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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

ESPN: Miguel Cabrera wins Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera became the 15th player to win baseball’s Triple Crown on Wednesday night, the reluctant superstar thrust into the spotlight after joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.
...
“I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title,” Yastrzemski said in a statement. “I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967 as part of the Red Sox’s ‘Impossible Dream Team.’”

Commissioner Bud Selig said also offered his congratulations, calling the Triple Crown “a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history.”

NTNgod Posted: October 03, 2012 at 10:55 PM | 139 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

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   1. VoodooR Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4253365)
Congratulations to Miggy! A fun, notable and fantastic achievement. A shame that this accomplishment is somehow diminished by the MVP debate.
   2. akrasian Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4253367)
Good for him. A fantastic season, that will always be remembered in baseball.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4253371)
I've been vocal about my dismay about the "Cabrera for MVP or bust" rhetoric, but I've never said Cabrera wasn't a joy to watch in the batter's box. That was a touching moment when Leyland pulled him mid-inning. Kudos to the KC fans for giving him a standing ovation and demanding a curtain call.

I think he's probably got the MVP locked up. It won't be a miscarriage of justice, even if he's not my pick.
   4. Booey Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4253385)
TRI-PLE CROWN! TRI-PLE CROWN! TRI-PLE CROWN!
   5. salajander Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4253387)
Great season by Cabrera. A triple crown! Congratulations!

Snark:
Definitely MVP! Just think - without him, the Tigers might have the 12th or 13th best record in baseball and not the 11th.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4253390)
I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967


It's not an award. It's a statistical accomplishment. No-one votes on it, or awards it.
   7. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4253396)
Best hitter in baseball. What an amazing season.
   8. silhouetted by the sea Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4253397)
Can anyone explain how Carl Yastrzemski was not a unanimous MVP 1n 1967.
   9. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4253398)
Geez, vortex of buzzkill.
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4253400)
Can anyone explain how Carl Yastrzemski was not a unanimous MVP.


Jeepers, I never noticed that before. Cesar Tovar?
   11. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4253401)
Definitely MVP! Just think - without him, the Tigers might have the 12th or 13th best record in baseball and not the 11th.


My uncle, who I respect and adore, used the "the Tigers are going to the playoffs" argument today to justify Cabrera's bid for MVP. It didn't matter to him that the Angels actually have the better record, because you couldn't answer, "Who are the Angels playing in the playoffs?"

It's funny how on top of all the things Trout did this season, his detractors don't seem to care that the Angels were 7-14 when he was called up. They finished 18 games over. Albert had a good season, but not by his standards. The bullpen was a disaster. The starting pitching was inconsistent. I think this is one of those instances where you can really chalk up a turnaround (albeit, one that was a bit too late) to one guy.
   12. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4253406)
Someone on FB posted "cabby for president," which got this response:

"I was going to post that as my status, until I realized he's no more american than Obama. Hahaha!!!"

That reminded me, between the election and the AL MVP announcement, FB is going to be an absolute cesspool in November.
   13. Every Inge Counts Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4253407)
My uncle, who I respect and adore, used the "the Tigers are going to the playoffs" argument today to justify Cabrera's bid for MVP. It didn't matter to him that the Angels actually have the better record, because you couldn't answer, "Who are the Angels playing in the playoffs?"



I did see a Tigers fan post this: Trout since August? .275 hitter

Trout in September/ OCT? 31/111 4 doubles 2 triples 5 HR 7 steals 20 walk 35 strikeout....result? LAA falls out of the playoffs

Miggy in September /OCT? 38/112 6 doubles 0 triples 11 HR 0 steals 13 walks 17 strikeouts result? Togers win AL Central by 1 or 2 games.

Trout is having a great season, historic even. His team is playing AAA scrubs in game 162 because they get to watch the playoffs on TV. Absent another historic season by someone else, that doesn't matter....but there is one, by a guy who drove his team to the playoffs by one or two games by having a MVP caliber year with a HOF level September in a tight pennant race. No one will ever convince me that DRS or SB% trumps that. This is baseball in the context of the team goal being achieved by individual accomplishments. Trout doesn't have any of that except a wonky fielding stat and great basestealing sense. He collapsed in September at .265 and from August on he's a .275 hitter.... and so did the Angels collapse.....
   14. Walt Davis Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4253409)
I notice he had a Pujolsian drop in his BB rate this year and it's not heavily IBB related (22 to 17). Odd that two great and fairly similar hitters would have that happen. Did I miss a memo?
   15. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4253415)
Maybe pitchers are just coming around to the new offensive context and aren't as afraid of letting bat meet ball.
   16. Every Inge Counts Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4253416)
I am not sure how much of his drop in walk total was due to having Prince Fielder bat behind him or what.
   17. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4253419)
Trout doesn't have any of that except a wonky fielding stat


Have you watched Trout field? He's really really really good.
   18. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4253421)
And not to be a downer, but it took a pretty swift swandive by the White Sox to get the Tigers into the playoffs.
   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4253422)
17: I believe Every Inge was C&Ping; something he read elsewhere.
   20. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4253423)
Craig Amsinger is doing everything he can to let Harold Reynolds off the hook for acting like this is such a slam-dunk for Cabrera, but he's just_too_stupid.
   21. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4253426)
And not to be a downer, but it took a pretty swift swandive by the White Sox to get the Tigers into the playoffs.

