By: Jeff Riger
Despite dropping 2 of 3 to the Twins in a weekend set at Comerica Park, the debate continues to rage on who should win this year’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ award? It seems like everybody in baseball is talking about it. Angels skipper Mike Scioscia is obviously campaigning hard for rookie ‘phenom’ Mike Trout along with the West Coast media and fans while everybody else seems to be under the impression that Miguel Cabrera should take home the award.
On Friday, before the Detroit-Minnesota series started, Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire weighed in…
Q: What do you think of the season Miguel Cabrera is having?
Gardenhire: “I think he is the best hitter in our league! I know Joe Mauer average wise but all around power, the whole package, I don’t think there is anybody close to him in this league. I’ve said that for a few years though, watching him knock the living fire out of us and every body else. I have the utmost respect for him, he’s got a guy right behind him that’s a pretty damn good hitter too that can do a lot of damage so, that might help him a little bit too, but he doesn’t need a lot of help. He does it all by himself, he is pretty good.”
Q: So since Cabrera is the best hitter in the A.L. does that mean is should get the MVP?
Gardenhire: “I haven’t seen (Mike)Trout out there since the first of the season, I know he’s had a hell of a year, I know people are saying this and that about him but I’m just tipping my hat to Cabrera, he’s the best player in this league. He should be the MVP. If we were to stop right now there is no doubt in my mind who should be. You’re going for a Triple Crown, that’s a MVP season. He has his team in a playoff hunt, whether they get there or not can’t solely depend on him but he’s the reason there in it right now and that’s a MVP. He’s the best player in our league.”
Q: What about all the Sabermetrics that claim Trout is the better overall player and thus he should get the award?
Gardenhire: “All’s I’m going to tell you is that if you are going for a Triple Crown and you got his numbers, you can SABER all you want to. Those numbers blow your brain and I know Trout’s do too, that’s some pretty good numbers and a couple other guys have decent numbers, but look at Cabrera’s numbers, that’s ridiculous. That’s right up there with some of the best in baseball. Doesn’t make much sense for me to be arguing about this to tell you the truth. I’m not opinionated though.”
Detroit manager Jim Leyland has already gone on record stating that Cabrera should win the MVP, but he also agrees with Gardenhire about the Sabermetrics aspect as well…
Q: Do you take Sabermetrics serious, especially when the numbers point to Trout and not Cabrera as who is the best overall player in the game?
Leyland: “I’m going to answer that this way… I will not use the player’s name, but according to the Sabermetrics there is a player that is better than Miguel Cabrera. When the guy that gave me the Sabermetrics told me that; I said well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player that you are talking about? He said oh no you can’t do that, so I said you don’t believe I Sabermetrics and neither do I.”
Leyland had more to say about Sabermetrics…
Leyland: “If he wins a Triple Crown (Cabrera) is Sabermetrics going to say that Trout should be the MVP? That would be embarrassing to every writer in baseball if a guy won the Triple Crown and didn’t win the MVP, I would think. I don’t know that to be a fact but I would think that, that would be embarrassing.”
Monday starts a new series for the Tigers as they try to make the postseason for a second year in a row when the Royals come to Comerica Park for four games. And, there will be two questions that will be answered. Will Detroit continue to struggle against subpar competition; and what great baseball mind will next back Miguel Cabrera to win the MVP?