All due respect to Mike Trout, but it’s time for the kids to leave the dinner table. You’ve had your desert and, with all luck, you’ve enjoyed your conversation with the grown ups. But, this game of trying to pretend that a Rookie of the Year is still more than the Rookie of the Year is beginning to become farcical.
As good as Trout has been – and, really, we commend you, Good Sir – Miguel Cabrera is the only logical choice for the American League MVP.
It’s not because Trout doesn’t deserve it, or wouldn’t deserve it in a different year. It’s because Cabrera has been just that good.
If Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, he’d become the first guy since Yaz to do so and the first in 45 years. 1967. San Francisco was still a thing back then. On The Road was a current event, not some movie starring The Trampire.
If you look at Major League Baseball’s stats page right now, Cabrera’s healthy face is the only thing you see in the left column. 44 home runs. 137 RBI. A .329 average. Now, there are three players in the National League with a higher average than Miggy’s, but the feat is the feat, and Trout isn’t close to him in two of those categories.
If Trout were the guy in second to Cabrera, he’d have more of a chance, but he comes in with 30 dingers and 83 RBI. His .325 average is stellar, but it’s largely so impressive just because he’s a rookie. It’s a shock to everyone that a guy so young could do so much damage, but should we really be giving away MVPs to the guy we’d buy a beer for? Or, should we give it to the guy who deserves it?
Trout’s 45 steals are a nice piece of trivia, but steals are just steals. We all know how much baseball people love steals, but wouldn’t anybody take the homers over the extra bag?
In all fairness, what have those 45 steals done for the Angels?
And, what has Cabrera done for the Tigers? Oh, he’s just rescued their season and pushed them into the AL Central winner’s circle.
We’ve waited 45 years for another man to clip the exclusive Triple Crown, be it baseball or horse racing. We’ve been taunted by some who flirted with it, and then disappeared. Do you really want to spurn that? This would be like buying a ticket for Moonrise Kingdom when The Dark Knight Rises has just opened. You wouldn’t be making a bad choice, but you wouldn’t be making the right one, either.
Listen to Ken Rosenthal’s speech in the video above. It’s all about rewarding Trout for a season that nobody saw coming. So what? If Cabrera has had the better individual season, then he should win the individual award.
Sure, Trout can win face-offs, but Cabrera scores. Trout may be a better athlete, but Cabrera is a better baseball player.
(*NOTE: Stolen bases don’t matter. Like, for anything. They’re impressive and they look cool. They sound good on a baseball card. But, steals don’t win the World Series. Game. Set. Match.)
Trout will win another one, some day. If he deserved it for 2012, he’d win it. But, he doesn’t.
Miguel Cabrera has just been that good.