You mean Miguel Cabrera has put on weight?
And this is a problem?
This is how out of touch the South Florida media is with the Marlins – they are all a-flutter about Miguel’s weight. He signed the big contract, and decided to cash in at the grocery store and is putting on weight as a result.
The apparent ballooning has been observed by the local media because of their hot/cold reactions to the Marlins. For those that cover the team everyday, and for those that follow the team religiously like those of us here at MarlinsNation.com, this is not a story.
Sure, Miguel is not the slim 20-year old SS prospect he once was, displaced on a World Series team as a LFer. But most people, as they start their 20’s, put on weight. It is called the “freshman 15” for a reason. Basically, you start to grow your “man-body”.
Whether or not Miguel’s natural state includes man-boobs is another story.
Yet, there are a few things that are wrong here – and we won’t even touch how the media does a horrible job of covering the Marlins, only choosing to pipe up when they want to portray something negatively.
Should we be concerned about Miguel’s weight? Yes.
But what we should be more concerned about is how this team is handling their franchise player. Because make no mistake, Miguel Cabrera is one of those rare, generation-defining players that come along very rarely. He is the face of the Marlins today and into tomorrow. He could be not only a franchise-defining player, but an industry-defining player of historical proportions.
So long as those proportions are kept in shape, of course.
We could easily blame Miguel and his 24 year old ways, but that would be like scorning a 5 year old for not filing his taxes – it is just beyond realistic expectation.
Most 24 year olds don’t know how to hit a curveball, much less how to feed themselves properly. Could Miguel hire a nutritionist and keep his weight in check? Yes, he certainly could. But does he know that he should? Does he have the proper persepctive on his life and creating longevity to play this game for another 10 years at least. Heck, does he have the desire?
The thing is when you are that good, you tend to have a total misrepresentation of yourself and reality. Miguel is so good and things come so easy for him that he doesn’t have to think about preparing himself the right way for the game today, much less in 10 years. 24 year olds don’t tend to think long term – they tend to think right now. Things are very microscopic and short termed, in the now – which is a good thing, with balance.
Miguel, in other words, does not know any better. The Marlins are to blame because they are not giving him the opportunity to learn.
And how could they? The Marlins are cash-strapped because their owner does not have enough resources to pull the Marlins out of the mire they are in financially. They need to overhaul their revenue streams and Loria seems content to live with what they got. If the Marlins really wanted to reach Miguel, they would have signed someone that could lead by example and get everyone to understand what it takes to be a professional baseball player.
Unfortunately, that is something Joe Girardi had going for him – but he stepped on too many toes. Fredi Gonzalez is a nice guy, but doesn’t command respect the way Girardi did and is starting to show signs that he was not the right guy for the job.
And Miggy continues to run wild. Well, sort of. He can’t do that much running due to his size, but within those limited concentric circles, he does what he wants because he can. No one checks him. No one in the clubhouse, no one in the front office. No one.
This isn’t to say Miguel is having a bad season – not at all. That is part of the problem – he could be better. Because he is having success it is hard to upset the applecart, hard to fix what doesn’t seem broken. But when you are talking about being a professional and what it takes to be a professional, the sight has to be as equally fixed on today as it is on tomorrow and the day after that. You have to be concerned with creating longevity and at this rate, it is right to be concerned about Miguel’s longevity.
He might eat himself out of position.
Then again, it worked for Babe Ruth.
So the question really shouldn’t be about Miguel’s weight or size or overall aesthetic appeal because if anything, one can observe you don’t have to be the greatest athlete in the world to be the best in a given sport.
Just as Tim Duncan. Or Joe Montana. Or Babe Ruth.
What we should all be concerned with is how the Marlins are challenging Miguel to be that franchise player. Are they concerned about his longterm career? Or only about the years they have him signed to their team?
If we are going to hold Miguel accountable for his weight, we also need to hold the Marlins accountable for making him accountable to them. They have to provided the tools that will allow Miguel to become the best player he can possibly be. If the Marlins do that for Miguel and for EVERY player, they will not have to worry about keeping talent in-house. It will be intrinsic and it will develop itself.
Miguel is the illustration of what is both right with this franchise and what is very wrong about it.