White Sox were 42-36 heading into July while the Tigers were 38-40. Tigers had the third best record in the AL from that point on while the White Sox went 2 games over .500 during that stretch. The White Sox had a tough September but the Tigers were playing very good ball since July and the White Sox lead was only by a game heading into September.
   22. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4253427)
Congrats. And thanks for the memories of '67.
   23. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4253428)
No one will ever convince me that DRS or SB% trumps that.
At least you're coming into this with an open mind. The Angels had a better record against a tougher schedule than the Tigers.

Cabrera's a great, great hitter, and his Triple Crown is a tremendous achievement and will net him the MVP. Trout's had the more valuable season.
   24. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4253429)
15: MLB walks are down ~8% since 2010. Pujols is down ~50%. Cabrera is down ~40% since last year.
   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4253436)
Congratulations to Miggy! A fun, notable and fantastic achievement. A shame that this accomplishment is somehow diminished by the MVP debate.


It is the fault of the people who ridiculously claimed that they would be "ok" with the less deserving player winning the MVP since he had "won" the triple crown.
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4253447)
It is the fault of the people who ridiculously claimed that they would be "ok" with the less deserving player winning the MVP since he had "won" the triple crown.


Clearly the people who took the inexcusable "eh, I'm not going to get outraged about this particular result" have truly and permanently poisoned the well. Have they no shame?

Congrats to Miggy on a very cool accomplishment.

   27. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4253455)
15: MLB walks are down ~8% since 2010. Pujols is down ~50%. Cabrera is down ~40% since last year.


Did Mr Cabrera bat ahead of Fielder for most of the year? Might explain a severe drop in "intentional-unintentional" walks. But it is exceptional. Last year he led the league in OBP at almost .450. This year, despite leading the league in a host of other categories, his OBP is down 50 points. Not that 398 is anything to be sad about, but it's no 448.
   28. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4253462)
Absent another historic season by someone else, that doesn't matter....but there is one, by a guy who drove his team to the playoffs by one or two games by having a MVP caliber year with a HOF level September in a tight pennant race

I don't have a problem with Cabrera winning, but this is a bit much. Robinson Cano beat him in WAR by a pretty fair margin, did so for the team with the best record in the AL in a race that went down to the final game of the season. The Yankees pretty much had to win out the last week and over that stretch Cano hit about .600. Give the MVP to Cabrera if you want, I'm cool with it, but don't act like his season is/was something incredible.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4253464)
Clearly the people who took the inexcusable "eh, I'm not going to get outraged about this particular result" have truly and permanently poisoned the well. Have they no shame?

I have no shame..none at all. I actually don't care who wins the MVP or care about any awards actually. Trout helped his team win more games, thus was the more valuable player. The triple crown is kind of cool though and Cabrera is fun to watch hit in a Mannyesque sort of way. I like watching baseball and both players were fun to watch this year; along with Harper, Posey and every one else who had a nice season. A shame the team I followed totally sucked, but that's ok because I've still got 10 teams that actually figured out how to win this year I can still watch(well except NY, I just can't support those guys...)
   30. Tuque Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4253486)
So now the question is: will there ever be another Triple Crown winner?!
   31. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:17 AM (#4253501)
Did Mr Cabrera bat ahead of Fielder for most of the year? Might explain a severe drop in "intentional-unintentional" walks. But it is exceptional. Last year he led the league in OBP at almost .450. This year, despite leading the league in a host of other categories, his OBP is down 50 points. Not that 398 is anything to be sad about, but it's no 448.

All of Cabrera’s plate appearances this year came in the third spot. All of Fielder’s plate appearances came in the cleanup spot.

I think it's pretty clear that Fielder's “protection” is responsible for at least some of the drop in Cabrera's walks. But it's also worth noting that Cabrera has never really liked to walk, and has only topped 89 once in his career. He prefers to swing the bat, and doesn't typically wait for the perfect pitch. He’s usually good for 50-60 unintentional walks a year (49 this year); last year’s 86 was an outlier. Perhaps last year he got many more unintentional-intentional walks than normal.
   32. something like a train wreck Posted: October 04, 2012 at 06:18 AM (#4253509)
Trout helped his team win more games, thus was the more valuable player.

