Miguel Cabrera And The Longest At-Bat Of The Season

By Jeff SullivanEditor @ Baseball Nation

Friday afternoon, Miguel Cabrera came to the plate against Jake Peavy in the first inning of a game. The at-bat didn’t end for quite some time.

Apr 13, 2012 – Friday is another day of 2012 regular-season home openers. It’s the last day of special occasions before the season officially settles in to being the routine. The San Francisco Giants have their home opener on Friday. The St. Louis Cardinals have their home opener on Friday, unless it rains too much. The Chicago White Sox had their home opener scheduled for Friday as well, against the Detroit Tigers.

Jake Peavy got off to an encouraging start in the top of the first inning. Calm pitching in front of a big crowd, or nervous pitching in front of a big crowd but not showing it, Peavy struck out Austin Jackson swinging, and then he struck out Brennan Boesch swinging. Not bad. Certainly not unheard of, but not bad.

That brought up the meat of the Tigers’ order, and it doesn’t get much meatier than Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera stepped in with two outs and nobody on. But then Cabrera stepped back out. Something was wrong. Thus begins an onslaught of image files. Sorry, or, you’re welcome.


Cabrera didn’t tap his bat on home plate for luck, like some hitters do. Cabrera seemed to be indicating that something was awry with the batter’s box.


Cabrera demands attention. “Something is awry with the batter’s box!” he probably didn’t say. But he said something to get people to look.


Now the umpire is curious. Phase 1 is complete for Miguel Cabrera. If you have a concern, the first hurdle is convincing the umpire that the concern is valid. The umpire is willing to hear Cabrera out.


Now here comes another umpire. Umpires are perfectly comfortable making decisions on their own, but only when they have to do with in-game action. When they have to do with potential delays, or with things that don’t have anything to do with baseball, like grocery shopping, they need to huddle and talk it out in a group. Umpires are so individually indecisive.


Everybody look at the ground. The ground is awry. Can you spot it? Cabrera will help.


Cabrera: the batter’s box should be here
Cabrera: as you can see, it is not
Umpire: Oh…my…God…
Leyland: Anybody got a light?


Now Cabrera’s removed from the situation. He’s made his point. Nothing left for Miguel Cabrera to say about this. Now it’s in the hands of very old men. Should these rectangles be a little more rectangle-y?


A decision has been made. Cabrera’s out of the picture. Leyland’s leaving the picture. I don’t know where A.J. Pierzynski went but probably somewhere annoying. Now what?


By the way, this is around the time at which Miguel Cabrera started thinking it was funny. Miguel Cabrera likes to cause delays. The next time you’re late for something, blame Miguel Cabrera, and the other party will be like, oh okay.


And now Miguel Cabrera is staring at the White Sox’s dugout while some of the players speak their minds. “Do you agree that baseball can be very boring sometimes?” “We should all be fishermen.” “Shark fishermen.”


Here comes Robin Ventura because when one manager comes out of his dugout to say something to the umpires, the other manager is obligated to also come out of his dugout to say something to the umpires. Robin Ventura doesn’t yet know what to say to the umpires, because he doesn’t know what’s going on, but based on his facial expression, he plans to open with a joke.


Miguel Cabrera has confirmed to himself that he is in control of the baseball game.


Look at this! It is time for a new batter’s box! Miguel Cabrera has won. The batter’s box must be destroyed.


It’s all gone! Barely even a trace! You can tell that there once was something white in the vicinity, but it’s been swept away, literally, as brooms are basically erosion on fast-forward.


That’s a good idea Miguel Cabrera, listen to the fans, they’re really level-headed about things like this.


Now Miguel Cabrera’s bored. Not so funny now, is it, Miguel Cabrera? You thought you would just make everybody stand around doing nothing. You forgot that you are part of everybody.


The delay came at a good time for the White Sox because Paul Konerko was stoned out of his gourd.


Nothing is being done. People are looking around. One groundskeeper is admiring the lawn stripes for which he might have been responsible. Or maybe it’s the work of another groundskeeper, and this groundskeeper is jealous.


Cameraman gets bored, blacks out.


MLB.tv rushes to pretend that the cameraman didn’t just fall asleep and hit his head on the camera and break it.


This is a replay. Here we’re given a clear understanding of what Miguel Cabrera’s problem was. When Cabrera stepped in in his usual position, his back foot was way out of the box. That isn’t normal. So either Cabrera was wrong, or the box was wrong, and Cabrera wasn’t about to blame himself.


Here’s this guy. He looks like he works in a movie studio and one day the set collapsed around him, and then when one of the walls fell down he was spared from being crushed by a window, like you see in cartoons. And then the guy decided to just keep part of the wall with him at all times, I guess as a reminder?


Frame guy is now standing on the frame. Look how much taller he looks. Is he trapped in the frame?


He’s out of the frame! He’s free!


Back in the frame again.


Frame guy stands on the frame. Three groundskeepers do nothing, looking elsewhere. One groundskeeper does all of the work.


A beautiful, brand-new batter’s box! Frame guy is in the frame again. Nobody wants to get too close to the box, lest they screw it up and force everyone to start over.




I didn’t include this for any real good reason but I think it’s funny to have “Rush University” in the background during an extended delay in a baseball game. Also, Rush University Medical Center probably isn’t a very good name for a medical center. “We provide the fastest surgeries on the East Side!”


Cabrera re-sets. Back foot is now inside the box, or at least not outside the box. We can resume with the baseball! I hope you’re enjoying your home opener, everybody!


A pitch is on the way. The MLB.tv timestamp when Cabrera first pointed at the batter’s box outline was 12:43. The MLB.tv timestamp when this pitch was thrown was 21:30. The Tigers announcers called it a seven-minute delay. It was nearly a nine-minute delay.


Miguel Cabrera swings at the very first pitch and flies out.


Miguel Cabrera is a baseball troll.


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