Prior to the game, Brad Ausmus agreed that Cabrera hasn’t resembled himself this season, particularly of late. “Sometimes he’s chasing pitches out of the zone, sometimes he’s fighting himself.
And like any hitter who’s not performing the way he would like to, he gets frustrated at himself,” Ausmus said.
He barked at himself in demonstrative fashion, loudly enough for it to be heard in the press box, and continued to fume as he made his way back to the dugout.
Then he stuffed his bat into the bat rack in anger.
With the score tied and a runner on second, Cabrera popped up on a hittable pitch, a hanger up in the zone, and chucked his bat to the ground in disgust. Like any human being when he steps in the box and has a chance to win the game and doesn’t do it, he gets upset.“The real plus is this guy’s a veteran, so he’s been around the game long enough to understand that these things happen,” Ausmus said. It never comes quick enough, but he’ll come around,” said Ausmus.“It’s easier to handle when you’re a veteran-type player. The ending of Monday night’s game provided a snapshot of Cabrera’s season — the slugger was stranded on deck, bat in hand but unable to make a difference.Watching his face become yellow with jaundice from liver failure and holding my sobbing mother after his funeral are experiences that will forever be burned in my brain.It doesn’t fit into the fluffy fodder of first dates, and there’s no way to tell this story without being the epitome of a buzzkill. But that’s the point: There’s more to a decision than meets the eye.Even last year, when he got off to a slow start, he was up to .298/.902 by the 84-game mark. “There are unquestionably superstars that have had down years,” said Ausmus, referencing Hall-of-Famer Jeff Bagwell in 1995 for the Astros.“He was awful, and it was after his MVP season.” Cabrera’s worst start through 84 games, this year excluded, came in 2008.I was 18 and squished as far into one side of the couch as I could go. He wrapped one arm across my shoulders, whipped out the vodka, and tried to pour it down my throat. And in his eyes, I’d signaled the opposite: that I couldn’t have fun, that I was socially awkward.He was on the other side, with the door closed, and one full bottle of vodka, a half-empty bottle of tequila missing a lid, and mismatched shot glasses piled on the nightstand. Imagine my surprise when I arrived and discovered it was just the two of us… It was the first time I, who at 15 routinely sat with her much-older friends as they drank to their hearts’ content, was terrified in the presence of alcohol. It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d wanted a drink more than anything in the world, because there, across from him mentally crossing me off his list, I was busy swallowing down my own shame.That applies to everyone in the lineup,” said Ausmus.But Cabrera’s frustrations seem to be at an all-time high. Never in his career has he been mired in such mediocrity this deep into the season.