What you meant to say is that given a host of assumptions, some strong and some very speculative, about the value of discrete offensive and defensive events and largely arbitrary assumptions of the value of a "replacement player," all of it divorced from actual game and team context, Trout has more value. If I didn't believe that WAR and other "sabermetric" tools had value, I wouldn't be at this site, but that doesn't mean that is the only proper way of casting an MVP vote. Even if I accept every WAR assumptions about event value, but measure it against the team's likely actual replacement player, the outcome is quite different. Peter Bourjos is a good player. Not a bad guess that Trout was about 4-5 games better than Bourjos would have been. Cabrera would have been replaced by ???? A melange of Kelly, Rayburn, Santiago and Infante? I don't know who, but I am confident that Cabrera was more than 5 games better. Cabrera was brilliant in a context where there was no Plan B. He helped his team win more games.

That's a perfectly sensible way of measuring value for MVP purposes. And it gives no weight whatsoever to the triple crown.
   33. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 04, 2012 at 06:20 AM (#4253511)
This is ####### awesome. I can't believe I saw someone win a triple crown. Way to go Miggy.
   34. boteman Posted: October 04, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4253515)
#20 - Harold Reynolds is the reason that they invented the MUTE button in the first place. I found it curious that he noted how Miggy was seeing better pitches this season precisely because he was hitting in front of Fielder, yet he couldn't connect the dots that Miggy's RBI total was dependent on other batters getting on base ahead of him. One way of making this point clear is to ask how many RBI(s) the guy would have if the bases had been empty every single time he walked to the plate. That leaves it solely up to his ability to hit home runs as his individual hitting contribution to the team's run total, which would kind of make it the double crown.

***

So as America waits for the Tigers to present this prestigious award to Miggy, the real question remains: What does this all-too-rare award look like?

Is it a plaque that goes on the wall? Do they hand him a box with three varieties of Burger King cardboard crowns that he can actually wear? Does the Burger King himself (from those TV ads) present it to Miggy?

Yaz was not specific on these important points in his remarks and America needs to know.
   35. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 07:02 AM (#4253519)
Congratulations Miggy! I am very grateful that the summer I lived in Detroit for a while was the one where the best Tiger hitter of my lifetime was doing something so historic. He's is a phenomenal hitter to watch.

I can accept that his decline in walks this year had something to do with Prince, but why didn't that apply when Victor Martinez was having just as good a season behind him last year?
   36. depletion Posted: October 04, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4253536)
I think Mr. Cabrera's rise from the depths of DUI is a great personal accomplishment, too. It's a good story for others that may be going through similar travails.
   37. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: October 04, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4253542)
You know, if I had an MVP vote, I honestly don't know who I'd pick.

On one hand, you've got a 20-year-old kid with a 10.7 WAR, one of the 20 best position-player seasons of ALL TIME. Should be nuff said, yes?

But on the other hand, you've got the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. Playing for my favourite team. Which won their division, and thus has a chance to win the World Series.

Guess I'd vote for Trout...but root for Miggy.
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 04, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4253554)
One way of making this point clear is to ask how many RBI(s) the guy would have if the bases had been empty every single time he walked to the plate.


Cabrera would have led the league in RBI under that scenario too.
   39. BDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4253559)
Cabrera is one of a handful of recent players who had won a "discontinuous" (?) Triple Crown before, having lead his league in HR, RBI, and BA in three separate seasons, so the true Triple Crown gives him two of each for his career: also very cool.
   40. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4253567)
This is ####### awesome. I can't believe I saw someone win a triple crown. Way to go Miggy.


Pretty much sums up my feelings. I just noticed that Miggy's OPS is a league leading .999. The last AL OPS leader who was below 1.000 was in 2008 (much more recent than I would have thought), but I was even more shocked by who that leader was. Any guesses?
   41. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4253569)
It's not an award. It's a statistical accomplishment. No-one votes on it, or awards it.

Which makes it infinitely more important, in my opinion.

How about this? One of Cabrera and Trout wins the AL MVP. The other gets NL MVP.
   42. GregD Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4253572)
Cabrera would have led the league in RBI under that scenario too.
I admit this made me laugh
   43. DanG Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4253578)
Seasons with 43 HR, 137 RBI and .328 BA since 1940

Rk           Player HR RBI   BA WAR/pos  OBP  SLG Year Age  Tm Lg
1    Miguel Cabrera 44 139 .330     6.9 .393 .606 2012  29 DET AL
2     Albert Pujols 49 137 .331     8.3 .431 .671 2006  26 STL NL
3       Barry Bonds 73 137 .328    11.6 .515 .863 2001  36 SFG NL
4        Sammy Sosa 64 160 .328    10.1 .437 .737 2001  32 CHC NL
5       Todd Helton 49 146 .336     7.5 .432 .685 2001  27 COL NL
6      Jason Giambi 43 137 .333     7.4 .476 .647 2000  29 OAK AL
7      Frank Thomas 43 143 .328     5.8 .436 .625 2000  32 CHW AL
8     Manny Ramirez 44 165 .333     7.0 .442 .663 1999  27 CLE AL
9      Albert Belle 49 152 .328     6.7 .399 .655 1998  31 CHW AL
10         Al Rosen 43 145 .336     9.8 .422 .613 1953  29 CLE AL
11     Ted Williams 43 159 .343     9.1 .490 .650 1949  30 BOS AL 
   44. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4253596)
Very cool and I wish I'd seen more of Cabrera this year.

