Miguel Cabrera has had one of those years that you would not wish on your worst enemy. While he has had tremendous successes as usual as a perennial All-Star baseball player, the actions before Spring Training will continue to legally haunt him for some time. We can only hope that his inner demons are behind him and that his baseball family has gotten Miguel back on the right track. If that isn’t the case, perhaps his actual family may provide new purpose for his life, as it is going to have a new member today.
In the midst of a playoff race, Cabrera will take the day off to be with his wife today to welcome his third child into the world. In a sport where families sacrifice too much to have their loved ones battle injuries to put together a career based on a handful of years, this story is a sweet reminder to the personal values that a player like Cabrera still cherishes. After all, this is only one game and there is long-term team value in having Cabrera be with his family and essentially receiving a mental refresh going into the final few weeks.
Stories like this are frequently lost within the bigger transaction tales within baseball. When a player gets sent down to the minors, we rarely think of the emotional toll that includes the strain it places on the player’s family. Brandon Inge getting sent to Toledo meant something more than leaving the big league club he had toiled with for nearly a decade, it had an impact on his wife and children.
Thankfully, baseball has a paternity leave rule in place this year where GMs do not have to take family situations into account when they are deciding whether a player can join their family in these moments. Do not believe for one second that the addition with this rule has created unanimous joy throughout the league. When Texas’ Colby Lewis became the first player to go on paternity leave, allowing the Rangers to bring in a temporary replacement, managers throughout the league quickly criticized the meaning of the rule – especially when a starting pitcher was being subbed out.
It’s baseball – where managers look to every rule where they can get an advantage over the other team. It’s baseball – where players are at work when their children are being tucked into bed. It’s baseball… and it’s just a game.