After two decades of playing at his own pace, Tigers' slugger Miguel Cabrera has to deal with new speed rules in his final season, and things didn't go exactly as planned against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Miggy got his first pitch clock violation, which requires batters to be ready with eight seconds left on the pitch clock. The reason: Miggy was being Miggy.
Isn't this exactly what we expect from Miggy? The goofing around with fans, jabbering at the other team, or a more-than-simple “how do you do” to the opposing team's backstop. Of course it is, the problem is now he's on a clock. But isn't what happened on Wednesday just a small microcosm of why we have grown to love Miguel Cabrera?
Why it matters:
This season is the final one for Miguel Cabrera, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, as he approaches the end of his Hall-of-Fame career. With the new “speed-up rules,” Cabrera may need some time to adapt, as he found out on Wednesday. Although he didn't object to the call, Cabrera's chatty approach to the plate might be harder to maintain with the new rules, making it harder for him to get in the right mindset for hitting, though, as he's shown, his mindset won't be a problem.
- Pitchers have 15 seconds to deliver the ball with the bases empty, and 20 seconds with a runner on base.
- Batters must be ready and engaged with the pitcher by the eight-second mark of the pitch clock, according to the new rules.
Miguel Cabrera by the numbers:
Cabrera's clock violation was just a small hiccup in an otherwise impressive performance. Here are the numbers from the game:
- Cabrera's 413-foot double to center in the third inning was the highlight of the game, bouncing off the top of the wall, his first hit of the spring season.
- 3,088 hits, .308 batting average, 1,847 RBI, and 507 HR in his 20-year career.
- The first Triple Crown winner (2012), since Carl Yastrzemski (1967).
- World Series Champion with the Florida Marlins (2003).
- Back-to-back American League MVPs (2012-2013)
The Bottom Line:
Miguel Cabrera's final season is off and running, despite the new “speed-up rules.” Although he got called for a clock violation, it didn't affect his performance and highlighted what we love best about Miggy, his childlike approach to the game of baseball. It's going to be a fun season to watch as Miguel rides off into the sunset of his illustrious career.