A writer from Amazin Avenue asked me today what it was like watching Miguel Cabrera play baseball on a daily basis. That is somehow both an easy question and a difficult one. So I'm going to give my response here (and it will also be on their blog later today, spoiler alert) now, then I want to hear what you have to say.
For most living Tigers fans, we've never seen anything like Miguel Cabrera play for our team. There have been great hitters before, we saw a few in the 80s, you can talk about Al Kaline or Norm Cash or whoever. Yet none of them have been as great as Cabrera for as long a time. We can describe him, put his name in historical perspective, as I attempted to do in a column for the News and here on the blog. But that's just more descriptive of Cabrera than it is how we personally feel watching him.
So I put it like this:
In baseball, you think a .300 hitter is going to get a hit every at bat. You think a guy with 40 or 50 home runs is going to have a home run every game. It's irrational. The numbers tell you to expect a hit every couple of at bats and a home run every couple of games. But you think like you do anyway. Your player is going to come through. It's what he does.
Watching Cabrera is that feeling tenfold. I've had the pleasure of watching him hit for years now, and you expect good things every time. He's going to get a hit. He's going to get a runner home. He's going to go on a home run streak. He's going to come through in a key at bat late in the game to tie it up or give his team the lead. You know this is true, because he's done it before, again and again, and he's done it recently. Watching Miguel Cabrera is like watching a video game on easy mode. It's not fair to the opponents, but you don't mind, because it's only your team you care about.
Growing up, you heard older folks talk about watching the great in the 60s or 50s, you see features on television, the books about them, and you thought, "Wow, it must have really been something to see that guy play baseball."
That guy they'll be talking about for years to come is Miguel Cabrera. And it's a pleasure to have him on the team.
Your turn: What's it like for you to watch Cabrera day-in and day-out?