DETROIT — Nine career selections — two as a starter and five as a member of the Detroit Tigers — have not diminished what it means for Miguel Cabrera to be selected to the American League All-Star team.
"It's very special, very special," Cabrera said. "I appreciate what the fans do for us. Every year we focus for winning the American League, try to take advantage in the World Series. We'll see what happens." (h/t Dana Wakiji, FOX Sports Detroit and Noah Trister, Associated Press)
Still, in order to get to July 15, the team has to get through the next week first. "It feels great but right now we're focused on winning games, trying to go out there and finish strong," Cabrera said. "We got a tough series next week with Kansas City and we need to focus on that right now."
Scherzer, one of three Tigers selected to the All-Star team finds the accomplishments Cabrera has been able to achieve, remarkable. "He's what, 31? Yeah, unbelievable," Scherzer said. "He's playing a video game every time he steps into the box and he has all the cheat codes."
Cabrera's favorite part of the break, however, won't be the game itself. Rather, he is looking forward to time away from the field. "We're off, we enjoy it," Cabrera said. "We got a chance to see the best players on earth, National League, American League. We gotta enjoy it."
The Home Run Derby is something Cabrera will be enjoying from the sidelines as he declined an invitation to participate this season, along with Angels center fielder Mike Trout. "I'm going to enjoy watching it," Cabrera said. "But I don't want to mess with my swing anymore, I've got enough issues."
Since July 1, Cabrera is 4–25 with three doubles and only two RBI, and the frustration Cabrera has felt has come through at times as a result. On Saturday morning, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he has been trying to get Cabrera some down time, so far without success.
"I wanted to get Miggy a day here for about a week," Ausmus said. "It's tough to do that with Victor's (Martinez) injury but it may be a situation where I just have to do it anyway. It's more a mental break for Miggy." Ausmus said Sunday after the game he's thought about resting Cabrera before going on the road trip but he needed to discuss it with Cabrera first.
Martinez may be out of the Tigers lineup for the time being because of a sore right side, which he re-aggravated on Friday, but that did not prevent him from being selected to this year's All-Star team thanks to his numbers at the plate this season. Regardless of whether Martinez is able to play, it has given his teammates something to boast about.
"It's so impressive," Scherzer said. "We knew he was this good of a hitter, a .330 hitter, you can mark that. It's nice to see him start hitting bombs, start rivaling Miggy. We've been jabbing at Miggy, saying fun stuff we all say, nothing that can be repeated on air, it's more the clubhouse stuff, four-letter words and stuff like that."
The injury is a day-to-day issue that the Tigers aren't getting wrapped up in at this point, however, if it comes down to it, Ausmus said he would discuss it with Martinez and Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski before making a decision on whether Martinez should play in the game. "Obviously if he's not healthy it's a different story," Ausmus said. "But he still deserves to be an All-Star whether he's physically able to play in the All-Star game or not."
For his own part, Scherzer is just happy to be selected once again, despite the fact that he will likely not start this year's game. "It's a great feeling," Scherzer said. "It's such an honor to represent the American League in the All-Star game and I'm so excited to be able to go there next week."
"Every individual accomplishment and award, they each mean their own thing. It was great last year to be able to go to the All-Star game and start it. To be able to do it again is an honor in its own right, to be able to go to back to back All-Star games. You just enjoy every moment of it. Opportunities like this don't come around too often."
He and teammate Rick Porcello were on the line for whether or not they would be chosen. Ultimately, Scherzer was selected but for now it looks as if he will be going to Minnesota without his fourth teammate.
"We were both on the fringe if we were going to make it or not," Scherzer said. "We were both crossing our fingers. Hopefully our fans show up. We need our fans to show up and vote for Rick to get in the All-Star game. We got to find a way to get Kinsler there, too. He's having too good a year for him (not) to represent our team. He's absolutely getting after it."
Porcello remains a candidate for making the All-Star team as he was one of five starting pitchers chosen to be in the Final Vote category. His start Sunday night was not his best outing of the season, however, Ausmus reiterated after the game that one bad start does not undo an entire season of solid performance.
Porcello said the first half of the season speaks for itself and he feels honored to be given one more opportunity to make the All-Star team, a result of making that Final Vote selection.