Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crowning Achievement

Who's tripping down the streets of the city.
Smilin' at everybody he sees.
Who's reachin' out to capture a moment.
Everyone knows its...MIGGY!

Ok, so I altered these lyrics a bit from the 1967 summer hit, "Windy" from The Association, but it is appropriate for what is about to take place in Major League Baseball after the next two games.     

Something that hasn't happened since the summer of 1967. 

A feat so rare it has only happened 15 times in the history of baseball.  This happens less frequently than a perfect game (23 times total).   

The ever elusive Triple Crown. 

The last player to accomplish this feat was Carl "Yaz" Yazstremski of the Boston Red Sox, pictured right. 

Which brings us to 2012 and Detroit superstar Miguel "Miggy" Cabrera currently sits in the lead of all the major offensive categories after last nights game.  He has an American League leading .329 batting average, 44 home runs, and 137 rbi.

He is not only doing this against all other players in the American League, but he is doing this while putting his team in the playoffs.  He is carrying his team on his back and doing it with ease.  He has always been a very special talent all the way back to first days in the majors with the Florida Marlins. 

He is a truly an offensive dynamo at 29 years of age.  Just think about how difficult it is to lead the league in only one category, let alone, three of them.  This is why it is so rare to accomplish due to there are so many players in the league with different skill sets and abilities. 

For an example, Tony Gywnn, pictured below, was an amazing hitter and was a eight time batting champion.  He was never going to be confused with any of the power hitters in the National League during his hayday.  Which in turn made the sluggers  of his era basically shut out of any chance to challenge the Triple Crown due to Gwynn's ability to hit annually for such a high average. 

This is the rub when you are talking Triple Crown.  You have to be good at everything.  You have to be disciplined enough around the plate that you not only swing at good pitches but lay off the obviously bad ones.  It is well proven that good pitching gets out good hitting, especially in the playoffs, but through the course of a season good hitting destroys bad pitching and Miggy has been soaring in that regard this year. 

What I also like is that he does it with a smile.  He does seem to have fun each and everyday and is truly earning this $21 million salary.  I find it difficulty to justify when players are collecting that much money and then seeing if they have earned it or not. 

When you are leading the league in all offensive categories and at the same time leading your team into the playoffs it almost seems justified. 

Miguel has shown this season he is well deserving of all the accolades that come with being a potential Triple Crown winner.  He has taken his fair share of bites out of opposing pitchers best pitches.  He is also in a well debated argument for who is this years American League MVP.

On a usual year someone like Miguel puts up a season like this and it is a slam dunk runaway they are MVP.  This year is not so easy in some experts minds.  He is up against a rookie phenom named Mike Trout who has taken the American League by storm. 

He didn't start the year with his team but when called up he has played like a 10 year vet.  He is just behind Miggy in batting average and the argument experts use for Trout, left, to be considered MVP lies in the sabermetric stat W.A.R. (wins above replacement) which he currently sits at above 10.  What this means is that Trout gives his team 10 more wins above what a replacement would give.  It is a relatively new stat and can be used to compare generations. 

It is a valid argument.  Trout has the stats this year and also the steady hand in the field to make very amazing plays.  He never seems nervous out on the field.   

I just am old school when it comes to awarding MVP.  If the players team gets in the playoffs then I find more value in that than if an opposing candidates team doesn't get in.  The ultimate goal is getting in the playoffs and winning a championship.  I have stated before I am a Cubs fan and when Andre Dawson won the MVP in 1987 for a last place team it just doesn't seem right.  Good stats or not you take him away from the Cubs that year and they still are in last place.

Getting into the playoffs is huge. 

Of the two candidates only Miggy will be getting in the playoffs and Mr. Trout will be sitting at home waiting until next year. 

I am not denying the amazing season Mike Trout has had.  He will get his own award this year for Rookie-of-the-Year and it will look nice on his mantle.

But in my eyes if Miguel Cabrera wins the Triple Crown that seals the deal. 

He will be my American League MVP. 

And he will be smilin' and reachin' out to capture a moment.

Maybe a World Series moment?



  1. Trout plays excellent defense and steals bases. He is more valuable to his team. Cabrera's team made the playoffs because the White Sox thought it was a 148 game season and faded badly down the stretch. Cabrera is the best hitter, that's all. Trout is a more valuable player.

    Great blog as always and I appreciate your frequent postings! Your blog is an asset to the WGCY website!

    Bashful me

  2. Does Miggy deserve the MVP? Remember this: The Angels won more games than the Tigers. Had the Angels played in the AL Central, they most certainly would have won the division easily.

    The MVP should go to the player who helped his team the most. In the 1950's the Cubs were, well, the Cubs. Yet, they produced 3 MVP's. Hank Sauer and Ernie Banks twice. These players were on bad teams, but they gave Chicago a chance to win every game they played.

  3. The Angels did win more games than the Tigers. The Angels were 6-14 when they brought Mike Trout up from the minors. The Angels have the best MLB record since then.

    Cabrera has also had an outstanding season. I think Trout is more valuable but would not be upset if 'Miggy" wins the AL MVP.

  4. To address the comments regarding the record of Trout's Angels and Cabrera's Tigers the difference is one game (89 to 88). I understand that Trout didn't play the first 20 games but we also don't know if he did play those games maybe he would have started slowly and then caught fire. Causing his numbers to be skewed. Maybe starting in the minors caused less anxiety and stress to start the season and he was more relaxed. We don't know so I don't like that arguement as helping his case. Cabrera played 161 games this year and it is a full years worth of sample size not 139 games compared to Trout. You play who is on your schedule and in your division. The Tigers won the division and the Angels, who it has been mentioned have "the best record since Trout came up", finished third in their division. In my book first always is better than third. Also, Trout faded late in the season and Cabrera didn't. I, again, just feel Miggy is deserving and a great deal of national media types do as well. It is a great debate but I would vote for Cabrera and his Triple Crown talent. Who knows maybe next year Trout will contend for the Triple Crown. The last time we had one (1967) the year before (1966) Frank Robinson did it too. Good looking out and thanks for the comments. Keep them coming.

  5. I really think it's a close race for AL MVP. I think Trout deserves it but Cabrera did have an outstanding year. I think most would agree the Trout will be the AL Rookie of the Year. That's is why Miggy will probably win the AL MVP.

    I still think it should be Trout but both are deserving.

    By the way, I believe Ichiro was the last rookie to win the AL MVP.

    Great blog and great discussion! We agree to disagree but that is ok.

    Bashful me.

    1. That is the beauty of differing opinions. It really makes for great discussions. You are right about Ichiro in 2001 and the other, also in the American League, Fred Lynn (1975) are the only two to win both awards. Lynn was young (23) and Ichiro (28) was coming off an amazing Japanese career and embarking upon the new landscape of Major League baseball. By the way, Ichiro has found new life in New York and really sparked the Yankees down the stretch. It will be wild and wacky in the playoffs for sure. Stay tuned...