SportsNation Blog Archives Miguel Cabrera
Remember when perfect games were a rarity? It used to be that years would pass between them -- now, it seems like several happen per season. Baseball's Triple Crown might be going in the same direction. Miguel Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown in 45 years last season, is leading in two of the three major categories, and he's only one behind the lead in home runs after bashing three against the Rangers on Sunday night. It's not easy to keep up the required level of excellence necessary to lead in three major offensive categories, but considering how well he's been hitting over the past year, it's difficult to see who could prevent Cabrera from winning again.
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
The best again?
Triple Crown stats are nice and all, but we're more concerned with the fact that Cabrera is leading all of baseball in OPS -- he's ahead of Baltimore's Chris Davis by fifty points.
No one could have known in 1966 and 1967, when Frank Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski won back-to-back Triple Crowns, that the feat wouldn't be matched again for 45 years. Miguel Cabrera ended that drought Wednesday night. But Cabrera wasn't the only player to make history in 2012, as three pitchers threw perfect games -- the most in a single season. Both achievements are rare; just 23 pitchers have tossed perfect games, and only 10 hitters have led in batting average, runs batted in and home runs since 1920. And keep this in mind: Of those 10 Triple Crown hitters, the previous nine are in the Hall of Fame.
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?
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?
The Yankees have no problem with Robinson Cano playing in the All-Star Game Tuesday night, but they wouldn't let him compete in Monday's Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). Kind of says something about which one is more intense, no?
The days of Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse in the All-Star Game are long gone, even with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line, but it's tough for players to dial down the effort in the hitting contest without incurring some nationally-televised embarrassment. From Mark McGwire bypassing the Green Monster to Bobby Abreu launching 41 home runs in the 2005 event and Josh Hamilton blasting 28 in a single round two years ago, Monday has arguably been the more memorable part of the All-Star festivities in recent years.
So much for a chance for Robinson Cano to boost his MVP candidacy with some free airtime (granted, it's not like people who play for the Yankees hurt for exposure). The Home Run Derby wanted Robinson Cano, and Cano wanted to take part in the Home Run Derby.
There was only one small problem. The team that pays Cano wasn't interested. Citing a back injury hampering their second baseman, the Bronx Bombers pulled Cano from the hitting contest. And at least one fan thinks that's a dive worthy of a yellow card.
Pete (San Francisco)
Who are your AL and NL MVP's at the half-way-point of the season? I know we still have half a season to play, but if you were forced to choose someone from each league to be an MVP at this point in the season, who would it be?
In the AL, I would pick Robinson Cano. His team has the best record in the league and he's their leader, their star player. He's been their most productive and consistent player on their team. The NL is a little toughter. I would have to give it to 2-3 guys: David Wright, Troy Glaus, Pujols. Then I'd have to give Scott Rolen and Joey Votto a nod. I don't think it's as clear cut in the NL as it is in the AL. Full transcript.
Dan (Detroit, mi)
Is Miguel Cabrera the best hitter in MLB today?
Dan, Even though Albert Pujols isn't having quite an Albert Pujols-type of year, it's hard to pick anybody over him. Still, Cabrera is having an amazing year. He's got to be right in the MVP mix in the AL. Full transcript.
Sure, Zack Greinke isn't going to get to 20 wins. But the guy made a late September game against the Red Sox meaningful -- for the Royals. That's downright superhuman. Greinke's six shutout innings earned him win No. 15. Only 23 percent of SportsNation thought he had the Cy Young wrapped up before that effort, but another 34 percent -- more than enough to push him over the top -- thought last night clinched it.
When it comes to MVP, Albert Pujols' grip on the award makes "Mad Men" envious, but the AL race still has some intrigue. Most people seem to think it's down to Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter, but SportsNation blogger brianRuberti -- a Yankees fan, no less -- has Jeter fifth, Mauer second and another time at the top of his ballot.
Please tell me that my Mariners King Felix will win the Cy Young. I'm tired of hearing about CC cause he plays in New York, this is a two horse race between Felix and Grienke.
You're not hearing about CC because he plays in New York. Well, maybe a little bit. But w/r/t to the Cy Young, you're hearing about him mostly because he's got a shot at winning 20 games; in fact he's the only pitcher who's got a shot at winning 20 games. Voters have always liked 20-game winners, and some of them still do. Full transcript
Nora (St. Louis)
Carpenter has given up 4 or more runs in a start only once. Lincecum has done that five times. I know Lincecum strikes everyone out, but Carp's only really had the one bad start. He's been so good so consistently.
Nora: And Carpenter has made fewer starts, too, because of that early-season injury. But believe me, I'm not saying there is a clear-cut choice... If Carpenter throws well in his last couple of outings, and Lincecum has another stinker, I think Carpenter will win. If Lincecum and Carpenter labor the next two times out and Wainwright throws well and finishes with 20 wins, I think that'll really help Wainwright's chances. Total toss-up right now. Full transcript