Miguel Cabrera: Detroit Tigers and MLB Need to Focus on the Man, Not the Player

Daniel LewigCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2011

NEW YORK - AUGUST 19:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers runs the bases after his first inning two run home run against the New York Yankees on August 19, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera should not be playing baseball in 2011. Let's be clear about that right away. The fact that we are even discussing this is sad.

Cabrera has a problem—a really, really serious problem. If he does not get this figured out and straightened out, it won't matter how many home runs he hits or how many runs he drives in. It won't matter because Cabrera will be dead.

ESPN's Buster Olney wrote a great article about Darryl Strawberry and the demons he's fought in his life. Strawberry could fight better when he had the season and the clubhouse as his solace. But when his career was over, so was his solace.

Miguel Cabrera is heading down the same dark path.

Please understand, this isn't an article intending to bash Cabrera. Rather, it's a plea for help. People helped Strawberry when he was with the team, but only while he was playing. It's time to take baseball out of the picture. It's time to not focus on Cabrera the player. It's time to focus on Cabrera the person.

Bud Selig, you should take a page from NFL commish Roger Goodell and suspend Cabrera indefinitely. MLB Players Association, you should not stand in the way. In this case, support Selig and the Detroit Tigers by finding a alcohol treatment center that can help Cabrera stand on his own two feet. Ignore the contracts and suspensions and do what is right for Cabrera to live the rest of his life.

So he even has a life at all.

Cabrera is at a crossroads. So is everyone else around him. Does the union only care about money? Will it fight more to protect his pay if he is suspended or in helping him turn his life around? Will Selig step in with concern over this young man? Will the Detroit Tigers focus less on wins in 2011 if it means working on a win for Cabrera outside of the game?

It's time to take a step back—and sometimes you have to take a step back before you take a step forward. Here's hoping that everyone has the integrity to do the right thing, not for Cabrera the player, but Cabrera the person.

Will they?