Sobriety: The Key to Miguel Cabrera (and the Detroit Tigers’) Season

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For my money, the two most talented offensive players in the American League are Josh Hamilton and Miguel Cabrera. Both of them have also battled substance abuse issues during their playing careers. The Tigers have a legitimate chance at the AL Central division title this year, but they must have a MVP type season from Cabrera. Twelve step programs have been around for years and they have helped millions of people with their daily struggles. However, they are not for everyone. What follows are some suggestions for optimal performance.

Cabrera needs a babysitter on the road.

This could be anyone from a family member to someone from the clergy. Basically, anyone who isn’t like Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen would fit the bill. It must be someone who is not star struck and is not a “yes man.” This person has to stay in the hotel room with Cabrera and spend every waking moment with him that he’s not at the ballpark. It is a situation similar to house arrest. Cabrera has proven time and again that it is a chronic problem that calls for constant supervision.

Miguel Cabrera must tap his spiritual connection.  As mentioned earlier, Alcoholics Anonymous does adhere to the notion that the addiction is sometimes more than the person can handle on his own. To whom much is given, much is expected. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. (Insert your own appropriate adage here). Cabrera should be guilt tripped into reaching his potential. Millions would love to have his talent, money, and roster spot. Just because he has had a brilliant career thus far doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been even better. This realization must come to him.

Personal relationships have undoubtedly suffered due to Cabrera’s problem with alcohol. There is obviously more to life than baseball. As a man in his late twenties, time is of the essence because the childhood of family members cannot be put on freeze frame. I often have to realize this with my nieces and children of my college friends. I don’t get back to visit them enough and I cannot make up for it in the future because their children will be completely different with time. Men often don’t have the choice in this situation because of work hours and conditions. With Cabrera, it is a choice and it would be a shame if he didn’t rectify the situation.

As he approaches his twenty-eighth birthday later this month, Cabrera should think about what his life will be post-career. No job consumes someone twenty-four hours a day and he’ll need a productive hobby to keep him out of trouble. He has the world at his fingertips, because there will be the time to do whatever he wants and he obviously has the resources, so money isn’t and won’t be a factor. As a Venezuelan player, he can even return to his native land to improve conditions there or help other young players to make it to the Major Leagues.

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