CLEVELAND Detroit s Miguel Cabrera leaned back in his chair and flipped through a compilation of newspaper clips before last night s game.
When told he d been named the American League player of the week for the period of play that ended Sunday, he shrugged.
It s something to get excited about, I guess, Cabrera said, his eyes going back to the packet in his hand.
This is the second time this season Cabrera has received player-of-the-week honors. He shared the award with Boston s Manny Ramirez April 21.
Cabrera had hits in all six games last week, batting .464 with three doubles and 13 RBIs. He was at his best July 21 against Kansas City, going 5-for-6 with six RBIs in the Tigers 19-4 romp.
Entering last night s game, Cabrera was batting .372 with a homer and 17 RBIs since the All-Star break and led the AL with 26 RBIs in July.
Cabrera, who was acquired from the Florida Marlins in a blockbuster, eight-player deal Dec. 5, is the Tigers $152 million man. He has switched from the National League to the AL, moved from third base to first, and battled a sore hip.
Prior to last night s game, he was batting .294 with 17 homers and 74 RBIs for the season. Detroit manager Jim Leyland likes what Cabrera has accomplished in his short time as a Tiger.
I think he s just scratching the surface, Leyland said. First time in the league, switching positions, he s doing pretty good.
He s a professional hitter. It s easy to see what everybody s talking about that s watched him hit.
TEST, NO TEST: Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez (right elbow surgery) is beginning to resume baseball activities.
Martinez, on the disabled list since June 12, played catch yesterday and is close to taking some swings, according to Indians manager Eric Wedge.
Travis Hafner was supposed to undergo a strength test on his ailing right shoulder yesterday, but it was postponed because he is in his native North Dakota attending to a personal matter. Hafner has been away since Friday, and Wedge said he didn t know when he might return.
Hafner was placed on the DL May 30, retroactive to May 26.
SWING HARDER, BETTER: Tigers shortstop Edgar Renteria entered play last night with hits in his last four games, batting 8-for-16 during that stretch.
Even with his recent streak, he was still batting just .236 in his last 68 games. He said after trying to tinker with his swing, he s decided to concentrate mainly on swinging harder.
I can get through the ball better doing that, Renteria said.
Renteria is also a creature of habit, and puts in large amounts of extra work before each game with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and in the weight room.
BEIJING BOUND: As the Toledo Mud Hens bade farewell to their two Olympians yesterday, four players from the Indians organization departed to prepare for trips to Beijing.
Pitcher Jeff Stevens (Triple-A Buffalo) and outfielder Matt LaPorta (Double-A Akron) joined Toledo s Blaine Neal and Mike Hessman on Team USA.
Additionally, pitcher T.J. Burton (Akron) and outfielder Nick Weglarz (Single-A Kinston) reported to Team Canada.