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.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.