American League Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera left the Detroit Tigers’ clubhouse without speaking to reporters following his team’s 2-0 loss to San Francisco in Game 3 of the World Series, and manager Jim Leyland wants to know why.
Cabrera popped out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and went 1 for 4 Saturday night. He is 2 for 9 (.222) with an RBI in the Series.
“I will deal with the situation and check into it, because you have to be there through the good and the bad. You can’t be on this podium only when you win,” Leyland said Sunday. “When we’re 0-3, I’ve got to be up here, and I’m not the happiest camper in the world. However, you have a responsibility.”
Leyland said he wanted to speak with Cabrera before making any decisions.
“Families are here, mothers are here, young kids are here. I don’t know that somebody might have been sick. I don’t know that something wasn’t right in the family, he had to get out,” Leyland said. “I want to make sure I don’t make a fool of myself.”
Still, he sounded as if the onus is on Cabrera to show he had a good reason.
“We’re all big boys,” Leyland said. “You can’t just be here when everything is going well. That’s our responsibility. Nobody from the Detroit Tigers ducks that.”
RETURN TRIP: Giants manager Bruce Bochy is batting 1.000 in the World Series.
Sure, he guided San Francisco to the 2010 championship and has the Giants in position for another title this year.
But long before that, he was a backup catcher for the San Diego Padres in the 1984 World Series. In his only at-bat, he got a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning of Game 5 at Tiger Stadium, the day Detroit closed out the championship.
“I have great memories of being in the World Series, not real good ones on how it came out,” he said.
“But what a thrill for any player, and of course myself, when you get to the World Series for the first time. We had split in San Diego, then came here and they beat us here,” he said. “But great time for me, I got one at-bat, and I was thrilled that Dick Williams put me in there.”
HALL OF FAME PRAISE: Al Kaline played in an era of greats, from Ted Williams to Mickey Mantle to Reggie Jackson.
Yet the former Detroit standout says the top guy he watched was someone he never faced in a regular season game.
Kaline, now 77 and a special assistant for the Tigers, was at AT&T Park in San Francisco earlier in the World Series. Willie Mays, at 81, took part in the first-ball ceremony honoring Giants stars before Game 1.
“Willie Mays was the best player I ever saw,” Kaline said. “I was lucky to see a lot of them. But Willie was something special.”
“To me, he was the poster boy for baseball. The way he played, his enthusiasm and his ability,” Kaline said of his fellow Hall of Famer.
The Tigers and Giants had never met in postseason play before this year, and there was no interleague play in their day. With Detroit working out in Florida and the Giants in Arizona, they didn’t see each other in spring training.
Mays made his first All-Star team in 1954 and Kaline was first picked a year later. They were then chosen in every summer showcase through 1967.
“That’s where I got to see him, and he was fun to watch. He could really play,” Kaline said.
Kaline, however, said he never got to spend much time with Mays.
“I see him at the Hall of Fame and like to stop by, shake his hand and just be who I am,” he said. “I’m not kidding myself. I was a good player. But he was great. There aren’t too many who were at his level,” he said.
ON PITCH: Leyland is in tune with Justin Verlander.
“I’m aware of his singing skills,” the Tigers’ ace said Sunday. “I’ve seen it a couple times at some hotels. In the hotel bar sometimes they’ll have a setup and he gets on the mic.”
Leyland has managed the Tigers since 2006. Verlander’s entire career has been under Leyland, except for his first two games in 2005.
“He’s an old school manager, and I feel maybe if I had played for a different manager, things might not be the same as they are now, where they let me go out and be that workhorse and throw 120 pitches an outing,” Verlander said.
“You see some teams that are a little different in that regard. But I consider myself an old school pitcher, and I think skip considers himself an old school manager. He allows me to go out there and do what I do.”