What Twitter's Saying About Miguel Cabrera: Third Baseman

KANSAS CITY, MO: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers pretends the ball is a grenade before tossing it into the crowd during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jim Leyland sounds adamant about playing Miguel Cabrera every day, for nine full innings, at third base. But it's early and things might look a lot different next summer.

Prediction: When the Detroit Tigers open the second half of the 2012 season in Baltimore, Maryland, Miguel Cabrera will not be in the lineup at third base.

Thanks for coming, everyone; please drive safely on your way home!

Nah, there's more. I'm not as clever as some of the other wits in these parts. I gotta expound. But first, see if you can spot the really hilarious part -- unless you're Brandon Inge, or a Detroit Tiger who pitches baseball for a living -- in this tweet:

Jim Leylands lineup as of today: " Jackson CF;Boesch RF;Cabrera 3B;Fielder 1B;Young LF;Avila C;Peralta SS;Dirks/Thomas/Kelly DH Raburn 2B"
Jan 26 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

You think Bowden's just making things up, because he can? Via Joanne C. Gerstner in The New York Times, we have an unimpeachable source regarding the Detroit manager's thinkings:

He already knows what his preferred lineup would be: 1. Austin Jackson, 2. Brennan Boesch, 3. Cabrera, 4. Fielder, 5. Delmon Young, 6. Alex Avila, 7. Jhonny Peralta, 8. Andy Dirks or Clete Thomas or Don Kelly, and 9. Ryan Rayburn.

"I’ve got a lot of nice pieces to the puzzle, now it’s my job to put it together," Leyland said.

Aaron Gleeman:

Imagine a world in which Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Delmon Young are on the same AL team and someone else is the designated hitter.

Joe Sheehan:

Any time you can put a potential -40 defender on the field so that Don Kelly can DH, you have to do it.

Not just put him there; leave him there! For the whole game, even if you're up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with a ground-ball pitcher on the mound! If you believe Jim Leyland, anyway.

All of this was occasioned by Thursday's press conference, in which the Tigers introduced their new first baseman to the world. And apparently Prince Fielder, who of course was promised first base all to himself before signing for nine years and $214 million, isn't at all concerned about pushing Miggy to third base.

Craig Calcaterra:

Fielder: "I'm confident in Miguel doing a good job. That's where he started out, at third base." Which is why Chipper should play shortstop

See what he did there? And Chipper's not the only one. Alex Rodriguez started out at shortstop. So did Mike Morse. Alfonso Soriano started out at second base. Jim Thome started out at third base. Victor Martinez started out at catcher. So did Pablo Sandoval. Art, we can do this all day long.

Finally, just as silly as Miguel Cabrera - Third Base ...

Tom Edwards:

So to be clear, the Tigers lost their starting DH, went out and signed Prince Fielder, and now all they need is... a DH?

What, you don't think Andy Dirks and/or Clete Thomas and/or Don Kelly are up to the job?

Remember my prediction? I think that Dave Dombrowski and perhaps even Jim Leyland know that Miguel Cabrera has little or no business at third base; if he did, he wouldn't have left there in the first place. I think they also want to keep their biggest star -- well, now their second-biggest star, technically speaking -- happy, and if that means playing third base on Opening Day, so be it.

If you need actual evidence that this is largely about Cabrera's feelings, here's the wrap of an interview in which Leyland supposedly said he wouldn't bump Cabrera from third base, even in the late innings of a close game?

I think that within two or three months, it will become apparent to everyone, including Cabrera, that third base just isn't a happy place for him. He might volunteer for a happier place, or his manager might just send him there. And when it happens, Brandon Inge and a bunch of pitchers will throw a big honking party to celebrate a glorious Triumph of Reason.

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