Spanglish

There was absolutely nothing dramatic or surprising about Miguel Cabrera’s obligatory press conference and apology. Nothing.

The only drama comes from newspapers and radio. I give most of you credit, as you are pretty good at wading through the bullshit. We simply classify it in the nonsense category.

But enter Ryan Terpstra and an unknown reporter asking Cabrera questions in Lakeland as fine microcosms of subtle nonsense.

We start with the former. Terpstra went on a short rant about Cabrera’s decision to handle most of today’s press conference in Spanish. In Terp’s defense, I’m under the impression he had not yet seen the actual footage. But that matters little.

Terp’s criticism was that Cabrera’s Spanglish didn’t give reporters, especially ESPN and national outlets he mentioned over and over again, any type of sound bite that would capsulize “the apology.”  In other words, ESPN and reporters couldn’t provide a simple quote on loop that would summarize that Cabrera was sorry and he was moving on.

Besides the fact that his opening statement was in English and easily quotable, we get into this nonsensical criticism of Cabrera’s language choice. These were incredibly delicate questions, and he wanted to treat them that way. He wanted to answer delicately, fully and candidly. He didn’t feel comfortable enough with his English to do that. I can tell you from personal experience interviewing Cabrera, his English is often difficult to comprehend. So what’s wrong with someone who is coming in front of the media mob with his tail in between his legs wanting to make sure he answered to the best of his ability? Because it wasn’t quotable? Because it was unconventional? You cannot be serious.

And, again, in fairness to Terp, it wasn’t just him. The criticism is wide and varied. And the notion itself, that Cabrera was somehow disingenuous or less than candid because he answered in Spanglish is absurd.

At the press conference itself, Cabrera was asked a question, and I paraphrase: “Like Josh Hamilton, do you think you’ll need a sponsor or someone to be there at all times?”

I get the point of the question. The unknown reporter wanted to know about the course of treatment. But the invocation of the Josh Hamilton situation is egregious. The two situations should not be mentioned in the same sentence, let alone compared at all. It’s the simple fact that Josh Hamilton comes to mind when people think of Miguel Cabrera’s situation that bothers me. Two misdemeanors and a DUI is not years of heroin addiction folks. I recognize this may just be semantics, but my beef lies with the casual interchanging of Cabrera and Hamilton’s situations.  They are not comparable. Period.

And that’s what I take from this. Cabrera screwed up. Bad. It’s troubling without a doubt. But he did what he had to do, which was apologize. He’s back on the field, he’s in shape, and clearly alcohol has never affected his play. Let the man get his treatment, get better and that’s that. To criticize his Spanglish or compare him to a heroin addict is ridiculous.

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