Miguel Cabrera talks Ilitch, milestones, Tigers’ title chances and boxing in the off-season

Spring Training is underway in Lakeland, Florida, and no one seems to be more excited than Miguel Cabrera. This year marks Cabrera’s tenth Spring Training with the Detroit Tigers and he sat down with the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky to talk about a few things: Mr. Ilitch’s passing, the window of contention for the Tigers, his off-season workouts, and his career numbers.

On Mr. Ilitch 

“It was heartbreaking. We come into this spring training a little sad, but at the same time we come in (thinking) that we need to keep going and do this for him. He was always thinking about a World Series championship and we never gave him that chance. So we’ve got extra motivation. We need to do extra stuff to try to be our best this season.”

McCoskey asked how Miggy felt that Mr. Ilitch what Miguel to be a Tiger for life. “It means a lot. He gave me an opportunity to be here in Detroit. He signed me for a lot of years. Every time I saw him, I would say thank you for giving me this opportunity to be in Detroit, have Detroit part of my family, part of my life, my home.”

On the Tigers’ contention window –

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers
Apr 25, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) and first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) celebrate after the game against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Detroit won 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

McCoskey asked, “You say one more year; do you sense the window is closing?” Miggy responded by saying, “I don’t know. J.D. Martinez is going to be a free agent. A lot of

people are going to be a free agent. Ian Kinsler’s going to be a free agent. I think it’s like, ‘Let’s make one more shot. We have a chance to give it one more shot.’ We’ll see what happens.”

On his off-season workouts –

“My friend Jorge Linares (WBA lightweight champion), he’s going to fight in Las Vegas at the end of this month. He told me, ‘You should do this for cardio, you should do this for footwork. It’s going to help you to keep moving. It’s going to be good for your body.’ He’s from my hometown in Venezuela…Footwork, you feel stronger in your shoulder. But it’s all about here (points to head), be stronger in your mind. Don’t get people in your mind.”

On reaching career milestones –

“You’re thinking when you sign about if I get 3,000 hits, about if I get 400 home runs, about if I get 1,500 RBI. I was thinking about that when I was younger. But right now, my first time in the big leagues, I stopped thinking about numbers. Numbers are good, but if you start thinking about it, you might get pressure every day and you won’t be able to play. I prefer to go out there and do my job and see the number afterward.”

With the season on the horizon, Miggy is ready to go, leading the team for at least one more year of contention. Something all of us fans can definitely get behind.

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Michigan and Michigan State both safely in the tournament… for now

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