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Published: Friday, 1/22/2010

Tigers' Cabrera spends 3 months in rehab

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera spent three months in a treatment program for alcoholism following a much-publicized drinking binge during the final weekend of the regular season.

Cabrera said yesterday he has turned his life around. He said he hasn't had a drink since he was taken into custody by police after a domestic-abuse complaint was filed by his wife in the early morning of Oct. 3 - hours before a crucial game against the Chicago White Sox.

The first baseman with a $152.3 million contract got drunk enough between Friday night's game and Saturday morning to have what police said was a 0.26 blood-alcohol reading - three times above Michigan's legal limit for

driving.

Cabrera said he feels as though he let down his teammates, and he intends to make up for it this season.

He went to a treatment program in Miami during the offseason, and Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said the program will continue into spring training and the 2010 regular season.

Last year, the Tigers were trying to hold off Minnesota and clinch the AL Central title when Cabrera created a stir on the final weekend of the season.

Police said he arrived at his suburban Detroit home at 5 a.m. on Saturday and got into a fight with his wife, who called 911. Cabrera was taken to a police station, where Dombrowski picked him up.

The GM later acknowledged it was sad to get a call at 7:30 a.m. to come get Cabrera.

The slugger went 0-for-4 and stranded six runners in a 5-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday night, a game that started about 12 hours after Cabrera left the police station.

On Friday night, he had gone 0-for-4 and left four runners on base in an 8-0 defeat against the White Sox. He went hitless in three at-bats on Sunday, a 5-3 Tigers win that left them tied with the Twins for first place.

Two days later, Minnesota won a one-game tiebreaker at home for the division crown, beating Detroit 6-5 in 12 innings. Cabrera hit a two-run homer and doubled in that game to help the Tigers open a 3-0 lead, but it wasn't enough.

Before the game, he apologized to his teammates for being drunk the previous weekend.

Still, the entire ordeal overshadowed what had been a strong performance by Cabrera in the second season of an eight-year contract. He ranked among AL leaders with a .324 batting average, 34 home runs, and 103 RBIs.

With the collapse, Detroit earned an unwanted place in baseball history, becoming the first team to miss the playoffs after having a three-game lead with four games left.



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