Monday, February 28, 2011

The flip side of the Miguel Cabrera story

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers has generated a lot of media attention lately because he got arrested in Florida for an alleged DUI and resisting the cops. Was he drunk? I don't know. Neither do you, because we weren't there. Normally, in situations like this, the only things reporters have to go by is the police account of what happened.
Excuse me if I cast a skeptical eye on that, because it's common knowledge the "law enforcement" folks have been known to overreact and/or "fudge" things here and there in the past, when it suits their interests. In this country, he's supposedly innocent until proven guilty, though sometimes I wonder about that. So let it play itself out before making any judgments. But that's not the point.
What do we know about Cabrera's personal life? He got in an argument with his wife a year and a half ago and alcohol was allegedly involved. There's probably several million other couples in this country that are guilty of that. It's called marriage, or living together, and it happens. They don't need counseling. They need to be left alone to sort it out. Most of them will kiss and make up, and get back to loving each other. Bringing in an outsider, expert or not, to pick and probe at their innermost secrets is only asking for trouble. Some things are better left unsaid.
By most accounts, Cabrera didn't have a drop to drink for that same year and a half until his recent incident in Florida. Now everybody's all up in arms ranting and raving about getting him help, because they seem to think he's some sort of raging alcoholic. To which I say -- BS, and let's get real.
Maybe he went out and had a few that night. Big deal. This is not to say driving a car while intoxicated is OK, but that's a separate issue. Nobody's talking about that. They're talking about alcoholism. According to them, the guy must need treatment, classes, counseling, rehab, you name it. I disagree.
What constitutes an alcoholic anyway? Depending on who you ask, you might be one too. Do you drink a small glass of wine with dinner every night? That's habitual. Some would say you're an alcoholic. Do you meet with your friends here and there at a local pub to hoist a few? You must need counseling. Haven't had a drink in months or years, then have a couple for a special occasion? Guess you "fell off the wagon". Maybe you need therapy.
The way the media is nowadays -- had a small amount of marijuana been found in Cabrera's car -- he might have been portrayed as some sort of dope fiend, and a menace to society.
See how silly that sounds? Cabrera can hit a baseball a lot better than we can, but he's still just a human being that makes mistakes like we all do. So why not treat him as such?
All this stuff is so overblown these days, mostly by people that make a living out of scrutinizing the lives of  others, while most of those same people would run for cover if the same spotlight was ever shone on them. There's a word for that. Hypocrites.
If people like Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle were playing today, there's no way they would get all those hits and home runs, much less wind up in the Hall Of Fame. By the time they got done jumping through all the hoops the Carrie Nation type folks, the media, and counselors were throwing at them, they would have had precious little time left to actually play the game. Many would say they could have been better if they hadn't drank so much. Maybe. They might have been worse too. Some very famous people over the years were later known to do their best work when they had a little buzz going on. So who knows how that works, and who are we to judge?
As for me? I find this all very depressing, so considering all the uproar about alcoholism, there's only one thing to do. Go to Ye Olde Watering Hole tomorrow and drown my sorrows. No need for counselors and therapists there, because everybody's already beyond help. I may soon join them. That mysterious blond girl at the end of the bar is driving me crazy.


  1. We live in a much more scrutinized, politically correct society now. That's my feeling as to why this has been such a big deal.

  2. That is so true John. The media thinks the sky is falling every time someone famous acts human.