When Albert Pujols blew off the media after a loss in the World Series last season, his supporters countered the criticism by saying the controversy was a media creation and that no one inside the clubhouse cared.
Well, here's proof that some players do view a star's shirking of postgame media duties as a sign of weak leadership. Our pal Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com notes that reliever Octavio Dotel got a bit testy with Miguel Cabrera after the Tigers star refused to talk with anyone after Detroit's crushing collapse in Oakland during Game 4 of the ALDS on Wednesday night.
But the mood in the clubhouse took a serious turn and tension surfaced when veteran Octavio Dotel told [Miguel] Cabrera to address the media because it was his job as the leader of the team[.]
Cabrera turned down all interview requests and sat at one of the tables in his dress clothes with his arms crossed. Dotel, still in uniform, sat at the other table and shook his head.
Dotel was on last year's Cardinals team, which makes me wonder if he said anything similar to Pujols (who remained in a room that was off-limits to media). If he didn't, why not? The quiet Cabrera has never been a source for good quotes and he maintains a low profile that keeps him a relative mystery to most out-of-town fans and media. His only real duty is to hit baseballs and no one in that clubhouse is going to say anything as long as he keeps filling that role. Still, that blockquoted scene seems to be a pretty good indication of how frustrated and upset that Tigers clubhouse must have been after seeing the ALDS extended another day despite being just three outs away from advancing. Will they come out with a changed outlook for Game 5 on Thursday night?
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