The great debate is finally over. Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera edged out Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout for the American League MVP award, in what was one of the most debated MVP races in quite some time. It was a battle of traditional statistics against the relatively new sabermetric statistics, with the traditional way of thinking winning out.
I cannot remember a time where there were two candidates so worthy of winning the MVP award. And if there was ever a time to have a tie for the award, it would have been this season; especially, since both players are so darn good for totally different reasons. For the most part, Cabrera won the award based on winning baseball’s first Triple Crown since 1967, but that wasn’t the only reason he took home the hardware.
As I explained yesterday, Cabrera was simply amazing in basically every clutch scenario this season. The only situation where his OPS wasn’t well above .900 was when the bases were loaded. Other than that, he put up Ruthian numbers, OPSing over 1.000 in a majority of the situations. He also led his Tigers to a division championship and ultimately a World Series birth. If it wasn’t for Cabrera, it’s safe to say the Tigers might have finished behind third in the division.
On the other hand, there is the talented 20-something wunderkind who will only go home with his Rookie of the Year trophy this winter. Trout was spectacular this season, and losing out to a Triple Crown winner is nothing to hang your head about. I’m sure we will see Trout win about five of these things when his career is over, so there’s no reason to be up in arms about it.
I’m just hoping this MVP race educated some fans in a positive way. There’s no reason to be so close-minded about your fandom. Both sides (traditionalists/SABR) can learn something from each other. That something is what can make you a better, more understanding baseball fan in the future.
Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera. There’s no doubt he deserved this honor, even if you disagree with it.