This is no knock on Cabrera or the Triple Crown. Both are impressive. It’s just that whether Cabrera wins the Triple Crown or not has absolutely no bearing on the MVP. Look at it this way: Josh Hamilton hit his 43rd home run last night, breaking a tie for the home run lead with Cabrera. Does a home run by a Texas Ranger (or, to flip it, blurry vision by that same Ranger that kept him out of the lineup over the weekend) decide whether a Tiger or an Angel wins the MVP? Is Cabrera less worthy because Hamilton hit a home run?
The Triple Crown is cool in the way that typewriters, rotary phones or vinyl records are cool: There’s an undeniable acquired history there, and it’s been so long since most people have seen one that now there is great novelty to it. But the truth in all cases is that we know better now.
The Triple Crown is an interesting relic from baseball cards and Sunday morning newspapers, which used to be the way people found out batting averages of major league players. Actually, it wasn’t until the 1940s that the Triple Crown held much resonance in baseball at all. RBIs did not become an official statistic until 1920. The home run didn’t become a regular staple of the game until Babe Ruth popularized it in the late 1920s. In the days of Cobb, people thought batting average, hits and runs were the most important offensive categories.
...The bottom line is that the AL MVP should be . . . too close to call right now. Trout did enter the month with a huge gap in value, but Cabrera has closed it considerably. If you believe in impacting games in more ways more often than anybody else, Trout is your MVP. If you believe in the greater volume of hitting stats, particularly down the stretch, Cabrera is your man. And if you believe in the Triple Crown defining the MVP, sit down with a big hunk of blueberry pie and hope the idea passes.
Posted: September 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM | 50 comment(s)
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