Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/13/12
If you didn't think that Miguel Cabrera was one of the smartest and most intuitive hitters in Major League Baseball, think again. He is really, really smart. His first at bat during Friday's game in Chicago is evidence about as ironclad as anything available -- stats, records or otherwise. As Cabrera stepped into the box against Chicago's Jake Peavy, the Tigers' right-handed slugger did what he's done 5,062 times in his career; he walked up to the plate, toed the back line of the batter's box and adjusted his helmet. But there was a problem. Cabrera's back foot was about six inches behind the back line as he he dug in. His right toe was searching for the back of the box but there was no chalk -- something wasn't right. He called timeout and proceeded to plead his case with home plate umpire Adrian Johnson. He drew lines from the bottom of the plate to display proper angles as he absorbed the boos of the Opening Day crowd at U.S. Cellular field. And he convinced Adrian Johnson. With any other player Johnson might have shrugged it off as a minor complaint. But Cabrera isn't just any other player. His stance isn't relative to a batter's box, it's relative to the rubber, and if anyone would recognize a measurement-based anomaly on the baseball field, it would be the Tigers third baseman. The grounds crew corrected the mistake before Cabrera stepped back into the box. Color commentator Rod Allen proclaimed, "The White Sox tried to pull a fast one on the Tigers. It's a brilliant move if you can get it away with it." We may never find out if the White Sox were being sneaky by scooting up the box by about six inches or so; it easily could have been an honest Opening Day mistake. Either way, Cabrera keeps proving why he is one of the smartest hitters in the game.
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