Miguel Cabrera ran away with the AL MVP award, unlike the debate that is still going on of if he or Angels’ rookie outfielder Mike Trout should have won.
What it came down to for the baseball writers was obvious: Triple Crown, Playoffs.
There are equal arguments for either player to be the winner, but as was mentioned on MCST a few months back, usually, in order to be named MVP, a player has to do something out of the ordinary. Winning a Triple Crown is just that thing for Cabrera.
An MVP does not need to be on a playoff team, but when the race comes down to two players, one the center piece of a playoff team, the other a flashy kid that didn’t play the first month on a team that missed the playoffs, I think that can be the tie breaker.
And for all the arguments that this was old school scout vs. nerds in basements, the Rob Parker’s of the world need to realize, they are measuring Cabrera using numbers and calculators too, just different numbers.
There is no denying that every General Manager in baseball, if a fantasy style draft were to take place, would take Trout over Cabrera to start a franchise. Baseball is a business and certain things are more valuable, like Trout being 10 years younger than Cabrera, playing a more demanding position with superior defensive skills and more importantly, being under team control for 7 more years and saving a team about $150MM in that span.
But, as was noted by some, Miguel Cabrera didn’t carry the Tigers into the playoffs, he had two other players on his team finish in the top 10 in MVP voting, this was a very good team all around. But the same needed to be said for the Angels, Mike Trout scored 129 runs…this does not happen if he plays for the Cubs and he does not have Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and so forth hitting him in.
As much as advanced stats want to say RBI is a bum stat that relies too much on other people, so do Runs Scored. Baseball, despite a single pitcher holding the ball against a single batter, is very much a team game, and the success of an entire team elevates the status of its best players.
Miguel Cabrera won the MVP because he had an outstanding, history making season on a very good, playoff team. Mike Trout did not win because he had an outstanding, history making season on a very good but sometimes dysfunctional third place team. And the history Cabrera made was flashier than the history Trout made: Winning a Triple Crown outweighs being the youngest to do a bunch of things…this year, anyway.