ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The offbeat nature that makes Melky Cabrera one of the most popular White Sox players is headed for a TV screen near you soon.
Adorned in a cowboy outfit similar to one that has made the rounds on social media the past few years, Cabrera recently filmed a commercial to promote Country Music Night on June 23. Cabrera stepped to the plate wielding a guitar instead of a bat and swings at a pitch and connects, which shatters the guitar. Manager Rick Renteria also made a cameo in the commercial.
While he likes to be the clubhouse “clown,” Cabrera said he has no post-career acting plans. The free agent-to-be said he merely enjoys keeping things loose in the clubhouse in order to help teammates relax.
“I like to do funny things and be kind of a clown because that’s the way you can make the guys happy and create a relaxed atmosphere,” Cabrera said through an interpreter. “This is a very long season and of course it’s our job, but it’s also a game to enjoy. You have to have some kind of joy in the long season and there are some rough moments you’re going to pass through. That’s why you always have to do something else, try something different, something funny to make your teammates relaxed and loose.”
Cabrera’s style is extremely effective.
Ask a player or coach about Cabrera’s antics and the first reaction is usually laughter. The team’s unofficial drama king routinely makes faces or embellishes the difficulty he has making a routine catch. He also runs the post-victory celebration in which the player of the day is awarded a replica championship wrestling belt — Todd Frazier described Cabrera’s selection process as a “dictatorship.”
“He’s just Melky,” said closer David Robertson, who also played with Cabrera in New York. “He’s relaxed. He’s always having a good time. You never see him angry other than times when everyone else is angry. He’s just a loose guy and keeps the clubhouse that way.”
Previously the focus on the popular Melk Man T-shirt promotion, Cabrera has yet to see the completed commercial, which the White Sox tweeted out for the first time on Thursday afternoon. He’s seen pictures and had fun shooting the commercial. But Cabrera said his foray into acting will end there.
“That’s something I like to do inside the team,” Cabrera said. “Once I retire, I just want to spend time with the family. … I’m just going to spend time with my family, stay home and enjoy life.”