Tigers’ Cabrera wants to drop 10 pounds

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, looking both huskier and

stronger than at this time last year, said Tuesday that he would

like to drop 10 pounds before Opening Day.

Cabrera said he currently weighs 265 pounds. He would like to

play at 255. The team’s press guide lists him at 6-foot-4,

240 pounds.

Cabrera’s conditioning has been an issue in the past,

but the Tigers are confident that his overall health will improve

now that he has begun treatment for alcoholism.

Cabrera was comfortable answering questions about his alcohol

addiction on Tuesday, after hitting a double in his lone at-bat in

Detroit’s exhibition win against Florida Southern College. He

entered a treatment program during the offseason after a night of

binge drinking in September became a symbol of the Tigers’

late-season collapse.

Despite a published report Monday that quoted Cabrera

denying having an alcohol problem, the Tigers first baseman had a

different tone in a Tuesday interview. Cabrera said he had been

drinking as a way to handle stress, pressure and other problems.

“That’s why I asked for help,” he said.

“Sometimes you’ve got problems, and they stay inside,

stay inside. That’s what happened to me. I was angry most of

the time. Right now, it’s easier to let it go.”

He continued: “When I was young, (people) put a lot of

pressure on me. I didn’t know how to handle that. They said,

‘You’re going to be the man here.’ But I

(wasn’t) prepared for that. Right now, I can say that

I’m prepared for that. I know what I’m going to do.

I’m going to be more responsible. So, let’s do

it.”

In past years, Cabrera said, he shared his concerns with

“nobody.” Now, he said he’s communicating much

better with those close to him. And he said he hasn’t

consumed alcohol since September.

“I got it in my mind (before) that, some day, I would

not drink,” Cabrera said. “I got a chance to do it. So,

for me, what I’m doing is good. I feel good. My body feels

good. It’s a good thing that I’m doing.”

Cabrera also offered a prediction about Tigers outfielder

Magglio Ordonez: He said Ordonez would finish with a batting

average between .320 and .330, with 20 home runs and 100 RBIs.

Ordonez hit for little power last year while his wife battled

serious health issues.

“I see him more fresh right now,” Cabrera said.

“He worked hard in the offseason. He prepared for this

season. He (dealt) with a lot of stuff last year. His mind right

now is on baseball. I’m happy for him.”

Cabrera said he believes Ordonez, 36, can play four or five

more years in the big leagues. “He takes care of his

body,” Cabrera said. “He’s smart. He knows how to

play. Baseball needs players like that.”