Cabrera homer completes major-league sweep
Detroit — Miguel Cabrera hit the first home run of his career in June 2003 for the then-Florida Marlins, against the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
He hit the 425th home run of his career Tuesday night against the now-Miami Marlins.
And in between, he homered against every other major-league team at least once, including exactly once against the Tigers, in June 2004, off Gary Knotts.
In homering against the Marlins, Cabrera became just the 50th player in baseball history to homer against every franchise that was in the big leagues during his career.
“Was more special, we won the game,” Cabrera said after the Tigers’ 7-5 victory.
Of the 50 who have homered against every team, only 10 others have done it against the current 30, according to a May report by Yahoo! Sports, after Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels joined the list.
The other eight, according to MLB.com: Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Stephen Drew, Adrian Gonzalez, Russell Martin, Brandon Moss and Brian McCann.
One major-leaguer who never made that list is all-time home-run king Barry Bonds, now the hitting coach with the Marlins. Bonds never homered in four games against the Rays, and never faced the Cleveland Indians.
It’s much easier to complete the all-team cycle when you’ve played in both leagues, like Cabrera.
Bonds, before Tuesday’s game, raved about Cabrera, though stopped short of saying Cabrera is a better hitter than Bonds was. After the game, Cabrera returned the rave reviews.
“He’s the (bleep),” Cabrera said, with a big smile. “He’s the man.”
Highlights of Cabrera’s homer history — he’s homered most against the Indians (40 times), off Phil Hughes (six times), and has 213 homers on the road to 212 at home.
The 425th homer of his career moves him into sole possession of 49th place in MLB history, one behind Billy Williams.
In a humorous postgame moment, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was asked how many teams he thought he homered against. Knowing he only had 80 career homers, he guessed, “12.”
Actually he’s at 25 — “I must’ve spread them out,” he said — tied with Victor Martinez. J.D. Martinez is at 29, Justin Upton and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are at 28, and Ian Kinsler is at 23. Kinsler, like Martinez, has never played in the National League.
Ausmus played plenty in both leagues.