Prior to a game in Chicago earlier this week, Detroit Tigers star third baseman Miguel Cabrera was signing autographs for fans when he saw something that bothered him. A Tigers fan holding a “Fire Leyland” sign quickly realized the slugger didn’t approve. Cabrera took the fan’s sign, then took a string of obnoxious trolling from that fan. He handed the sign over to a Tigers employee before continuing to sign autographs.
Cabrera was asked if he didn’t like the sign, and also asked how he felt about Jim Leyland’s lineups during the heat of the pennant race, specifically citing the use of Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly as starters. Both players have spent significant time in the minor league this season and Raburn has been the whipping boy since Detroit released Brandon Inge early in the season.
Meanwhile, Cabrera didn’t even acknowledge the heckler and continued to sign for the more respectable fans.
There is a vocal minority of Tiger fans that have been all over Leyland for his lineups since, well, 2006 it seems. The team has been at least a mild disappointment this year, though they sit just one game behind Chicago for the division lead with 20 games to go. Players like Inge, Raburn, and Kelly have taken the brunt of the criticism, but certainly Leyland has gotten more than his fair share as well.
Whether or not Cabrera really doesn’t want to see Leyland fired, he showed a lot of restraint in not responding to the jabs levied by the troll in Chicago.
(hat tip, Bless You Boys)