Octavio Dotel doesn’t care if Miguel Cabrera won American League MVP, he still thinks the Tigers star failed to step up and lead the team after devastating losses in the postseason.
Dotel, a veteran reliever for the Tigers, placed blame on Cabrera for the team’s collapse in the World Series.
“You have to step up and say something,” Dotel told Yahoo! Sports. “Miggy’s more about his game. I don’t see him as a leader.”
Dotel said the problems with Miguel Cabrera started even before the Tigers reached the World Series. Dotel said he went to Cabrera to suggest a players-only meeting after the team’s loss to the Oakland A’s in game 4 of the divisional series, but he was denied.
Cabrera also turned down the idea of a meeting after the Tigers lost the first two games of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants. The Giants would go on to sweep the Tigers to win the Series.
Dotel still has high hopes for the AL MVP, saying he can step up again next season.
“Everybody,” Dotel said, “has their eyes on Miggy Cabrera.”
The 39-year-old Dotel, a well-respected veteran in the league, seemed to offer his criticism in a constructive way. He compared Miguel Cabrera to Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez, saying that he didn’t know where the team would be without Cabrera.
Nevertheless, once the comment hit the media the Tigers seemed perturbed. Manager Jim Leyland said he didn’t want to address the controversy, and Dotel apologized, USA Today noted.
“I didn’t mean to make him mad,” Dotel said of Miguel Cabrera. “I hope he’s not upset. I didn’t mean for those comments to come out that way. On the field, of course he’s our leader. He’s our horse.”