Detroit Tigers All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after police watched him drink from a bottle of Scotch as he sat in his car alongside a Florida road.
Cabrera said about a year ago that he had given up drinking alcohol and went on to post his best Major League Baseball season, finishing second to Josh Hamilton in American League Most Valuable Player voting.
Cabrera, 27, was charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and two misdemeanor counts of resisting an officer without violence after being detained by the St. Lucie County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office last night, according to the arrest report.
An e-mail seeking comment from Ron Colangelo, a spokesman for the Tigers, and a telephone message seeking comment from Fernando Cuza, Cabrera’s agent, weren’t immediately returned. The Tigers are holding spring training in Lakeland, Florida, about 150 miles northwest of where Cabrera was stopped.
Cabrera made $20 million last season, making him the sixth-highest paid player in baseball, according to USA Today.
He said last March that he was done drinking alcohol. Five months earlier, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski picked Cabrera up at a police station following a fight between the player and his wife that allegedly came after a night of drinking, the Associated Press reported. Cabrera’s blood-alcohol level that night was 0.26, three times above Michigan’s limit for driving, and he had a bruised and cut cheek, AP said.
The Tigers, who led the Minnesota Twins by one game for the division lead entering the final weekend of the season, dropped two of three games to the Chicago White Sox as Cabrera went 0-for-11. Detroit then lost a one-game playoff to the Twins.
The police report from last night said an officer approached Cabrera when he spotted the player’s vehicle on the side of the road in Fort Pierce, Florida, with smoke coming from its engine.
The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol on Cabrera, who was slurring his speech and had watery, bloodshot eyes, according to the report. The officer watched as Cabrera, sitting in his car, picked up a bottle of Scotch whisky and drank some.
The report said Cabrera had to be handcuffed because he wouldn’t follow officers’ orders and kept running into the road with his hands up. Eventually, an officer kneed his thigh to subdue him, the report said.
Cabrera then refused to get into a patrol car, saying, “Do you know who I am? You don’t know anything about my problems,” according to the report.
No Breath Test
Cabrera refused to take a breath test and posted a $1,350 bond. He was released at 7:45 a.m. today, according to police.
The five-time All-Star batted .328 with a league-leading 126 runs batted in and 38 home runs in 2010. He was a 20-year-old rookie with the Florida Marlins in 2003 when they defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series.