It's The Final Week Of Miguel Cabrera's Career And I Am Not Emotionally Ready

For years, I've been ready for Miguel Cabrera to retire. My opinion of him hasn't changed. He is one of the greatest hitters of all time and will rightfully have his number 24 retired at Comerica Park at some point. But it's no secret that Miguel Cabrera has been an ineffective player over the last seven years. Injuries caught up to him. His descent has coincided with the team's descent. I don't completely blame him for this, but it has, at points, been sad to see.

I have gotten some enjoyment out of watching Miguel Cabrera's final season. He's gotten his flowers and gifts (as well as a cheap bottle of wine that the Oakland A's gave to him). I think everyone in the organization has handled the situation correctly. It's been a nice story, but hasn't become a distraction. I've been ready for it to end for a while, but now the finish line is near, and I think I speak for all Tiger fans when I say it will be hard seeing him go.

I don't know of any Tiger fan who will miss the player we've seen since 2017. Miggy has either played first base or been a DH, and he's put up a negative WAR since 2017. It's not the numbers that won't be missed. It's more so the presence. You get attached to individuals in baseball more than you do in any other sport. There's a comfortability that comes with seeing these guys in the lineup every night. I was born in 1995, meaning Miguel Cabrera has been a Detroit Tiger for over half my life. For some people, as long as they've been Detroit Tiger fans, they've been Miguel Cabrera fans. This is Miggy's final week, but I don't think the true realization will settle in until Opening Day next year when we look at the lineup and see that he's not in it. 

There had been a lot of criticism about Miguel Cabrera's inability to be a leader in the clubhouse. During his peak, that was a legitimate criticism. But I think as he's gotten older, we've seen Miguel Cabrera grow as a player and as a person. Baseball is a game that humbles you. Almost overnight, Miguel Cabrera went from one of the best hitters on the planet to a guy below replacement level. He hasn't pouted. He's grown, and with the influx of talent like Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Kerry Carpenter, Miggy has taken them under his wing. It's been fun to see. These guys watched Miggy win MVPs when they were growing up. Now, they've gotten to be in the same clubhouse with him. Miguel has embraced that role.

The final homestand of Miguel Cabrera's career will certainly be an emotional one. More than any player in my lifetime, Miguel Cabrera connected with the fans of this team in a way that we haven't seen. I give Detroit fans a lot of credit. They never took it for granted. When he was at his best, we were well aware that we were watching greatness. And while the numbers have subsided, the greatness of Miguel Cabrera never disappeared. You cannot erase what he accomplished. Just because it's the right time to say goodbye doesn't make goodbye any easier.