Still, I'd vote for Trout.

Maybe.


No, not really, I'd vote for Cabrera. Don't care about War. Sorry! Don't care! I love RBIs! Whoo! I feel so free!
   45. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4253607)
The funny thing is that Cabrera had higher OPSes each of the last two seasons.
   46. stanmvp48 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4253627)
Not getting into the argument at all; I wonder how many home run "titles"(Triple Crown or otherwise) have had that many guys that close.
   47. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4253628)
Where do people get the idea that there isn't an actual award?

Unfortunately, Miggy's only getting one of these.
   48. Joey B. Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4253641)
Congrats Miggy! I wasn't sure I would ever see someone do it in my lifetime, and you did it. A year to remember forever.
   49. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4253656)
I'd vote for Trout, but I'm not against th idea of Cabrera winning. Triple crowns don't grow on trees, after all.
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4253660)
It is the fault of the people who ridiculously claimed that they would be "ok" with the less deserving player winning the MVP since he had "won" the triple crown.

Clearly the people who took the inexcusable "eh, I'm not going to get outraged about this particular result" have truly and permanently poisoned the well. Have they no shame?


No outrage was required. All they had to do is say that they were "not ok" with it. Like with any incorrect MVP result. Instead, they reduced themselves to intellectual non-seriousness.
   51. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4253661)
I guess this is kinda interesting. Do people care about Batting Average and RBI any more? In any case, congratulations to Miguel Cabrera and Tiger fans. BTW what's the playoff rotation -- Verlander, Fister, Sanchez, Scherzer?
   52. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4253662)
Baseball is entertainment. Much as we all love to fancy ourselves thinking fans, this is not supposed to be about intellectual seriousness.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4253671)
Seasons with 43 HR, 137 RBI and .328 BA since 1940

So take out the Selig Era and it hadn't been done since 1953. Impressive.

Standing ovation by the KC fans also duly noted for today and posterity. The Triple Crown is cool, and resonates.


   54. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4253673)
No outrage was required. All they had to do is say that they were "not ok" with it. Like with any incorrect MVP result.


Ray: it seems very against the grain for you to be fired up about an award bestowed by writers. Is it just the bad logic you're objecting to?
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4253679)
This is ####### awesome. I can't believe I saw someone win a triple crown. Way to go Miggy.

Pretty much sums up my feelings.


Why can't people "believe" this? He's led the league in average, home runs, and RBIs before this year. It was mostly fluke that he happened to lead the league in those three drooled upon categories in the same year. Yay. ARod or Pujols or Bonds could have done it. Or any number of other hitters. Are they worse hitters than Cabrera? Have they not had seasons this good? Or is the fact that Cabrera did it one big fluke even given that his skills align with these categories?
   56. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4253680)
I guess this is kinda interesting. Do people care about Batting Average and RBI any more?


Anyone who plays fantasy does. But the only reason I know who the AL leader is is because of the Triple Crown talk. I couldn't tell you who the NL batting champ is.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4253683)
I guess this is kinda interesting. Do people care about Batting Average and RBI any more?


One wouldn't have thought so, at least not on this site for the most part, but clearly people here do.

-----

Ray: it seems very against the grain for you to be fired up about an award bestowed by writers. Is it just the bad logic you're objecting to?


Yes.
   58. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4253684)
Are they worse hitters than Cabrera?

Is that the question being asked or answered by noting Cabrera's Triple Crown and the rarity of the event?

It's lame to always criticize points of discussion to say "But they aren't talking about something else." That goes on constantly around here. We don't need your (royal "your") constant hectoring not to "misinterpret" information.
   59. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4253685)
I couldn't tell you who the NL batting champ is.

Melky Cabrera.
   60. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4253687)
I couldn't tell you who the NL batting champ is.


That one was even more of a story this year.
   61. kcgard2 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4253691)
I think it's awesome that I witnessed a Triple Crown season. I don't care that BA and RBI are rather unimportant, I never thought I would see one. Miggy has been one of my favorite hitters for a long time.

While I think the Trout vs. Cabrera MVP debate has so many angles that make it interesting and an awesome "case study," I refuse to get up in arms about who wins.
   62. stanmvp48 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4253696)
"ARod or Pujols or Bonds could have done it. Or any number of other hitters. Are they worse hitters than Cabrera? Have they not had seasons this good"

Or the Babe.
   63. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4253698)
No outrage was required. All they had to do is say that they were "not ok" with it.


I'm ok with Miguel Cabrera wining the MVP for one simple reason: What difference does it make? It doesn't make Cabrera's season any more valuable, or Mike Trout's season any less valuable. A panel of writers isn't capable of conferring value, or taking it away.
   64. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4253699)
No outrage was required. All they had to do is say that they were "not ok" with it. Like with any incorrect MVP result. Instead, they reduced themselves to intellectual non-seriousness.

