Presumably, he doesn't own pom-poms. And, he's not going to get in someone's face.

But does that mean Miguel Cabrera isn't a leader?

No. It just means he's not your typical leader — he just chooses to lead in other ways. So when a player such as Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel questions Cabrera's willingness to be a leader, that's not really fair. Even Dotel knows that. It's why Dotel backed off such comments as quickly as he made them.

First, there's Jim Leyland's favorite way of leading: by example. Cabrera's Triple Crown did, after all, lead the Tigers to the playoffs last season.

With that beaming smile and sense of humor, he also keeps things loose, something you can't discount, especially during the rigors of a 162-game season that's certain to feature many ups and downs.

"When you guys interview him, he's very shy, he doesn't really like talking about himself and all that kind of stuff," said Alex Avila, who's known Cabrera since the two were teenagers in Florida. "As a teammate, it's not that he's a different guy. But when he's comfortable around people like he is with us, he's a lot of fun, cracking jokes. He likes to joke around.

Then there's a way we don't often see: sharing his knowledge of the game with his teammates.

"He really looks out for everyone on the team," Avila said. "He's a great teammate."

Cabrera isn't a fan of the team video room. Frankly, he doesn't need it. That's because he's a virtual encyclopedia, cataloging every pitch every pitcher's ever thrown him. And he's all too willing to share his information with teammates, and often does during the game while pacing up and down the dugout.

Cabrera is a hit with younger teammates, too. Take outfielder Avisail Garcia, a fellow Venezuelan, who has come to be known as "Little Miggy." Cabrera has counseled him to the point where Garcia, who starts this season at Triple A, carries himself like a major leaguer — from his clothes to his game.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130401/SPORTS0104/304010307#ixzz2PDnzKPzw