Kershaw last night.
According to Statcast, Murphy’s fourth-inning solo blast against Kershaw left the bat at 104.9 mph and traveled an estimated distance of 415 feet. He actually hit the ball so hard that his name ended up being imprinted on it from his bat. No joke. Check it out below…
Here’s the video of the home run:
After seven seasons in Detroit, impending free agent catcher Alex Avila will likely be playing elsewhere next season. Avila’s father, Tigers general manager Al Avila, confirmed as much in his comments to the media Thursday.
Here’s a quote from Chris Iott of MLive.com:
“I don’t really see it as a priority,” Al Avila said Thursday during a season-ending meeting with media members. “Right now, (James) McCann is our starting catcher and (Bryan) Holaday is coming back but is out of options. Basically, Holaday has to be our backup catcher or he’s out of options.”
Avila has had a heck of a run in Detroit, including an All-Star appearance in 2011, but this is a business and it’s logical why the Tigers are moving on. The 28-year-old dealt with knee problems this season while batting just .191 with four home runs and a .626 OPS in 219 plate appearances. He actually had more walks (40) than he did hits (34) while falling into a backup role.
With McCann now at the top of the depth chart and Holaday as his projected backup, Avila believes that his son will likely find an opportunity on the open market “that might be more beneficial to him.”