Ray, how do you feel that the MVP debate has centered on Cabrera and Trout? Would you put Cabrera ahead of Cano as well?
   65. SoSH U at work Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4253701)
I'm ok with Miguel Cabrera wining the MVP for one simple reason: What difference does it make? It doesn't make Cabrera's season any more valuable, or Mike Trout's season any less valuable. A panel of writers isn't capable of conferring value, or taking it away.


You would think Ray, whose lack of respect for the electorate is well established, would get that. I guess bad logic isn't limited to the scribes.

   66. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4253704)
Yay. ARod or Pujols or Bonds could have done it.

But they didn't, so who cares?

In total seasons, what are they? Zero for around 50? They had plenty of chances.
   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4253733)
I'm ok with Miguel Cabrera wining the MVP for one simple reason: What difference does it make? It doesn't make Cabrera's season any more valuable, or Mike Trout's season any less valuable. A panel of writers isn't capable of conferring value, or taking it away.


If I go back through the r.s.bb archives will I find you stating this same attitude? Or is this a change for you?
   68. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4253745)
I'm kind of surprised more people don't agree with Ray about this. I don't care who wins the MVP, but I also don't think a triple crown (or any milestone - 70 homers, 200 RBIs, 30 wins) should affect MVP voting. It's supposed to be about overall value.
   69. AROM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4253747)
Cabrera would have been replaced by ???? A melange of Kelly, Rayburn, Santiago and Infante? I don't know who, but I am confident that Cabrera was more than 5 games better. Cabrera was brilliant in a context where there was no Plan B. He helped his team win more games.


They would have held on to Brandon Inge a bit longer. Just sayin', that doesn't change your point. Inge doesn't hit any better than the rest of that crew, though at least he does field better.

Should Trout be penalized because his hypothetical replacement is better than Cabrera's? That doesn't seem right, which is why WAR uses a standard replacement level instead of team-position-specific. Would Trout be a more valuable player if Bourjos had been allowed to play every day alongside Trout, so that you'd be forced to use Vernon Wells as Trout's hypothetical replacement?

   70. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4253752)
Would Trout be a more valuable player if Bourjos had been allowed to play every day alongside Trout, so that you'd be forced to use Vernon Wells as Trout's hypothetical replacement?


You know the Angels better than I do, but didn't they have five guys for three spots? They could have played Trout-Bourjos-Hunter and Trumbo is the top replacement.
   71. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4253757)
Congratulations to Cabrera. He earned it; played (almost) every game, put up the numbers, glad to see a Triple Crown winner. It's been a long time; I barely remember Yaz winning it. Now if horse racing could get one..

I would still go with Trout for MVP. Regardless of your interpretation of "valuable", he has the dimensions of speed and defense that Miggy doesn't; and his team improved markedly when he came up. Angels are a .500 team without him. And I have no problem with the MVP not going to a triple crown winner. MVP and Triple Crown are not always synonymous.
   72. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4253761)
Should Trout be penalized because his hypothetical replacement is better than Cabrera's? That doesn't seem right, which is why WAR uses a standard replacement level instead of team-position-specific. Would Trout be a more valuable player if Bourjos had been allowed to play every day alongside Trout, so that you'd be forced to use Vernon Wells as Trout's hypothetical replacement?

There's certainly ample reason to use actual replacements rather than hypothetical, systematized ones. Cabrera made a selfless move to move to 3B, and it improved the team at that position and at 1B. The upgrade from Brandon Inge to Cabrera was massive and should be accounted for. Cabrera at 3B, Fielder at 1B is a bigger improvement over "available replacement" than Trout-Bourjos-Hunter is over Bourjos-Hunter-Trumbo (or whatever permutation you want to use).
   73. AROM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4253763)
Some friends of mine are arguing for Cabrera because of the rarity of a triple crown. The award is Most valuable player, not most rare player, but even then:

How many players have matched or bettered the best 3 numbers of Cabrera, hitting .330-44-139 in a season? The answer is 18, by 8 different players, and an impressive list. The other players to accomplish this are: Ruth, Foxx, Wilson, Gehrig, Helton, DiMaggio, and Ramirez.

Take Trout's best 3 numbers, homers, steals, and runs scored. How many have done that? One, and that is Mike Trout. Lower the standard to 25 hr, 40 sb, and 120 runs, and Trout is still only 1 of 7 to do that. Not that it makes him more valuable, defense does that, but it is more rare.
   74. JL Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4253764)
I'm ok with Miguel Cabrera wining the MVP for one simple reason: What difference does it make? It doesn't make Cabrera's season any more valuable, or Mike Trout's season any less valuable. A panel of writers isn't capable of conferring value, or taking it away.


While I hope this is the case, not sure if it is. I look back at Alan Trammell and the writers taking away his AL MVP in 1987. I then look at his HOF chances and wonder if he would get more consideration if he had won it.
   75. PreservedFish Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4253772)
I'm kind of surprised more people don't agree with Ray about this. I don't care who wins the MVP, but I also don't think a triple crown (or any milestone - 70 homers, 200 RBIs, 30 wins) should affect MVP voting. It's supposed to be about overall value.


