Miguel Cabrera was scheduled to join a group of MLB players including Curtis Granderson, Pablo Sandoval, Robinson Cano for a series against the Chinese Taipei national team in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star next month, but it turns out he’ll skip the series in order to rest his sore right shoulder.
Jason Beck of MLB.com passed along news of his decision via an interview with Venezuelan journalist Ignacio Serrano.
Cabrera injured the shoulder in a collision with Rangers’ catcher Mike Napoli during Game 4 of the ALCS. It doesn’t appear to be a major concern right now, but he will undergo an MRI if the soreness lingers.
Cabrera, who was honored yesterday with the Luis Aparicio Award as Venezuela’s best MLB player, hit .344 this season en route to his first batting title. The 28-year-old also led the American League with a .448 on-base percentage and 48 doubles. He has slugged at least 30 homers and driven in at least 100 runs in five consecutive seasons.
Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).
Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.
Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.
Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.