Miguel Cabrera swigs from a bottle of scotch in front of a cop; gets arrested for DUI

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After the sordid end to his 2009 season in which he drank himself into a jail cell the night before a critical season-ending series, Miguel Cabrera went on the wagon.  He dedicated himself to sobriety during the winter of 2009-10, showed up to camp sharp and trim last year and went on to post an MVP-worthy season.

Great story.  But life tends not to follow so neat a narrative:

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has been arrested on drunken driving charges in Florida. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office says the 27-year-old player’s car engine was smoking alongside a road late Wednesday when a deputy spotted the vehicle. According to the arrest report, Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy.

Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough, the details of the arrest show just how ugly an incident this really was.  Cabrera cussed out the arresting officers, ran out into the street and played the “do you know who I am?” card.

Drinking Johnnie Walker on the side of the road in plain view of a police officer and then running amok is not the stuff of a small social drinking slipup.  Cabrera’s problems are obviously back and obviously serious.  If I’m the Tigers, I get him out of spring training now and into a serious rehab facility.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.