SportsNation Blog Archives Los Angeles Angels
Miguel Cabrera is closing in on baseball's first Triple Crown in 44 seasons. Most years, that would be more than enough to justify a vote for the AL Most Valuable Player award. But Mike Trout's phenomenal rookie season has made the MVP a two-horse race. We looked to history for guidance, and the last three Triple Crown winners -- Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Frank Robinson (1966) and Mickey Mantle (1956) -- all won the MVP. But Ted Williams' Triple Crown seasons weren't enough for MVP voters in 1947 or 1942, when the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio and Joe Gordon won the award, respectively. Should winning a Triple Crown be an all-but-automatic MVP? Or is it just one factor to consider?
On Wednesday, "First Take" brought in special guest Tony La Russa to discuss long-term deals in baseball. The Rangers have a decision to make about Josh Hamilton, and potentially could lock him up for many years to come. La Russa said he wouldn't give more than a five- or six-year deal to a player of any caliber, citing the Angels' 10-year deal with Albert Pujols as one that was not worth the risk. Both Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless agreed. What's your take?
Mike Trout is only in his second year in MLB, but already he's making it seem like he's trying to be promoted to a league above the one he's currently in. Trout is rocking a 1.005 OPS, 20 homers, 36 stolen bases (against only three caught stealing, which is really, really good) , and he's playing a stellar center field. That's not enough for Jim Leyland, who thinks Miguel Cabrera (.967 OPS, 29 homers, plays a decent third base) is a better choice for AL MVP than Trout. Now, Leyland is expected to say that ('cause Cabrera is on his team and all), but is he really all that far off base?
One of the best things about baseball is how well it keeps track of its records. Players are always accomplishing rare and strange feats, and thanks to our obsession with stats, we're able to point it out almost immediately when this happens. Take Kendrys Morales homering from both sides of the plate in a single inning -- it's only the third time that has happened in history; talk about something you don't see every day -- you might go a whole half-century without witnessing someone pull off what Morales did Monday night. It's even more interesting that he did it against the Rangers, whose Josh Hamilton had his own rare home run feat earlier in the season. Did Morales' switch-hitting prowess trump Hamilton's raw power?