Miguel Cabrera won the Triple fucking Crown! Just typing that blows my mind! It’s difficult to comprehend how rare that feat truly is. Jimi Hendrix had just released Are You Experienced? and we hadn’t even landed on the moon yet the last time it happend.
It’s a feat made even more remarkable because of the era we are in—an era of incessant media coverage and specialty players. Carl Yastrzemski famously didn’t even know he had won the Triple Crown until the next day back in 1967. In contrast, Cabrera has been carrying the weight of it for weeks being bombarded with questions about it. Baseball is also in a new era of specialty players paid to dominate a single category like Adam Dunn with homers or Derek Jeter with batting average. How can one man compete against the legions of category mercenaries sent to defeat him? Somehow, Cabrera found a way.
These are the reasons we haven’t seen a Triple Crown winner in two generations. So when I hear smarmy Sabermeticians using made up terms like WAR and VORP to diminish the accomplishment, I start to lose my shit.
Don’t get me wrong, Mike Trout has had a truly historic season—an MVP-caliber season in any other year. But NOT in a year when a man accomplishes what only thirteen others have in the history of the game. This hallowed list includes a pantheon of names like Cobb, Hornsby, Foxx, Gehrig, Williams, Mantle and Robinson.
Trout is also siting at home, watching Cabrera and the Tigers take on the A’s tonight while Big Mig carried the sputtering Tigers on his back down the stretch and willed them into the playoffs. His best month came in September when they needed him most as he belted 10 home runs and knocked in 27.
Meanwhile, Trout faded at crunch time. He had his lowest monthly totals of the year with a .257 AVG, 6 SBs, and 6 RBI in September. His mediocre performance over the last few weeks also ruined my fantasy championship hopes, but that’s another story.
This year’s AL MVP vote will draw a distinct line between old-school sensibilities and new-school mathematics. While I appreciate the value of new ideas, those idea should not discount the value of history. I just hope the voters come to their senses and keep the MVP in the D.