I'm kind of over caring about what the MVP award "should" be. I just can't get mad about the same thing every year for more than a decade. Also, I think Cabrera would have an awful lot of support even if he didn't win the triple crown - he's the big RBI man.
   76. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4253775)
Why can't people "believe" this? He's led the league in average, home runs, and RBIs before this year.


It hadn't happened in 45 years and I honestly didn't think I'd see it. It was something I was always fascinated by as a kid and has always stuck with me. It's fun.
   77. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4253791)
If I go back through the r.s.bb archives will I find you stating this same attitude? Or is this a change for you?


I honestly have no idea. My opinions, especially as they have changed through time, are of very little interest to me, so I don't know why they'd be of interest to anyone else. You are certainly free to go back and look.

I do know that in 2007, two of the players from the team that i follow the most came very close to winning major awards, and in both cases I thought they legitimately deserved those awards. I thought Matt Holliday deserved the NL MVP, and Troy Tulowitzki deserved the NL Rookie of the Year. And I was aware that fan etiquette required me to be outraged on their behalf... but I realized I didn't care. Their not winning the awards didn't change their achievements one iota.
   78. Booey Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4253822)
It hadn't happened in 45 years and I honestly didn't think I'd see it. It was something I was always fascinated by as a kid and has always stuck with me. It's fun.


Same. I understand that BBTF is supposed to be for the "thinking fans" and we generally try to examine a players performance a little deeper to determine actual value and all that, but that doesn't mean we're not still fans and can't enjoy the fun little historic quirks about the greatest sport of all time too. It doesn't have to be a choice between one or the other.

Congrats Miggy.
   79. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4253888)
I can accept that his decline in walks this year had something to do with Prince, but why didn't that apply when Victor Martinez was having just as good a season behind him last year?

Prince Fielder played 162 games this year. Martinez played 145. So that's part of it. And though we might laugh at the concept, perhaps AL pitchers "fear" Fielder more than Martinez.
   80. alilisd Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4253904)
What you meant to say is that given a host of assumptions, some strong and some very speculative, about the value of discrete offensive and defensive events and largely arbitrary assumptions of the value of a "replacement player," all of it divorced from actual game and team context, Trout has more value.


Really? Wow! Really? OK, sarcasm done. :-)

But seriously, you can't look at Trout and, without even thinking about WAR or any other advanced metric, say he's very nearly the hitter Cabrera was this season, he's clearly playing a more important defensive position and playing it at a superior level, he's clearly a superior base runner and say Trout has more value?

I mean straight slash stats are virtually identical: .326/.399/.564 and .330/.393/.606. The only significant difference is in raw slugging, but even without fancy pants, new fangled sabremetrics you know Trout makes some of that up by going 49 of 54 in stolen bases. Cabrera is not clearly superior, or at least not significantly better, at the plate without even going beyond this. Trout should then easily pass him when defense and base running (beyond stolen bases) are considered.

All you're left with then is if you think Cabrera's 22 more games played is enough to get him back in front. I could see that argument, but I can't see trying to deny Trout was more valuable because the only way to do so is by using some sort of voodoo statistics which are "divorced from actual game and team context."
   81. bjhanke Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4253909)
Just a couple of notes from an old geezer who remembers Yaz' Triple Crown.

Cesar Tovar got one first-place vote for 1967 MVP because people, at the time, with the new huge turf parks being the latest fad, were obsessed with up the middle defense, and also really liked positional versatility. Tovar played all over the field (everywhere but pitcher, catcher and first base) that year, got into 164 regular season games, due to ties, I think, and managed to convince one voter that this was more valuable than Yaz staying in left field and dominating the league's hitters. There was actually talk in the BBWAA of censuring that voter, but I don't think it happened.

I will admit to being really surprised that someone actually won a Triple Crown. I thought those days were gone, and Yaz would be the last I'd ever see. The game has become increasingly sophisticated (ever since before 1871, I would imagine), and that leads to specialization, since it's much harder to master many skills than fewer. I thought there would always be some one-dimensional guy who did nothing but hit homers or hit singles for average, or something like that, who would prevent anyone else from winning all three pieces of the Crown. Also, the Crown is inherently difficult to win, because if you hit that well, people start to walk you, and your chances of leading the league in the counting stats of HR and RBI lessen. My hat is off to Cabrera. - Brock Hanke
   82. BDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4253916)
There's certainly ample reason to use actual replacements rather than hypothetical

But that means that you're no longer considering the individual contribution of the candidates. I remember this problem arising during the Wright/Rollins debate a few years ago. I said, if it were the start of the season, you'd trade Rollins to get Wright in an instant. Somebody countered: well, that's only because the Phillies had no third baseman; and the Mets wouldn't need Rollins anyway because they had Reyes, so of course Wright has more value to the Phillies than Rollins would to the Mets. But that's irrelevant to whether Rollins per se is a better player than Wright per se.

