Miguel Cabrera looked like an arthritic retiree, dragging his right leg through the infield dirt around third base. He limped. He paused. He hunched over and rested his hands on his knees, the fingers of his mitt splayed open to support his 240-pound frame.
It was the top of the sixth inning Friday night, and Cabrera delivered a pep talk to one of the most important contributors in the Detroit Tigers' pursuit of a playoff berth.
"I was talking to my ankle," he said. "I said, 'Let's go.'"
Later, after a series opener with the Chicago White Sox that was more arduous than artful, Cabrera waddled off the field as if auditioning to be an Olympic race walker. He had, by my count, missed opportunities to record five outs during the course of the night - two popups that landed out of reach, a throwing error, a double-play grounder he didn't charge, a liner that his ankle wouldn't permit him to snare.
And yet the Tigers scored a crucial 7-4 vic...