It couldn’t have played out more perfectly if it had been scripted for a movie. First, the villainous Yankees refused to pitch to Miguel Cabrera on Thursday, walking him intentionally during the at-bat that could have been his big moment. Then Friday it was a rain storm that postponed the first game of the Tigers/Rockies series, pushing the big day back a little further.
Saturday dawned bright and warm. Miguel Cabrera’s kids, who he said weren’t allowed to skip school for the weekday games, were waiting in the stands, along with over 35,000 Detroit fans. Former Tigers players were on the Rockies roster that day, and it seemed like every player was just waiting for the big moment.
They didn’t need to wait long. In the bottom of the first inning, Cabrera was the third to bat, and he arrived at the plate to a standing ovation. He did exactly what he’s done best his whole career and hit a perfectly placed single the opposite way. Hit 3,000. Rockies shortstop — and former Tiger — Jose Iglesias was the first across the field to embrace Cabrera, and then the home team dugout emptied. Cabrera’s family joined them in the onfield ruckus, and for one moment the pace of play didn’t matter. It was a moment decades in the making, and for Cabrera, one last checkbox ticked in a first-ballot Hall of Fame career.
It’s also a moment we won’t see again any time soon, with the most likely candidates to get there either likely to retire before they make it (Robinson Cano or Joey Votto), or so young it will take more than 10 years to get there (Bryce Harper or Mike Trout). Whether you’re a Tigers fan or not, it doesn’t matter. It was an incredible moment in a brilliant career, and absolutely the biggest story of the weekend.
A selection of stories on Cabrera’s big hit:
- Stephen J. Nesbitt explains why we’ll be waiting so long for the next 3000 hit player. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Marly Rivera looks at the very small club that Miguel Cabrera joined this weekend.
- MLB dot com has a collection of Miggy Milestones.
Now on to the rest of the weekend links!
- No. Absolutely not.
- Candace Buckner writes a piece on what kinds of culture and attitudes could use a refresh in baseball.
- Jose Ramirez is having quite the hot start, and Jay Jaffe decides to take a look at what’s going so well.
- Byron Buxton’s extra-innings home run is probably still waiting to land. (AP)
- Want to talk weird baseball, well the Rays have you covered. They lost a seven-pitcher no-hitter in extra innings thanks to the ghost runner, but still managed to pull off a walk-off win. (AP)
- Ken Rosenthal looks at which managers might be in the hot seat thanks to expiring contracts. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- I’m sorry... WHAT happened in the Nats game?!?!
At the Nats game.— Jeff (@JeffOnThePlains) April 24, 2022
1st pitch: Ball
2nd pitch: Ball, third baseman projectile vomits all over the mound
3rd pitch: Giants home run
It’s gonna be a great season
- A baseball signed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (back in 2019) is being auctioned off to aid Ukrainian relief. Story by TMZ.
- More intentional walks? With the bases loaded? No thanks, says Ben Clemens.
- Stephanie Apstein looks at the incredible power of the Mets pitching lineup, which isn’t even at its full strength right now.
- Tyler Zombro, the Rays minor league pitcher who almost died after a comebacker hit him in the head, made his first game appearance this weekend, shares ESPN.
- Orioles ace John Means is out for the rest of the season and will need Tommy John surgery. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Now that’s an impressive stretch.
After 17 consecutive perfect innings and 52 straight outs, Rōki Sasaki gave up a hit in his first NPB inning today— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) April 24, 2022
- Guess what? You can now watch select MiLB games with your MLB TV subscription. Story by Sam Dykstra.
- Jay Jaffe looks at a recent run of no-hit bids in baseball’s early weeks.
- The other big story of the weekend involved Yankess fans pelting Guardians’ outfielders with garbage, which unfortunately eclipsed the teams’ walk-off win. Wilton Jackson recounts the ugly scene from the Bronx.
- In a sweeter moment, pitcher Sean Manaea was reunited with his brother on Military Appreciation Sunday at Petco Park. Story by AJ Cassavell.
- I will never stop posting about what a great person Brett Phillips is.
8-year-old Chloe has cancer, and when she met her favorite baseball player, Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips, they developed a friendship that brought them both strength. @SteveHartmanCBS is On the Road with the story of a bond between two people with hearts of gold. pic.twitter.com/FhwZNUHCGB— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 22, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.