When last we heard from Miguel Cabrera, he was blaming the Tigers' lost 2009 season on himself after being detained by Birmingham police for a drunken domestic disturbance.
Probably a bit beyond the truth of the matter, but some fans felt much the same, despite his being the reason the Tigers remained in Game 163 as well as they did.
Thursday, Tigers fans received what can be construed as the best news of the offseason when the smiling first baseman opened up about his alcohol problem -- his words -- and the steps he took to deal with it this offseason.
"Drinking is a problem. Right now I feel good because I went through [conseling]. Right now I feel I'm a new man."
"When you have problems, you can't hide. When you know you don't do right, you need to do something and ask for help."
Good. That's exactly what Cabrera had to do, for himself. A lot of people want to say, "Just think of what kind of player Cabrera can be sober!" and, hey, you know what, it doesn't actually matter. For all we know, he could be a worse player without alcohol. But I'm glad Cabrera took the steps he deemed were necessary to change the course of his life away from the sport.
It sounds like Cabrera is too. Again from Beck's recounting, Cabrera said:
I feel happy. I feel more comfortable. I feel more comfortable with you guys talking. It's like something in my life happened. I feel great. Right now I feel like it's going to be a new season, a new life for me. I'm going to be a better dad, a better husband, a better player and better with the fans, too.
In the end, that's what matters. I think Cabrera's going to win his fans back pretty quick, too.