Cabrera has Gardy's MVP vote

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 22, 2012 - 10:56 AM

Ron Gardenhire, echoing the biased thoughts of Tigers manager Jim Leyland, says Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown numbers trump Mike Trout's Sabermetric superiority.

hide

The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera connects on a two-run home run.

Photo: Julian H. Gonzalez, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

DETROIT - Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is threatening to become baseball's first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, but a spirited debate still rages: Is Cabrera the American League MVP, or is it Angels center fielder Mike Trout?

Even though Cabrera is batting .333 with 41 home runs and 130 RBI, statistical analysts point to advanced metrics that incorporate baserunning and defense. According to baseball-reference.com, Trout was leading Cabrera in the all-encompassing statistic WAR (wins above replacement) by a wide margin -- 10.1 to 6.5.

"I'm not downplaying what Trout's done," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm just telling you this guy [Cabrera] has gone above and beyond. If he wins the Triple Crown, are Sabermetrics going to say that Trout's the MVP? That would be embarrassing to every writer in baseball if a guy won the Triple Crown and didn't win the MVP."

The voters -- two members of the Baseball Writers Association of America from each AL market -- must submit their ballots when the regular season ends. Cabrera leads the AL in batting average and RBI, while trailing Texas' Josh Hamilton by one in the home run race.

Cabrera, 29, never has won an MVP award. He finished second to Hamilton in the voting in 2010 and fifth last year, four spots behind Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. Lately, fans at Comerica Park have been serenading Cabrera with "M-V-P! M-V-P!" chants.

"I think if we make the playoffs, everything's going to take care of itself," Cabrera said. "Your focus will be on winning games. If we win, it means we're playing good."

Detroit trails the first-place White Sox by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central after Chicago lost 6-2 to Trout's Angels in Anaheim, Calif.

Cabrera has strengthened his MVP candidacy with a strong September, batting .364 with eight home runs, 21 RBI and a 1.224 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage).

For comparison, Trout is batting .274 with three homers, four RBI, four stolen bases and an .807 OPS this month. Those numbers got a boost after he went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, a double and a walk Friday night.

"I haven't seen Trout since the first [part] of the season," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know he's had a heck of a year, and I know people are saying this and that about him. I'm just tipping my hat to Cabrera. He's the best player in the American League. He should be the MVP.

"If you're going for a Triple Crown, that's an MVP season. ... If you've got his numbers, you can SABR all you want to --[Cabrera's] numbers blow your mind. It doesn't make much sense to me to be arguing about this, to tell you the truth."

Trout, 20, is batting .324 with 28 homers and 78 RBI (as a leadoff hitter). He leads the league in runs scored (120), was a league-best 46-for-50 in stolen bases and has drawn comparisons to a young Mickey Mantle in center field.

Trout's numbers might be even better if the Angels hadn't waited until April 28 to promote him to the majors, and his arrival helped turn around the entire team. Cabrera's defense is subpar, but he gets extra credit for shifting to third base, making room for Prince Fielder at first.

Tigers designated hitter and former Twin Delmon Young drew a comparison to Joe Mauer's 2009 MVP season.

"Every time [Cabrera] walks up to the plate, you have a feeling he's going to do some damage," Young said. "It's almost like when we used to joke around with Mauer in '09, saying he used to start out the game 2-for-0. "That's what it basically seems like with Miggy. He's already got two hits before he even starts the day."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final(10)2345678910RHE
Cleveland0020110004111
Minnesota «0110010115112
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:J.Burton(3-5) L:K.Crockett(4-1)
HR: CLE- M.Brantley (20) MIN- O.Arcia (19), K.Vargas (9)

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close