At the time AJ Hinch was hired to be the new manager for the Detroit Tigers, it appeared that the only supporters he had left in baseball were his new employers. Well, as a new report from ESPN's Marly Rivera reveals, that support system has extended to his the veteran face of his new franchise: Miguel Cabrera.

When the 37-year-old was asked about the sign-stealing scandal that cost Hinch his job with the Astros -- along with that of general manager Jeff Luhnow, Red Sox manager Alex Cora and short-lived Mets manager Carlos Beltran -- he seemingly didn't care about the whole thing, including the notion that Houston's 2017 World Series title was tainted.

"That's bulls---," Cabrera said. "I don't care about that."

He also gave a hearty endorsement of his new manager as he enters the new season searching for his 500th home run and 3,000th hit.

"He's a really smart guy, a passionate guy," Cabrera said of Hinch. "He's an honest man, a very special man. He knows a lot about baseball. He has great communication with us. I don't care what they did in Houston. He [was] a big part of the success Houston had the last three to five years."

Since the release of a Jan. 2020 report that revealed that the Astros were taking part in the largest cheating scandal in modern baseball history -- a camera-based sign-stealing system was used during their 2017 title run and the 2018 season, with some trash can-banging to boot -- it should come as no surprise that there haven't been many supportive voices of the Astros.

However, from a public commentary perspective, Hinch hasn't had a lot of detractors from those in baseball either. In fact, he's received a certain benefit of the doubt because of the revelation that the cheating was more player-driven than anything.

Take Joe Kelly's comments towards the Astros after his flare up in Houston last season where he threw at Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. He ripped on the players for the coaching staff taking the fall.

"The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense," Kelly said, per ESPN. "Yes, everyone is involved. But the way that [sign-stealing system] was run over there was not from coaching staff ... They're not the head boss in charge of that thing. It's the players. So now the players get the immunity, and all they do is go snitch like a little b----, and they don't have to get fined, they don't have to lose games."

This isn't to say that there haven't been public comments ripping on Hinch. Former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia said on his podcast that Hinch "shouldn't be managing again," and Pete Rose accused the new Tigers boss of tainting the game.

But those are not thoughts that Cabrera shares. Whether it's because he just wants to express public support for his new coach to avoid controversy, or because he genuinely believes Hinch is a good man for the job of Tigers manager is up for debate. What isn't up for debate is that this Cabrera interview can easily serve as a preview for this upcoming year, where the controversy of the Astros sign-stealing scandal will come up -- even in Detroit -- as long as Hinch is around.