The Detroit Tigers honored slugger Miguel Cabrera Friday night during a hug-fest that celebrated 500 career home runs and a great run for the Tigers.
Next year comes with another celebration, as Cabrera guns for his 3,000th career hit. My initial thought was for the Tigers to send Cabrera packing as soon as he reached that milestone. Because Miggy is not what he used to be. And it is time to give more bats to younger Tigers, especially Riley Green and Spencer Torkelson.
Miggy said he plans to retire in two seasons.
Here is why you keep him for at least one more year. The goal of giving more bats to younger players can continue under Cabrera. He can also make these young bats better. Cabrera should be dropped in the batting order to sixth or seventh so young guns can occupy the more coveted third and fourth positions.
“I’m excited for what’s going to happen here the next couple of years,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera ain’t what he used to be, but he still has more in the tank. He proved that after propelling the Tigers Saturday night to a 5-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals with three hits and four RBIs. He now has 2,983 career hits. And next season, Cabrera should become just the third player to record 500 home runs, 600 doubles, and 3,000 hits, joining Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols.
You keep Miggy now to share in his career achievements. You keep him afterward so he can help young players achieve greatness in the future.
“I can’t wait for next year and try to be a team fighting for the playoffs,” Cabrera told reporters. “I think we’ve got great talent and a couple of young guys who can be in the big leagues for a long time.”
Keeping Cabrera is like having an extra coach on and off the field.
His hitting lectures during team road trips are legendary and important for a young team. Cabrera does not watch much game film to help his hitting. However, he has no problem pulling out the video machine on the team plane to show younger teammates. Players respect Cabrera and listen to him. They know they are getting hitting tips from a future Hall of Famer who is still in the heat of battle.
Torkelson and Green are the future of the Tigers.
Don’t you think they’d be all in on learning from Miggy? They would be all in from just hanging out with him in the clubhouse. Why give some younger players with the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox a head start because of his knowledge?
Keep those gems in Detroit. Keep it out of Boston and New York.
Follow Foster on Twitter at TerryFosterDet.