What I should have said was: which of the two would you draft first if the season was reset to March right now and you could have the season that guy would have? (Just as he had it, naturally, so you have to bring up Trout a bit later than Cabrera.) In that case, the replacements are hypothetical, because each player is being chosen with respect to an arbitrary baseline, not a suite of players already on hand.

In that system, Cabrera's moving to 3B is already accounted for. He's just another third baseman; what he did in the offseason and who the Tigers signed then is no longer relevant.
   83. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4253984)
"So take out the Selig Era and it hadn't been done since 1953. Impressive."


i love this - spot on [grin]

   84. Booey Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4254000)
I will admit to being really surprised that someone actually won a Triple Crown. I thought those days were gone


I did too, though I guess it makes sense that it happened after offense started to return to more normal levels.

The 70's and 80's seemed to be too specialist-oriented for someone to do it; good hitters generally hit for power with a relatively low average (Schmidt, Reggie, Kingman, Murphy, Bench, etc), or they hit for a high average with little power (Rose, Carew, Madlock, Gwynn, Boggs). Very few did both.

The 90's and 00's seemed to have the opposite problem; there were TOO many triple crown candidates competing with each other at the same time (Bonds, Thomas, Bagwell, Griffey, Manny, Pujols, Walker, Vlad, Sheffield, Helton, Chipper, Piazza, Belle, A-Rod, Giambi, Edgar, etc), so it was pretty unlikely that anyone would break free from the pack and lead in all 3 categories at once.

Seems we've got a better balance now; the top hitters still hit for average AND power unlike the 70's and 80's, but there are fewer of them doing it to step on each others toes like in the 90's and 00's.
   85. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4254018)
Do people care about Batting Average and RBI any more?

No one. Except for almost every baseball fan anywhere. The extent to which people think sabr stats have taken over is kind of amusing I think. Go to a game (ha!) and ask people about stats. The TC line is what 9 out of 10 will come up with. I would imagine 50 years from now that might not be the case, but it is today. Thus, the TC is going to get a lot of play.


If it helps, Ray, I'm not ok with Cabrera over Trout. But a) I'm not surprised, the TC is a big deal, b) there have been far worse MVP outcomes which has brought me to a point to consider it essentially meaningless. Do I think it makes any sense to say, "TC = MVP" automatically? Of course not. But that is better than some of the other arguments used in the past to justify MVP votes. So, really I just don't care.
   86. spycake Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4254021)
Isn't more of an oddity than it's taken this long to get another triple crown winner? Rather than being some special once-in-a-lifetime achievement?

Not that Cabrera isn't a great hitter, just seems like an odd achievement to be surprised it has happened in someone's lifetime. (Especially since that someone must be less than 45 years old for this to be true)

EDIT: I think #84 summed it up pretty well, particularly why this hadn't happened yet post-1993. (Not sure why 1968-1992 seemed so "specialized"...) But the triple crown still feels more like trivia than an accomplishment to me...
   87. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4254067)
I don't completely agree with Ray on this, but I'm inclined to share his distaste for knowingly choosing a weaker candidate. I get upset at the Oscars for crissakes. My stance is this: if you're going to go to the trouble of giving an award, you might as well give it to the guy (or movie) that deserves it.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4254075)
I did too, though I guess it makes sense that it happened after offense started to return to more normal levels.

The 70's and 80's seemed to be too specialist-oriented for someone to do it; good hitters generally hit for power with a relatively low average (Schmidt, Reggie, Kingman, Murphy, Bench, etc), or they hit for a high average with little power (Rose, Carew, Madlock, Gwynn, Boggs). Very few did both.

The 90's and 00's seemed to have the opposite problem; there were TOO many triple crown candidates competing with each other at the same time (Bonds, Thomas, Bagwell, Griffey, Manny, Pujols, Walker, Vlad, Sheffield, Helton, Chipper, Piazza, Belle, A-Rod, Giambi, Edgar, etc), so it was pretty unlikely that anyone would break free from the pack and lead in all 3 categories at once.

Seems we've got a better balance now; the top hitters still hit for average AND power unlike the 70's and 80's, but there are fewer of them doing it to step on each others toes like in the 90's and 00's.


All of this manages to miss the reason why Cabrera's triple crown is more unlikely than Yaz's is: more teams now, and thus more hitters to compete against.
   89. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4254081)
The extent to which people think sabr stats have taken over is kind of amusing I think.

Yes, quite.
   90. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4254122)
I'm surprised to find myself not having very strong feelings about the AL MVP. I think it would be funny if Fernando Rodney won.
   91. Booey Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4254168)
(Not sure why 1968-1992 seemed so "specialized"...)


I'm not sure why that was the case either, but it seemed that it was. How many players from the 70's and 80's were even legitimate TC candidates? Maybe Billy Williams in the early 70's. Rice for a few years in the late 70's, but his average wasn't quite high enough. Perhaps Mattingly in the mid 80's, but his power was a little low (and he was competing with prime Boggs for the batting title). Eddie Murray was a perennial .300-30-110 in his peak with the Orioles, but not much higher than that in any of the categories. Will Clark didn't quite have enough power. Who am I missing?

