Blog Entry

Like Jeter, Indians' Cabrera just wants to play

Posted on: July 6, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 8:53 pm
 
CLEVELAND -- While Derek Jeter was lobbying Joe Girardi, Asdrubal Cabrera was lobbying Manny Acta.

Jeter was texting, telling Girardi he wanted to play Wednesday. Cabrera was texting, telling Acta he wanted to play Wednesday.

It turns out the American League's two All-Star shortstops are more alike than you would think.

One guy is nearing the end of a great career, about to reach 3,000 hits. The other guy is still early in a very promising career -- and just passed 500 hits at age 25.

But even at 37, Jeter strongly resists any attempt Girardi makes to give him a day off. And even at 25, Cabrera already does the same.

Jeter didn't want a day off, even though he's just off the disabled list, out three weeks with a calf strain. Cabrera didn't want a day off, even though he sprained his ankle a night earlier.

Jeter has averaged 152 games a year in his 15 full seasons in the big leagues, and he only played fewer than 148 games once -- when he dislocated his shoulder in 2003.

Cabrera told Acta this spring that he wanted to play 162 games this year, and sure enough, he hasn't missed one yet.

"He never wants out of the lineup -- never," Acta said.

Indians people say that Cabrera is starting to show some signs of fatigue. Acta said he plans to give Cabrera a day off during this weekend's series against the Blue Jays.

But just as Girardi does with Jeter, Acta will "negotiate" that day off with his shortstop, and eventually insist that Cabrera rest.

Acta had to do just that Tuesday night, when Cabrera suffered a mild ankle sprain while making a play on defense. Cabrera stayed in the game, but an inning later, with the Yankees far ahead, Acta made the right move and pulled him.

"He didn't want to come out," Acta said. "For us as managers, you want to have 25 like that."

Cabrera earned his spot on the All-Star team with the way he has hit (.292, 49 RBI in the first 84 games) and the way he has defended.

He has earned his manager's respect just as much with his desire to play. Just as Derek Jeter has done for all these years.

*****

Cabrera is one of 13 major-league players who had played in every game through Tuesday and one of just two shortstops (Alcides Escobar of the Royals is the other).

The other 11:

Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Austin Jackson, Tigers
Prince Fielder, Brewers
Dan Uggla, Braves
Chris Young, Diamondbacks
Matt Kemp, Dodgers
Danny Espinosa, Nationals
Omar Infante, Marlins
Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
*Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

*Gonzalez was not in the Red Sox lineup Wednesday


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