FORT PIERCE, FLA. (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Tigers’ All-Star slugger Miguel Cabrera has been arrested in Florida on suspicion of drunk driving. This is the latest episode for the first baseman who has struggled with a drinking problem.

According to the police report, a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy arrested the 27-year-old Wednesday night at 11:14 p.m. The deputy pulled up to Cabrera’s car, which was on the side of the road with the smoke coming from the engine of his vehicle.

Police said Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and took a swig from a bottle of Scotch in front of a deputy.  According to the report, Cabrera’s attitude was cocky, combative, argumentative and belligerent.  His eyes were bloodshot, watery and glassy and his face was flushed. 

Police said Cabrera repeatedly refused to cooperate, saying, “Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems.”

One deputy struck Cabrera in the left thigh several times with his knee after Cabrera pushed into him, causing the ballplayer to fall into the patrol car.

Cabrera refused to take a breath test, deputies said.

He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and resisting an officer without violence. Cabrera was also cited for an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

He posted $1,350 bond and was released from jail early Thursday. The arrest occurred about 110 miles southeast of Lakeland, where the Tigers hold spring training.

Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski spoke with reporters in Lakeland later Thursday. When asked about Cabrera’s attendance at the team’s upcoming spring training, Dombrowski said, “Oh, yeah, he’ll be here. We fully support him on trying to get help in this situation.”

Dombrowski said he was “completely shocked. I had no idea. I didn’t think there was a problem there.”

Team members were sympathetic.

“It’s hard,” said second baseman Carlos Guillen, who is in camp recovering from an injury. “He’s a really good friend. I know he was working hard in the winter to have a good season this year.”

“I worry about him. He’s got a lot of talent,” Guillen said. “It’s tough for him, for us, for Venezuelans.”

Thursday, WWJ spoke with Pat Caputo of 97.1 the Ticket.

“I think what the Tigers are going to have to make a decision about is, do you put him on the field knowing that he has this problem. Or, do you get him help, knowing that it’s probably going to go into the season and hurt the start of your season,” Caputo said.

Jeff Riger: You Will Still Cheer For Miggy

“This is a $20 million-a-year ballplayer. He’s one of the best players in the game. This is the guy that you built your franchise around, and that’s gonna be a very tough decision for that organization,” he said.

In 2009, the first baseman got into a fight with his wife after a night of drinking, right before his team surrendered the American League Central Division title to the Twins. Police said Cabrera had a 0.26 blood-alcohol reading – three times above Michigan’s legal limit for driving – and Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski had to pick up Cabrera at the station. No charges were filed.

During spring training last year, Cabrera said he was done drinking alcohol after he spent much of the offseason in counseling.

“You guys write in the paper ‘alcoholic,’ that’s not right,” he said last March before a spring training workout. “I don’t know how to explain, but it’s not an alcohol problem.”

According to Dombrowski, Cabrera is at his home in Boca Raton, Florida and wants to be in camp Friday, though Dombrowski says he is unsure when Cabrera will officially report. Dombrowski was asked if he was disappointed in Cabrera, but he wouldn’t comment on that.

First position player workouts are Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments (15)
  1. Analytical Liberal says:

    Here we go again… stupid is as stupid does. Another wasted life; another wasted season. Such a waste…

  2. Patti says:

    Miguel Caberera = MORON: a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment. But again the Tiger organization will slap his hands and suspend him for 6 games then cut it to a 2 game suspension for ‘GOOD BEHAVIOR”.

    What is is going to take? Beat his wife again or kill someone while drunk????
    Good job DETROIT TIGER organization!!!

    1. Bobby, A TRUE TIGERS FAN says:

      That is such an ignorant comment! All WE know is that he has made a bad decision only 3 times. I am sure YOU NEVER made a bad decision in your life. Even though Miggy is a superstar ball player, HE IS STILL A PERSON. Granted he lacked judgment on occasions, you can’t call him a moron or anything like that. You have to support people when they are down, not KICK them.

      1. Rob says:

        Ignorance is on those who keep giving this guy a free pass. Look where it has gotten others in entertainment who get a slap on the wrist. They wont change anything unless that change is FORCED.

        “He has made a bad decision ONLY 3 times” As far as we know! These 3 are the ones he was CAUGHT. How about times he wasnt caught or was out lit up and driving around.

        All it takes is ONE bad decision to cause loss of life. He is taking risks the Tigers organization or anyone should never allow.

        What would your boss say if you were involved in these very same 3 bad decisions? I bet you wouldnt be employed

      2. ggf1938 says:

        Your response proves you are just a hero worshiper and also in denial as is Caberera. His behavior strongly suggests he has a severe drinking problem and likely would hurt himself or others, maybe you, when he is behind the wheel. What would your lame comment be had he killed someone under the influence?? You support a drunk by forcing him to accept the reality of his situation. you do that by NOT enabling or supporting his behavior. Get a life for yourself.

  3. Nick says:

    Support him. Keep him your Tiger. I don’t think he’s an alcoholic. I think he has a deeper seeded issue at the core of this, maybe depression. Dembrowski doesn’t help all that much either. If you knew your GM would take abullet for you, wouldn’t you try to get away with some stuff? Not that, that is an excuse, but I think that thought slightly enters his head as well.

  4. Dave says:

    To have this happen after his previous “incident” is concerning. He denied being an alcoholic before, but (if the report is accurate) to take a drink of scotch in front of the police would signify a real problem. I hope he gets treatment and can work through this as he is so talented and could still have a great future. As Tiger fans, we shouldn’t judge so harshly, but support him, albeit with caution, and pray he gets healthy.

  5. dewalt2990 says:

    suspicion of drunk driving….. doesn’t sound that cut and dry.

  6. Joseph says:

    They should put him in one of those “drunk driving” commercails dragging a keg around the bases. 20 million a year will get you out of alot of trouble. If the tigers had big enough baseballs, they would trade him for half a team that the “organzation” would not have to hold the hands of.

  7. ggf1938 says:

    I can’t believe all of the ‘fans’ support for a common, but rich DRUNK. nothing else should matter except getting him to understand his problem by whatever means that takes. Jail, voiding his contract with the Tigers, whatever will cause him to get help before he kills someone while behind the wheel or kills his wife in a drunken rage.

  8. Pablo says:


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