Yesterday, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller published a solid article on how one of baseballs greatest active players, Miguel Cabrera, is stuck on a rebuilding Tigers team during the twilight of his career.
“Cabrera turns 35 April 18,” wrote Miller, “He is coming off the worst season of his career … and his team has been ransacked. Gone are the years when the Tigers were annual World Series contenders. Now Cabrera is an island unto himself in a rebuilding organization that lost 98 games last year, surrounded mostly by a dugout full of hopefuls and maybes.”
But while the article’s focus/angle is serious (and, again, an interesting look into (perhaps) the beginning of the end for a former superstar), I couldn’t help but laugh when Miggy explained that one of the biggest current challenges was learning his new teammates’ names.
“I’ve been here for 10 years and most of my teammates, I don’t even know their names,” he says.
C’mon. Even in the old days, Miggy?
“No,” he protests. “Even in the old days. You can ask any player if I know every name and he’ll say no.”
So what, then, did you call them?
“I say, ‘Hey, bro. What’s up, bro?'”
Hunter, in Florida, and Kinsler, in Arizona, both roar with laughter when they hear this.
“His favorite word was ‘bro,'” Hunter says. “Bro, bro. And then he’d go to another guy. Bro, bro.
“That’s so true. That’s 100 percent true. And he has this funny way of saying it. He sticks his hand out and says, Bro…bro…broohhh.”
Kinsler says, “He knew my name, but then, my locker was right next to his, so he’d better.
“But…now that you say that, maybe he didn’t.”
Imagining Miguel Cabrera leaning over to, say, Justin Verlander, back in the day and saying “Hey, uh … bro … nice pitching out there,” for ten years is something too sweet to believe.
I mean, sure, maybe he knew his name, but also … maybe he didn’t.
I’m going to chose to believe the latter. It’s a lot more fun.