Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits 3,000 shots

The best players make a manager want to change the rules. Specifically, one rule: that pesky requirement for a formation, which require...

The best players make a manager want to change the rules. Specifically, one rule: that pesky requirement for a formation, which requires every batter to take a turn. When Miguel Cabrera is on your team, the waiting is the hardest part.

“I wish he could come and beat every inning,” Jack McKeon, 91, said on the phone this week from his home in North Carolina. “He had hit a sacrificial fly, he had hit a home run, he had gotten a base hit, even at the point where he hit the ball on the ground that what is his name kicked off in Bartman’s game. He was the catalyst. Something good was going on with this guy.

Cabrera was 20 and playing for the then Florida Marlins, when his bouncer stumped Chicago Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez in the fateful Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series. mistake helped turn Steve Bartman – a fan who deflected a foul ball off the left-field line earlier in the inning – from a footnote to a focal point as the Marlins stormed the World Series with wins in Games 6 and 7.

At the time, Cabrera had just 84 career regular season hits. On Saturday, with a single against the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park, he became the 33rd player in major league history with 3,000.

After hitting three hits on Wednesday to reach 2,999, Cabrera’s pursuit of 3,000 was delayed by an 0-for-3 performance on Thursday (and an intentional walk late in the game that raised some eyebrows), as well as rain postponing Friday’s scheduled game against Colorado.

The feat finally came in the first set of Saturday afternoon’s game when Cabrera isolated Antonio Senzatela, a fellow Venezuelan. Rockies shortstop José Iglesias, who played with Cabrera on the Tigers, came to hug his former teammate as the Tigers ran onto the field to greet him as well. Moments later, Cabrera went behind home plate to celebrate with his mother, wife, son and daughter.

“I think I’m still dreaming,” Cabrera told reporters after the game. “Being able to see 3,000 up there is pretty special.”

Cabrera added a two-run single late in the sixth inning for hit No. 3,001 and was later struck out for a pinched runner. The Comerica Park crowd gave him a loud ovation and the Tigers ended up beating the Rockies, 13-0. He then added No. 3002 with a single in Game 2 of a day-night doubleheader, which Detroit lost, 3-2.

“I was like, ‘Do it today,'” Cabrera said, acknowledging the frustration of waiting a few extra days for 3,000. He added, “I’m glad I made it here. I’m glad the people of Detroit see it.

In 2003, the first hit of Cabrera’s career was appropriate: a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning on June 20, 2003, in Miami Gardens, Florida. He now has 502 homers, making him one of the few players to appear on two of baseball’s most prestigious lists.

Only six others have amassed 3,000 hits and 500 homers: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. Of this group, Cabrera has the best batting average (.310) and the best on-base percentage (.387).

Cabrera’s numbers will change, and most likely decline, before he retires; he’s signed with Detroit through 2023. But for now, they’re highlighting Cabrera’s skills as a pure hitter. He’s not exactly a free swinger, but his goal is to make his way on base. Only two players with 500 homers (Sammy Sosa and Ernie Banks) have fewer career walks.

Cabrera won four batting titles in five years, from 2011 to 2015. Only two other right-handed hitters in the integrated major leagues, Roberto Clemente and Bill Madlock, have won four batting titles. As great as they are, neither Clemente nor Madlock have ever hit 30 homers in a season. Cabrera did it 10 times.

Cabrera was 16 when the Marlins signed him from Venezuela for $1.9 million in 1999. Four years later, with the Carolina Mudcats, he cruised through the Class AA Southern League with a .365 GAA. and a .609 hitting percentage in 69 games. played mostly third base and Mike Lowell was established in Miami.

That didn’t worry McKeon, who took over as manager in May. His team had promising young pitchers, but needed more strength in the lineup. McKeon would find a place for a bat like Cabrera’s.

“I knew he couldn’t play third because we had Mike Lowell, but I’ll put him in the outfield – don’t worry, we’ll find out,” McKeon said. “And he took left field as nobody’s business.”

Cabrera had only played three minor games in left field, but he started there every day in his first week in the majors. In October 2003, McKeon moved Cabrera to right field. He’d never played in that position, but he’s started there for seven of the Marlins’ last 10 playoff games en route to a World Series win over the Yankees.

Cabrera’s at-bat presence in the first inning of Game 4 at Florida foreshadowed greatness to come. Roger Clemens fired a first-pitch fastball at 94 miles per hour, high and inside, a classic brushstroke from a self-proclaimed shooter. Cabrera watched Clemens, hung on for seven pitches and drilled another 94 mph fastball — up and off the plate — over the fence into right-center field.

“It didn’t scare the guy off,” McKeon said. “He wasn’t intimidated. This guy was confident and knew he had the ability to do it.

For the next 13 seasons, Cabrera would show it with remarkable consistency and durability. He came to bat more than any other major leaguer from 2004 to 2016 – and also produced at the highest rate. Of the 104 players with at least 5,000 plate appearances during those seasons, Cabrera had the best on-base percentage plus slugging: .968.

He did most of his damage with Tigers, who traded six players for him and left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis in December 2007. Two of the players – outfielder Cameron Maybin and left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller – are said to have long careers. But the deal was a coup for the Tigers, who would win four straight division titles and an American League pennant in Cabrera’s bounty.

In the aftermath of his 2012 triple crown season, the tigers rewarded Cabrera with an eight-year, $240 million deal that wouldn’t start until 2016. The deal was excessive; Cabrera’s production has inevitably dwindled, and he’s been pretty much a league average hitter for the past five seasons. The Tigers have dropped in the standings and are still rebuilding.

But the contract, if nothing else, ensured that Cabrera’s defining moments would come for the Tigers, the team that benefited the most from the promise he showed as a 20-year-old. McKeon never changed the fundamental rules of baseball, of course, but he was certainly right. about Cabrera.

Something good was indeed going on with this guy.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits 3,000 shots
Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits 3,000 shots
Newsrust - US Top News
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