There is absolutely no excuse for driving after having too much to drink. It’s a ridiculously stupid thing to do. Horrendously awful. I would never try to justify or make excuses for a drunk driver who not only puts their own life at risk, but also rolls the dice for every single person they come across on the road.
Miguel Cabrera appeared at the Detroit Tigers Spring Training camp yesterday, a week after he was arrested for drinking and driving. Police reports indicated that the Tigers first baseman took a swig from an open bottle of scotch while in the driver’s seat right in front of the officers at the scene. There’s obviously a problem there, and it’s the second incident that has been made public, after Cabrera was arrested for a drunken disturbance on the night before an important series against the White Sox in 2009.
However, the Detroit Tigers or Major League Baseball are not suspending Cabrera or ensuring that he check in to a rehabilitation clinic. And for whatever reason, this has several baseball writers acting like they’re some sort of poor man’s Dr. Drew, including Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan:
He still refuses to admit that he is an alcoholic. He hid behind medical privilege rather than answer legitimate questions, such as why doctors recommended he rejoin the booze-soaked baseball life today rather than check in to a rehabilitation center. And he skated once again, the Pussy Cats happy to enable the player to whom they’ll pay more than $100 million over the next five years because it’s so much easier than holding him accountable.
Passan continues his moral indignation:
The Pussy Cats are, essentially, doubling down on an alcoholic whose sobriety lasted barely a year. There is supportive, and there is coddling, and for somebody who said he has worked with dozens of players with substance-abuse issues, general manager Dave Dombrowski should know better than to skew toward the latter.
Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in Mr. Passan’s world where every problem, every issue was fixed with the same answer. Unfortunately, there is no working formula for life. Problem A isn’t always solved by Answer B. Mr. Passan has no idea what the specifics of Cabrera’s situation are, and while it might make for more page views and enhance his own reputation, moral grandstanding with Passan’s certainty over Miguel Cabrera’s alcoholism is assuming far too much knowledge of the situation.
I think I’ll stick with the opinion of the doctors and experts who examined and spoke with Cabrera rather than a sports writer with a soap box. Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, said Cabrera has been evaluated by a treatment board operated by MLB and the union.
Cabrera has voluntarily cooperated and has been completely forthcoming in this process. He has been recommended a multifaceted, professionally administered program that will include supervision as is necessary to ensure that he adheres to his program. Cabrera understands the importance of this program and is fully committed to the program.
This isn’t good enough for Dr. Passan:
Even if the doctors chosen by Major League Baseball and the players’ union recommended that Cabrera follow a program rather than commit to inpatient treatment, it doesn’t lessen the severity of what he has done – and what he faces.
Again, I’m making no excuses for Cabrera’s actions. They’re irresponsible and repugnant. But Passan, as well as many of his colleagues on Twitter following yesterday’s press conference, are neither experts in addiction rehabilitation or the justice system. It’s not up to them to prescribe treatment or punishment. And judging whether the prescribed treatment is suitable despite having no expertise in the area hints at an arrogance level that might be in need of treatment of its own.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
And The Rest
Jonny Gomes has reached out to the Cardinals to ensure he won’t get thrown at by St. Louis pitchers make it clear that he was not celebrating Adam Wainwright’s injury. Hal McCoy, the writer who had originally reported on Gomes celebratory mood, has altered his original story, but not backed down from saying that he reported what he heard.
Stomach issues continue to pester Seattle Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.
Dave Cameron looks at closing options for the Texas Rangers.
Tom Tango takes Buster Olney to task for his confirmation bias in reporting on Adam Wainwright’s arm angle.
The Los Angeles Angels are using advanced metrics, but Mike Scioscia isn’t convinced.
Juan Pierre: One of the hardest working players in baseball.
Chris Carpenter would be open to a trade if the Cardinals wished.
You can study to become a sports GM. And by you, I mean someone who can afford a Harvard education.
Finally, today in awesome: Bret Saberhagen: Wins vs. WAR.