There are certain things you don’t say in this town. This is one of them.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is a better hitter than Al Kaline was. The old guard loves to protect Kaline. He is Mr. Tiger for many because Ty Cobb was too radical to support. Kaline was a steady guy on the field who turned down a $100,000 contract because he did not believed he deserved it. People still love him for that.
Kaline was great. Cabrera is pure terror. Kaline attacked the baseball. Cabrera tears the cover off the baseball.
A young man asked me the other day are we watching the best hitter since Al Kaline. I told him no in a twitter exchange. We are watching the best hitter since Ty Cobb. And when it is all said and done Cabrera might be better. The guy is a marvel to watch. He not only gets hits. He gets big hits.
If he stays healthy Cabrera will get 3,000 hits and more than 500 home runs. I asked him last year if he’d like to hit 600 and he said yes although he admits that is a long way away and everything would have to go right. Kaline was great also. He finished with 3006 hits and 399 home runs mostly playing in the dead ball era. His glove was spectacular and nobody played the right field wall better than Kaline.
We are watching something special in Cabrera and we need to savor every moment until he retires. Nobody does what this guy does. One of the problems is his greatness has been tainted with a couple off field incidents. Some fans wanted the Tigers to make a statement and release him. I kept telling them that is the last thing you wanted.
Cabrera will never be Mr. Tigers here because he is Hispanic and struggles with the language. He has had flaws in his personal life that many will never forgive. But folks you are watching the greatest Tiger I ever saw play — and that includes Al Kaline.