Miguel Cabrera has been consistently excellent in his time in the majors. In fact, Cabrera was the only guy to steal a first-place vote from Joe Mauer in the 2009 AL MVP race. However, Cabrera had a glaring off-the-field incident late in 2009.
As the Tigers were losing their lead in the division, they played a weekend series against the White Sox. Police were called over to Cabrera's home in the early-morning hours of October 3. He was not arrested, but was taken in for questioning and registered a .26 blood alcohol level.
He wound up going 0-4 with six men stranded in a loss that same evening, and the Twins wound up winning the division in Game 163 three days later against the Tigers.
Since the incident, Cabrera has apologized, went into treatment, and has reportedly given up alcohol. It's difficult to say how much that night really affected his play and the fate of the Tigers last season. After all, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth are legends with legendary drinking stories to match.
At the very least, it showed poor judgment by Cabrera. The Tigers were in the middle of their most important series of the season, and their best player was being questioned by the police 11 hours before the opening pitch.
If Cabrera can keep his head on straight, it is easy to envision him leading the Tigers to the playoffs. If he can't, the Tigers simply can't compete.