By: Ryan Wooley
As the 2012 Major League Baseball regular season comes to a close, the debate continues to grow on whether Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera should be named MVP. But truthfully, does it really matter?
Both players no doubt clearly deserve the honor and we have heard ad nauseam who should take home the award based on numbers. But with everything now all said and done and Miguel Cabrera the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, I argue it’s not that big a deal to be named MVP when compared to something that hasn’t been done in 45 years.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to devalue the importance of the MVP award or say that whoever wins it shouldn’t be held in high regard — but I am saying when you place the two side by side, one clearly holds more cache than the other—and it’s the Triple Crown.
When fans five, 10 or even 20 years from now look back on the 2012 season, the majority will not remember who the MVP was, but I guarantee you that they will always remember who won the Triple Crown because of how many years elapsed between winners and how rare a feat it is to accomplish.
I also believe that if you were to go up to a casual baseball fan they couldn’t name the MVP from most, if not any season, except the one that a player on their own team won— like Justin Verlander did last year for the Tigers.
The reason for this is because it happens all the time. Yes, winning an MVP is a great honor to have bestowed upon you and can never be taken away, but since someone wins it every year the honor gets watered down unless you care about that player winning the award.
As for other feats in the game, they stand out because they rarely happen or haven’t happened since.
For example, Cy Young’s 511 career wins, Ty Cobb’s lifetime .367 batting average, Johnny Vander Meer’s consecutive no-hitters, Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and yes, even Barry Bond’s 73 home runs to just name a few.
The Triple Crown meanwhile ranks right up there with all of those accomplishments as there have only been 13 winners since 1901 and as I mentioned, 45 years since the last winner.
So whether Miguel Cabrera wins the Most Valuable Player award or it goes to Mike Trout, I think Tiger fans should take pride in knowing that Cabrera’s accomplishment with the Triple Crown is a far better achievement than just being named MVP.
If Cabrera somehow takes home the MVP award however, it would just be that much sweeter a season for Miggy. But it won’t be the end of the world if he doesn’t.
Follow Ryan Wooley on Twitter @WooleyMammoth85