- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
- Angry New Yorkers shred gun registrations in deadline day protests
- Uninsured rate dropping faster in places that embraced pillars of Obamacare, survey shows
- Hawaii, D.C. give residents two more weeks to sign up under Obamacare
- Climate change causing fish to lose their minds, researchers say
- Great Britain tops World’s Most Sexist Nation list
- Aaron Hernandez investigated for threatening to kill prison guard
- Putin tells Merkel that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war
- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
Cabrera hoping for more of the same with the bat
LAKELAND, FLA. (AP) - Since there’s no Quadruple Crown in baseball, it will be awfully tough for Miguel Cabrera to top his performance from 2012.
The Detroit slugger puts plenty of pressure on himself to help the Tigers win, but when it comes to individual achievements, his approach is pretty low key.
“I always believe you can be consistent,” he said. “I don’t know if you’re going to get better, but my goal is always to be consistent.”
Cabrera has made that look startlingly easy. Last year, he became baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years _ and incredibly, his batting average was actually 14 points higher the season before. He’s hit below .320 only once in the last eight years, and hit under 30 home runs once in the last nine.
There are no sure things in a sport as fickle as baseball, but Cabrera’s contributions are becoming almost routine.
“Taking for granted is probably not the right choice of words, but I know he’s going to do good _ I’m pretty sure of that,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I think you just really gain an appreciation for how good these guys are _ major league players _ and when you see one that’s a special, special player … we’re pretty fortunate.”
The Tigers held their first full-squad workout Friday on a wet morning in Lakeland, ending a busy offseason for Cabrera. It started late because Detroit reached the World Series last year, and after Cabrera hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs to win the Triple Crown and the American League MVP, there were interviews and other attention to deal with.
Even spring training will be different than usual because of next month’s World Baseball Classic. That interruption means it’s more important than usual for Cabrera, a Venezuelan, to get a lot of work in early.
Last season, Cabrera moved from first base to third, and there is still a lot he’d like to improve defensively.
“Try to get better in the first step _ side to side, to slow groundballs,” he said.
At the plate, of course, Cabrera has no obvious weaknesses. His powerful, compact right-handed swing can do just about anything to pitches all over the strike zone. He homered onto a camera platform beyond center field in a game last June against the New York Yankees. The following month, his 300th career homer went sailing toward the ivy in that same area of Comerica Park.
But there are also more subtle features in his swing.
“Last year, I went through a little funk,” said outfielder Torii Hunter, who signed with the Tigers this offseason. “I watched video on him, how he stays inside the ball and everything. So I went out there and tried it, and I was like 3-for-4 for four days.”
Cabrera can apparently stay close to midseason form for 12 months a year.
“I remember when he left to go to Venezuela,” catcher Alex Avila said. “I read in the paper that he wins the home run derby at their All-Star game. It’s been like a month and a half since the season ended, and he hasn’t hit at all, and just goes and wins a home run derby like that. It’s incredible.”
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes