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Thursday, October 13, 2011
Smack talk: Cabrera, Rangers dish and dig

By Jeff Caplan

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera snagged the throw from shortstop Jhonny Peralta and the Texas Rangers' fifth inning died quickly and quietly with that Nelson Cruz double play ball.

Well, maybe not so quietly. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Cabrera hopped off first base turned to the Rangers dugout and seemed to taunt the visitors. He was, sort of.

"He was talking smack," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. "He always does that."

And the Rangers' Latin players were talking smack right back. This was a Latin thing. No bad blood. Just intense competitors, many of them countrymen, getting after one another as only they can.

Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus and Cabrera both hail from Venezuela. Andrus said Cabrera is always moving his mouth in the Motor City.

When Cabrera reached third base in the eighth inning as the potential go-ahead run with one out, he appeared to have some words for Beltre, born in the Dominican Republic.

"He always talks to me. He's always talking," Beltre said, smiling. "I can't tell you what he said. He was speaking Spanish, of course. He's a [expletive]-talker."

Moments later, Nelson Cruz, also a Dominican, gunned down Cabrera at the plate as he tried to tag for an inning-killing double play.

Safe to say, the Rangers passed along more pleasantries Cabrera's way.