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Why the Oakland A’s retirement gift to Miguel Cabrera is receiving criticism

Why the Oakland A’s retirement gift to Miguel Cabrera is receiving criticism

After Miguel Cabrera recorded his 3,000th career hit last season, the Detroit Free Press reported that Cabrera, who has previously been treated for alcoholism, celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne in the clubhouse.

That fact didn’t deter the Oakland A’s from handing Cabrera a bottle of wine as a retirement gift on Thursday night.

Cabrera, who is finishing his 21-year big league career with the Detroit Tigers and will retire at season’s end, met with A’s manager Mark Kotsay on the field before the A’s lost their eighth straight game on Thursday.

Kotsay presented Cabrera with a bottle of what appears to be a cabernet sauvignon from Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford. The bottle retails online for about $80.

Congratulations on a legendary career, Miggy! pic.twitter.com/OEZt8q5Vjq

— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) September 22, 2023

The gift led to some criticism from fans and media members on social media on Friday.

While the gift from a $1-billion franchise to a slugger who has made more than $400 million in his career could be seen as frugal, particularly for a team that is famous for its lack of spending, there’s also the issue of Cabrera’s struggles with alcohol.

Cabrera was arrested after a domestic abuse complaint filed by his wife in 2009, then he spent three months in an outpatient treatment program that offseason and spoke publicly about his decision to get sober the following spring. 

In spring training in 2011, Cabrera was arrested in Florida and charged with driving under the influence and resisting arrest. In the police report, Cabrera was said to have taken a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy while sitting in his car.

But the A’s aren’t the only team to overlook Cabrera’s past in giving him alcohol as a retirement gift.

The Houston Astros presented him with a bottle of wine from manager Dusty Baker’s personal vineyard and the Miami Marlins handed him a bottle of rum and box of cigars.

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Cabrera, 40, has not made any comments about the gifts.

He was 0-for-3 on Thursday night to drop his average to .256 with three home runs and a .652 OPS in 339 plate appearances this season.

Over his final seven big league seasons in which he’s made more than $180 million, Cabrera has hit .262 with a .707 OPS and a total of 62 home runs.

For his career, he has 3,167 hits and 510 home runs to go with a .307 average and .900 OPS.