Why is Miguel Cabrera smiling this spring?

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After feeling discomfort last year each time he eased out of bed or bent to tie his shoes, Miguel Cabrera is reveling in the positive signals his body is transmitting to his brain this spring. He’s so frisky, it’s a challenge for him to stop running.

Cabrera was standing on second base in an early Grapefruit League game against the Washington Nationals when Detroit Tigers teammate Jim Adduci singled up the middle. Coach Dave Clark tried to hold him at third base, china but Cabrera ignored the sign and bore down on home plate, preceded by 240 pounds’ worth of grunting, heaving locomotive breath. The throw from the outfield easily beat him to the plate, but he had made his point.


“We told him, ‘We’re happy you’re feeling so good, but we don’t need you sliding into the catcher in a spring training game,'” Tigers general manager Al Avila said. “Right now he has a smile on his face and a bounce in his step. It was a good winter for him from that perspective.”

The productive winter followed a spring,authentic nfl jerseys summer and fall that would be underwhelming for most players, and were downright abysmal by Cabrera’s standards. He logged a slash line of .249/.329/.399 — 121st among 144 qualifying hitters — while playing through two herniated disks in his back.

Cabrera claims he’s oblivious to the negative fallout from his down year. Skeptics have reason to wonder if his skills have diminished at age 34 and the six years and $192 million left on his contract will be an albatross for the Detroit organization. But the tone in his voice (accompanied by a casual expletive or two) suggests he’s motivated to prove public perception wrong.