Why you shouldn’t care if Miguel Cabrera wins the MVP Award

In just 10 seasons, Miguel Cabrera has built a batting record few have ever matched in baseball history.

For the first few months of the 2012 season, Miguel Cabrera played the game with a black eye. It was the result of a bad hop at third base during a spring training game in Florida.

The black eye may have had a cosmetic effect on Miggy, but it never clouded his performance.

Cabrera has now won the Triple Crown. Not since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 has a batter led his league in batting, home runs, and runs batted in. No one has even come close. For Cabrera to do something that hasn’t happened in 45 years, and has only been accomplished 16 times by 14 batters, is a pretty big deal.

That’s why I don’t care – and you shouldn’t either – if Cabrera wins the Most Valuable Player Award. The Triple Crown is a huge deal – it’s like stumbling into Bigfoot eating at a McDonald’s in Kalamazoo with Elvis and a Martian. It’s headline news.

There’s an MVP award given every year, but the Triple Crown is one of the rarest accomplishments in sports. So rare that only two men are alive who have ever done it.

Cabrera may or may not win the MVP Award. Mike Trout, the young outfielder in Los Angeles with Kirk Gibson-like skills and movie star looks, has his supporters, most of them touting SABRmetric stats. But I’ll say here what nearly everyone in the American League who has watched the Tigers all season knows – Cabrera is the MVP . He’s the MVP because of the fear he creates in opposing teams. Because of the numbers he’s put up and when he puts them up. And yes, because of the way he selflessly moved across the diamond to play a more demanding position to make room for Prince Fielder.

But it still doesn’t matter if he wins the MVP or not. The Triple Crown means so much more.

Listen: young folks out there who think of Bobby Higginson as ancient baseball history, Triple Crown winners are baseball icons. Only 14 batters have ever accomplished it – 14. Of those 14, 12 are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The two who aren’t (Paul Hines and Tip O’Neill), accomplished it back when people fueled their primary form of transportation with oats and hay.

The list of Triple Crown winners reads like a Who’s Who of baseball royalty: there’s Yaz, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Hugh Duffy, Joe Medwick, Chuck Klein, Jimmie Foxx, Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams.



Are you friggin’ kidding me?

MVP’s come and go – after a few years people forget who won the award. Juan Gonzalez won it twice. Juan Gonzalez. Remember that bum, Tigers fans? A guy named Zoilo Versalles won the MVP Award. So did Jeff Burroughs and Jose Canseco.

So what?

But when you win the Triple Crown you don’t get a piece of hardware or a plaque. You don’t even get a certificate of achievement. Instead you take your place alongside the greatest players who ever stepped onto the diamond. You become a legend, and that’s exactly what Miguel Cabrera is.

MVP? He don’t need no steenkin’ MVP!

6 replies on “Why you shouldn’t care if Miguel Cabrera wins the MVP Award

  • Tom

    Mr. Holmes, you are spot on with this article!! Cabrera is the greatest hitter in baseball! Triple Crown way more prestigious than the MVP! Thanks for putting this matter in perspective!!

  • Pam Blochard

    Great article!! I may have to recite some of your facts and opinions to my family during the playoff game today!! The fans are very proud of Miguel Cabrera!!

  • Dan Holmes

    Thanks, Pam. I appreciate you reading the blog and taking the time to comment. Let’s hope the Tigers get the third win and advance to the League Championship Series quickly.

  • Bob Zinkil

    You have just made my day. I really think Cabrera is the “True” MVP, but putting it in the perspective you have, so what if he doesn’t win it! We will always remember the Triple Crown, MVP would just be icing on the cake. Oh, also it was Burger King in Kalamazoo, not McDonalds where Elvis was spotted! Go Tigers…

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