All of this manages to miss the reason why Cabrera's triple crown is more unlikely than Yaz's is: more teams now, and thus more hitters to compete against.


Yep, that too. Which makes it even more cool. :-)
   92. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4254184)
I don't know why this just dawned on me, but Cabrera is the first to do it in the DH era. I mean it's obvious since it hadn't happened since 1967 but that just struck me.
   93. AROM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4254216)
The 90's and 00's seemed to have the opposite problem; there were TOO many triple crown candidates competing with each other at the same time (Bonds, Thomas, Bagwell, Griffey, Manny, Pujols, Walker, Vlad, Sheffield, Helton, Chipper, Piazza, Belle, A-Rod, Giambi, Edgar, etc), so it was pretty unlikely that anyone would break free from the pack and lead in all 3 categories at once.


Bonds' problem was that he was too good at hitting for average and power, so he had no chance to lead in RBI as he'd get walked all the time with runners on base. It's a balancing act - you've got to be great to get a triple crown, but not too great.
   94. Booey Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4254236)
Bonds' problem was that he was too good at hitting for average and power, so he had no chance to lead in RBI as he'd get walked all the time with runners on base. It's a balancing act - you've got to be great to get a triple crown, but not too great.


Yeah. At work so I don't want to take the time to run the numbers, but if you gave Bonds his normal, pre-roid amount of walks in 2002 and 2004 (maybe 130?) instead of the 200+ he actually got while keeping his HR and RBI rates the same, doesn't he win the TC both years?
   95. alilisd Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4254244)
Isn't more of an oddity than it's taken this long to get another triple crown winner?


I don't think so. I think the way baseball has expanded since 1967, 50% more teams/players, it's just much more difficult to lead in all 3 categories. Still, it's never been easy to do. We know Cabrera squeezed this out, he didn't run away with it. Hornsby had the advantage that not many NL players had figured out how to hit HR yet, which made it a bit easier for him. Williams had only a slim lead in HR in 1947. Cobb's lead in HR was only 2 as was Lajoie's. Mantle barely led in RBI. Klein barely led in HR. Medwick tied for the HR lead as did Yaz. Foxx, Gehrig, Williams in 1942 and Robinson all had pretty solid leads in each category by the end of the season. Tough combo to pull off.
   96. Booey Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4254245)
Has anyone ever led the league in average and homers in a season WITHOUT also leading in RBI's?
   97. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4254254)
Am I the only person on the Internets who noticed that the Angels had a better record than the Tigers in a tougher division? I had to go to BB-Ref just now to make sure I was not imagining that.

There's certainly ample reason to use actual replacements rather than hypothetical, systematized ones. Cabrera made a selfless move to move to 3B, and it improved the team at that position and at 1B. The upgrade from Brandon Inge to Cabrera was massive and should be accounted for. Cabrera at 3B, Fielder at 1B is a bigger improvement over "available replacement" than Trout-Bourjos-Hunter is over Bourjos-Hunter-Trumbo (or whatever permutation you want to use).

I get these arguments, although I wonder who the Yankees backup at 2B was, or the Rangers backup at 3B. Why do people only start looking at these questions when WAR doesn't give them the answer they wanted? I also come back to the following:

Trout - 10.7 WAR
Cabrera + Fielder - 11.4 WAR

I think WAR overstates Trout's value a little bit, but you still have to give Cabrera almost full credit for Fielder's production for him to be worth more than Trout.

I mean straight slash stats are virtually identical: .326/.399/.564 and .330/.393/.606. The only significant difference is in raw slugging, but even without fancy pants, new fangled sabremetrics you know Trout makes some of that up by going 49 of 54 in stolen bases. Cabrera is not clearly superior, or at least not significantly better, at the plate without even going beyond this. Trout should then easily pass him when defense and base running (beyond stolen bases) are considered.

Right. Trout had 45 more steals and 4 more caught stealings. He had 21 fewer GDPs. He scored 16 more runs. This stuff is also part of the actual game, and people shouldn't ignore it.
   98. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4254257)
96: Williams in 1941. Probably a few others.
   99. alilisd Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4254258)
The 70's and 80's seemed to be too specialist-oriented for someone to do it; good hitters generally hit for power with a relatively low average (Schmidt, Reggie, Kingman, Murphy, Bench, etc), or they hit for a high average with little power (Rose, Carew, Madlock, Gwynn, Boggs). Very few did both.


Don't forget The Fear!
   100. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4254263)
Has anyone ever led the league in average and homers in a season WITHOUT also leading in RBI's?


Ted Williams, 1941:

Led in AVG (.406), HR (37), and fourth in RBI (120, to DiMaggio's 125).
(That's the first one I found on the AL side, working backwards from this year.)

Edit: A bubbly pop to my monkey friend.
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