The Oakland Athletics are being criticized over the gift they presented to soon-to-be retired Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera on Thursday before the series opener between the two teams.
They gave the 21-year veteran a bottle of wine, which could be considered a lovely way to honor a player who is a member of the 3,000-hit and 500-home run clubs, a two-time American League MVP, a four-time AL batting champion and the only Triple Crown winner in Major League Baseball since 1967.
Except for the fact that Cabrera spent three months in an alcohol abuse treatment center in 2010 and has faced legal issues involving alcohol in 2009 and 2011. Still, none of that stopped the Athletics — or the Houston Astros or the Miami Marlins, the team with which Cabrera spent the first five of his MLB seasons — from presenting him with alcohol to commemorate his career.
The A’s are also taking heat for being cheap (although no real surprise there from the team with the lowest payroll in baseball), after presenting Cabrera a bottle of wine that is said to retail for under $100. Sure, it was signed by Oakland’s players. That’s a nice, personal touch. But the whole thing just sounds like Last Minute Gift Ideas 101.
Still, Cabrera has received many thoughtful and creative gifts during his farewell tour, with some teams commemorating historic moments he achieved against them and others presenting him with items that reflect his hobbies or celebrate specific aspects of their home cities.
Here’s a look at the future Hall of Famer’s haul (hopefully he’s got plenty of wall space and lots of extra room for storage — he’s going to need it):