Mr. Triple Crown Miguel Cabrera sat out the past three games with an abdominal strain, though Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said the star has been more hampered by a groin problem.
Monday was the latest game Cabrera missed — the Tigers beat the Red Sox 3-0 at Fenway Park in a Labor Day afternoon affair.
The Detroit third baseman also didn't play Saturday and Sunday in home games against Cleveland. This was after he exited early the previous two days — Friday vs. the Indians and Thursday vs. the A's — because of the nagging injury.
The 2013 AL MVP indicated to FOX Sports MLB Insider Jon Paul Morosi in Detroit on Friday that team goals are more important than individual rewards.
Cabrera is willing to rest and slow down his chase to become the first back-to-back Triple Crown winner in history. He leads the AL and the majors in batting average (.358) and RBI (130), while sitting just four HRs behind Baltimore’s Chris Davis.
Think Rickey Henderson or Barry Bonds would put team first?
Of course, Cabrera might just be playing nice and saying what the Tigers want him to.
But it makes sense.
He’s already done the Triple Crown thing. He’s already won a World Series, too, capturing a title with the 2003 Marlins when he was a 20-year-old rookie.
But isn’t winning team championships what this is all about? Ask Ernie Banks or Ken Griffey Jr. about never playing in a World Series.
Plus, you can bet Cabrera and the Tigers haven’t forgotten the sour taste of last year’s conclusion, a 4-0 sweep by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
So cap’s off to Miggy for putting team first … as long as the injury isn’t that serious.
Then Detroit fans would have something to worry about …