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Miguel Cabrera with 3,000 hits, 500 homers in his sights

Miguel Cabrera with 3,000 hits, 500 homers in his sights

The sound coming from the back grounds of Tigertown was impossible to ignore, even beyond the walls.

Miguel Cabrera was back on the field, joking with the other players in practice and helping them with their training sessions.

“I love baseball and I love having fun on the field,” said the Venezuelan through a telephone interview. “It fascinates me to be out there. I can teach these guys to have fun, but at the same time to work hard. The more relaxed they can be on the field, I think the better they can think and react to the plays. I try to enjoy this and have a good time. I try to do what I love: play baseball. “

Among all the greatness in Cabrera’s career, his ability to have fun in camp year after year is worthy of admiration. Nearing his 38th birthday and 19th major league season, he still has the spirits of those half his age.

That makes him fit, given that the biggest names on the team in practice are around that age. Riley Greene was two and Spencer Torkelson was three when the Maracay native debuted in the majors with a gold homer on June 20, 2003 with the Marlins.

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Even for players who have been in the majors the longest, it’s hard to remember what baseball was like before Miggy. Those guys grew up watching him be a powerhouse, trying to emulate his swing. Now they are teammates.

“I’m still young,” Cabrera said with a smile. “It’s a bit strange when they tell you [que se criaron viéndote], but at the same time you realize how long you’ve been hitting. Many years. There you realize how long I’ve been in the game. “

Now they are playing by his side as he searches for important milestones. For him, the goal is history.

Cabrera needs 13 home runs to hit 500 and 134 hits for 3,000. He hopes to achieve both this year.

“It is one of my goals this year,” he confessed.

Not only will it take a healthy season, but a productive one. As for his health, Cabrera says he feels the same way he did in 2014, 2015, when he was barely over 30 and still competing for batting titles. His training to try to play partially in the initial has helped him.

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“I feel more like when I was healthy,” he said. “I feel like I can move my legs, my hips and my body when I’m hitting. I’m not trying to do too much. I can swing my swing more naturally. I think that will help me this year to produce more, hit for more power and try to raise my averages again. “

And yes, reaching historic records. Cabrera spent years playing for the success of the team and the individual marks were a result of that. When he won the Triple Crown in batting in 2012 in the middle of a postseason fight, his then-partner Prince Fielder had to remind him at times to enjoy it.

“Now, at this point in my career, 3,000 [hits] and 500 home runs. Never [pensé] on that, ”he said. “Deep in your thoughts you hope you can make it one day. But now, being in a position to do it is incredible. I am proud of what I have done in my career, but I don’t want to stop now; I want to continue adding numbers, having fun, and trying to win games. If we can win a lot of games, I think the numbers will be there at the end of the year. “

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Just in case he can forget it, Cabrera will have young companions who will remind him.

“The way they talk to me, the way they do it, you can see in their faces how excited they will be,” he said. “You know they care about me in the same way that I care about them. That means a lot, because they are family and if we stick together and we can go out and play together, I think we will be a different team ”. (GG) (MLB Spanish)

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