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On Miguel Cabrera: 740 Words about a regrettable 24 hours

I hate this. I really do. I hate what it's done to people who comment on this site. I hate what it's done to all the kids who look up to Miguel Cabrera. Really, I just hate the whole damn situation. I'm sure the Tigers hate it, too. Right now, I bet Miguel Cabrera hates it, too. There can be no other acceptable response right now than to hate this and all of the circumstances leading up to and following it. This sucks. How else do you want me to put it?

I'm not going to wax poetic about a man lost on the side of the road with a bottle. There's enough of that out there already. Look around the national baseball sites and you'll find enough of that. I'm not going to pretend you don't know the situation and need me to link to you actions and reactions.

I'm not going to pretend there's some sort of complicated analysis I can provide you. It's actually a pretty simple situation. Miguel Cabrera got drunk. Miguel Cabrera got arrested. Whether or not he was belligerent or polite to the cops makes no difference here. If we accept the fact alcohol decreases a person's ability to make intelligent choices, then we accept the fact decisions he made while drunk do not necessarily reflect the ones he would make while sober. Miguel Cabrera made a choice that led to a bad outcome. The result of the choice turning out poorly wasn't the problem. The choice was.

And you know what? It's nobody's fault, and it's everybody's. This is the society we live in. American society is full of self-destructive choices, and it's far too easy to access all the tools necessary for your own destruction. This can be a selfish society, a delusional one constantly trying to escape reality. It can be a lonely one. It can be a misleading one. Sometimes I think it's a wonder that any of us turned out OK, but those of us who do can probably look back to the good influences in our lives helping us through. Maybe Miguel Cabrera did not have enough of those. Maybe he did. We don't know. We weren't there when he was learning how to become a man. We weren't there when he decided Wednesday night to start drinking. We just know the results.

The results of the decision will probably turn out pretty predictable, because the problem is not a unique one. Cabrera will have some personal legal troubles, but not life-changing ones. Executives from the Tigers and concerned teammates will make attempts to help him. Major League Baseball will not try to make some example of him. This isn't the first time a ballplayer made a bad choice and it won't be the last, and the MLB has not gone out of its way to punish players for being impaired while sitting in the driver's seat of a motor vehicle. Finally, Miguel Cabrera will continue being able to hit the baseball more often than most, and harder than most. He's proven that much.

So where does that leave us? If you rooted for Miguel Cabrera on Tuesday, then root for him on Friday. There were no fundamental shifts here. If Cabrera is truly an alcoholic -- and sorry, all the speculation in the world does Cabrera no good; none of us know -- then he's no more or less of one now than he was before. And if you thought he was a role model for the way he bounced back from an alcohol-related incident in 2009, then you should already know the struggles never really end. Tuesday, Miguel Cabrera was very good at baseball. Friday, Miguel Cabrera will still be very good at baseball.

As a fan of the Tigers, the last part is really the one that counts the most. I'd like to tell you that I'm concerned about Cabrera's personal struggles, but I really can't. I don't know him. He doesn't know me. There's really nothing I can do for him. I hope he gets what he wants. I hope his friends and family and teammates get what they want. That's their world to affect, not mine. I just hope he remains successful at baseball. I do what I can for those around me. That's all that I can do.

I hate this. I really do. I hate that it's a problem our society battles. I hate that we make excuses, not communities. I hate that I am not surprised by anything that happened in the past 24 hours, nor would I be surprised by it happening again in the future. I hate that it happens at all, to people we know or people we merely root for.

But it did.

Miguel Cabrera and his community have some work to do. But I'm moving on.