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.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
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As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense: