Fans of the Detroit Tigers haven't had much to cheer about lately - or at all this year. The team's traded most of its star players and has fallen into last place in its division thanks to a nine-game losing streak.
Miguel Cabrera, who's wrapping up the worst season of his career, hasn't exactly been enjoying himself either.
"It's like a nightmare," Cabrera told MLB.com's Jason Beck when asked Wednesday if he was ready to put this season behind him.
Cabrera, a four-time batting champ and Triple Crown winner, hit just .249/.329/399 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs this season. The 34-year-old has struggled with back pain for most of the season and was recently diagnosed with two herniated discs. He said the problems originated from lifting too much weight before the season started, then playing through the injury, which he didn't think was serious.
"This has bothered me since spring training," Cabrera explained of his wonky back. "It's been bothering me all year. At some points I was feeling good, and at some points I feel I can't go anymore. ... I have to learn from this and try to take care of myself better."
Cabrera blames arching his back at the plate in order to stretch for some of his offensive woes.
"I'm leaning back. There's no way you're going to hit like that," he said. "I think this year I struck out with a lot of bad swings on a lot of pitches out of the strike zone. But the good thing is I know what I'm doing wrong."
The Tigers have four games left in the season, so it's unlikely Cabrera and his ailing back will see a lot of action. Physical therapy and treatment await in the offseason, and he intends to overhaul his workout plan. He's also committed to mentoring the team's younger players.
"We have to show these guys the way we have to play to win games," he said. "Show these guys how you go out there and play hard and how to take care of your business and how to go out there and be a professional and try to win the most games we can. We have to go out there and show up and try to be the best team we can be and try to be the best players we can be in the field."