The race for the American League MVP is over. Some may find the occasion a joyous one (i.e. myself, other Tigers fans, “baseball traditionalists,” Cabrera himself) while others’ thinking tends to side with the other side of the coin (i.e. “statisticians”, “stat geeks” and probably every White Sox fan in America).
Cabrera rightfully won. That’s the big point here, but there are a few things I want to hit on before I finally put the matter to bed myself.
It Got Pretty Serious:
There is always going to be controversy and disagreement in sports. There’s just no getting around it. While the sport and debated issue may change, the format does not. The line is drawn, and everyone takes a side. You either thought the refs did a terrible job in Super Bowl XI or thought they put on a tremendous effort (these people can be found in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). You either thought that in that same game Ben Rothlisberger was down short of the goal line or that he didn’t really pull the wool over the refs and sneak the ball over the line. You are either with Michigan or Ohio State, Red Sox or Yankees. Or maybe you think along the same lines as David Stern, or, like the rest of us, tend to think along the same lines as every other sane person in the country.
The point here is that everyone with an opinion to voice did, in fact, voice it. It got to a point with the debate that in some cases it was getting close to the Presidential Debate in terms of volume. Last year it was, “Should Justin Verlander win or not?” This year it was,”Cabrera or Trout?” Who knows what it’ll be next year.
One of the things that bugged me about the whole debate on who should win the MVP was this branch, if you will, of the argument.
Trout Supporter: “Cabrera played in a worse division, plus the Angels won more games overall in a tougher division, so Trout should win.”
(Not at all read in a whiny voice. And that’s paraphrasing, just so we’re clear.)
If Trout was so tremendous that he made the Angels that much better (another shtick/stat that was overused) why didn’t he propel the team to the division title, or even the playoffs? Good teams are supposed to take care of their business and win the division, no matter who is in it. To piggyback off that, Cabrera and the Tigers took care of business and won their division. The Angels and Trout didn’t do the same and took in the playoffs while enjoying the comforts of homemade lasagna from their La-Z Boys.
I’m sure that this whole branch of the argument wasn’t a huge factor in the overall decision, but it probably played its part before all was said and done.
Miguel Cabrera won the MVP. End of discussion.