ARLINGTON -- While trotting around the bases in the fifth inning on Sunday, Indians outfielder Ryan Raburn closed in on third and felt something smack him in the neck. Upon inspection of instant replay, it appeared Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera removed something from his mouth and tossed it in Raburn's direction.
Call it Gum-Gate.
"I'll ask him what he threw next time we play them," Raburn said with a laugh on Monday. "If it was gum, it hit me right in the neck."
Sitting at his locker inside the visitors' clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark, Raburn made it abundantly clear that he was in no way upset with Cabrera over the incident. Raburn, who played with Cabrera in Detroit over the past five seasons, actually got a kick out of the third baseman's antics.
"Miggy's my buddy," Raburn said with a smile. "It was kind of funny, because it kind of messed up my stride a little bit and I almost missed third base. He's always kidding around, doing something. He's just a big kid."
Cabrera threw the gum (or sunflower seed?) at Raburn after the Cleveland utility man belted a solo home run to break up the no-hitter that Tigers lefty Jose Alvarez carried into the fifth inning. Earlier this season, Raburn was hit by a pitch from Detroit starter Rick Porcello in his first game back in Detroit with the Indians.
"I guess I left a bad taste in their mouth," Raburn joked.
All kidding aside, Raburn said he has nothing but respect for Cabrera.
"Miggy's a good dude," Raburn said. "He just has fun every time he goes out there. ... But when he's in that batter's box, with the feel he has, when that pitch is coming, it's time to go to work. But he's not afraid to be himself and make jokes and have fun. He's a character. It was always fun playing with him and being a teammate of his."