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Cabrera apologizes to his teammates

Cabrera apologizes to his teammates

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera told reporters Tuesday afternoon at the Metrodome that he apologized to his teammates for the Saturday morning incident that has become a festering issue surrounding Detroit's playoff chase, which came down to a one-game tiebreaker against the Twins later Tuesdsay.

Cabrera, whose public comments on the matter had essentially been limited to a team-issued statement Monday afternoon, spoke with reporters for a couple minutes shortly after the visitors' clubhouse opened to reporters.

"I said I was sorry for what I did," said Cabrera, who sat in front of his locker with a contrite look.

Cabrera said he has learned a lesson from the ordeal, which began when police in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham were called to his home for what was classified as a "family trouble" call to 911.

Cabrera, who spent spending Friday night into Saturday morning in a bar at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham with a member of the White Sox, got into a verbal altercation with his wife Rosangel, who was upset that her husband didn't arrive home until 5 a.m. and was loud enough to awaken their 4-year-old daughter.

According to the incident report, both Mr. and Mrs. Cabrera were deemed to be aggressors in the situation, and both had minor injuries, including a visible bruise on the left side of Miguel Cabrera's face. Because Mrs. Cabrera wanted her husband to leave, officers had to separate the two, which was why Miguel Cabrera was taken to the police station. Police chief Richard Patterson said that Cabrera registered a .26 blood-alcohol level on a preliminary test.

A report Tuesday in the Detroit News said that a bellman at the Townsend drove Cabrera home.

Asked by a reporter if Cabrera was still feeling the effects of the alcohol hours later during the Tigers' game against the White Sox that night, he said, "No, no, no. I was good. I was focused."

Cabrera said it would never again happen.

Cabrera indicated he's able to focus his mind on baseball despite the attention, and he clearly wanted to turn his focus to the game.

"I want to focus on the game right now," Cabrera said. "This is a big game. Hopefully we play good today. I'm going to prepare and try to do my best. We need to win."

Cabrera's teammates, and especially his manager, wanted to move on from the issue and focus on the game. Manager Jim Leyland, who was ready for his usual pregame session with reporters when Cabrera was speaking, accused the media of "going for the gossip."

"While you're in there walking with Cabrera, I'm out here talking," Leyland said.

Teammate Brandon Inge said it would not be a distraction.

"Maybe to him," Inge said, "but not to us. He's our teammate. He's part of our family. We feel for him. I wish him the best. I don't want anybody to go through any situations like that. We just wish him the best and we stand beside him. He just has to deal with his own situations."

Ramon Santiago, who started Tuesday's tiebreaker at shortstop, preferred not to discuss it.

"We're just trying to focus on this game," Santiago said. "We don't want any distraction. We're grown men. We came here for one thing, and that's to play baseball today."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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