Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch will have the dark cloud of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal hovering over him as he returns to the dugout for a new team.
Hinch does have one defender as he embarks on the 2021 season: Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera, who is likely going to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame once his career is over, told ESPN on Tuesday that the scandal didn’t matter to him.
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“That’s bulls—t. I don’t care about that,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera praised Hinch for his baseball acumen despite getting caught up in the scandal. Hinch was suspended for one year and later fired after MLB announced its findings.
The Astros, during their 2017 World Series championship season, used a camera to relay signs between opposing catchers and pitchers at Minute Maid Park and used a trash can to signal to batters when an off-speed pitch was coming. Hinch apologized for his role in the scandal last year.
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“He’s a really smart guy, a passionate guy,” Cabrera told ESPN. “He’s an honest man, a very special man. He knows a lot about baseball. He has great communication with us. I don’t care what they did in Houston. He [was] a big part of the success Houston had the last three to five years.”
Cabrera, 37, is entering his 19th MLB season. He has 2,866 hits. 487 home runs and a .313 batting average lifetime, which is the highest among active MLB players. The pursuit of 3,000 hits and 500 home runs is possible if he can stay healthy.
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He played in 57 games during the shortened 2020 season and 136 games in 2019.