02/17/11 2:00 PM EST
Cabrera arrested, charged with DUI in Florida
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
"We continue to evaluate and gather information," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium. "I have spoken to Miguel. I have spoken to his representatives. I have spoken to the Commissioner's Office, who in turn has talked with the Players Association. They will be involved in gathering information and evaluating the process, also. ... Really, for today, I don't have anything more to add than that."
Cabrera was arrested late Wednesday night in Fort Pierce, Fla., about 110 miles southeast of Lakeland. The police report, obtained and published by the Treasure Coast Newspapers, stated that around 11 p.m. ET, police spotted smoke coming out of the engine of the car Cabrera was driving. Cabrera reportedly smelled of alcohol, and his speech was slurred. The sheriff's office reported that he took a drink from a bottle of scotch he had in the car. Additional deputies were called to the scene when he was ruled uncooperative, according to the police report.
"Do you know who I am? You don't know anything about my problems," Cabrera told officers, according to the report.
Cabrera was booked into St. Lucie County jail, where he spent the night before being released on $1,350 bail Thursday morning. It was not known who picked him up, but Dombrowski said Cabrera is currently at his South Florida home.
When he'll get to Lakeland is unknown.
"We're still talking about that," Dombrowski said. "He would love to be here tomorrow, but we still need to work through some of this."
Dombrowski was cautious in choosing his words pending talks with Cabrera's agents and with Major League Baseball. Cabrera's teammates, who saw him seemingly change his life last year and post an MVP-caliber season, were caught completely by surprise.
"I'm in shock, man," said Carlos Guillen, a fellow Venezuelan as well as a teammate and friend of Cabrera. He didn't know about the arrest until told of it by reporters.
Guillen's was a common feeling, in and out of the clubhouse.
Cabrera's personal trainer, Radhi Muhammad, said in a tweet Thursday that Cabrera worked out Wednesday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before breaking for lunch. Cabrera spent the offseason working out almost daily with Muhammad and his staff, along with teammates Magglio Ordonez and Alex Avila, before heading home to Venezuela two weeks ago.
"My staff can even vouch for it," Muhammad tweeted. "We've been working hard for four months."
Avila had similar thoughts.
"I've known Miguel for a long time," Avila said Thursday afternoon. "I'm as shocked as everybody."
Cabrera was expected to report to camp Thursday or Friday ahead of full-squad workouts Saturday, but those plans might be on hold.
"When you hear a report like this, you just want to find out what's taken place," Dombrowski said. "There are legal ramifications and keeping these things to yourself at this point, but it's a situation where you worry about the player. I just saw him, and I know he's been working out on a regular basis. He's been working out hard. So I don't know what happened."
It's also not known why Cabrera would've been in Fort Pierce on Wednesday night, a long drive from Fort Lauderdale and from his reported home in Boca Raton.
Cabrera's arrest comes about 17 months after police responded to an alleged incident involving Cabrera and his wife in October 2009 in suburban Detroit. No charges were filed, but Cabrera was held overnight in that situation after registering a .26 blood-alcohol level. The incident occurred in the final weekend of the regular season, with the Tigers in the midst of a playoff race with the Twins.
Cabrera played hours later and finished out the season, but met with team officials afterward and agreed to undergo counseling. He reported to camp the next spring talking about having made changes and being better able to handle the pressures in his life.
"I'm still young," Cabrera said a year ago. "I'm still learning a lot from baseball and from life. So right now, I'm going to take the right steps for my life. Right now, I feel comfortable with what I'm going to do. That's why I feel excited. I feel positive for that."
He went on to record arguably the best season of his career, batting .326 with 38 homers and 126 RBIs and finishing second in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
More important to Guillen and many others, he had turned a corner in his life.
"I always tell my kids, it's not about one day. You have to be the same person, every day," Guillen said Thursday. "It's something you have to keep in your mind for the rest of your life -- to be a better person. I know it's not easy, but you have to think that way every day, learn from the mistakes you make in your life and go from there.
"But I know he's a good kid, a really good kid. He's one of my favorite players. I know he's younger than me, but I haven't seen many guys like him in the big leagues. I think he's still young and he can make an adjustment."
Guillen was asked whether he's concerned about Cabrera.
"Yeah, I'm worried about him," Guillen replied, "because he's got a lot of talent. He's got the potential to be a Hall of Famer one day. Sometimes you have people around you that are not good for you. You think they're your friends, but they're not really friends."
Avila echoed those remarks.
"When you hear something like this, you don't really think about the baseball player," Avila said. "You think about Miguel personally and what he's feeling, what he's going through, rather than how it's going to affect [things] on the field. I don't think any of us doubt what he can do. We're just concerned for him."