Reporting Ashley Dunkak
By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – When the Detroit Tigers go to work every day, they are very much aware they are playing with someone who may very well go down as one of the best ever.
Last year, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1967. This season, he has already smashed 30 home runs and 94 RBI – before the All-Star Break.
“Miggy is in his own world,” Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter said. “He’s the Barry Bonds, Juan Gonazalez – at one point I think he had a hundred [RBI] at the All-Star Break. All these guys, they’re just elite players, players you can’t be like, even if you try.
“Miggy’s a very special player, man,” Hunter added. “For me, I’m honored to play with him.”
With 30 home runs in a season for the ninth time in his career, Miguel Cabrera is in great company. The only other current players to have more 30-homer seasons are Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez, with 12 each, and Alex Rodriguez with 14.
The difference is Rodriguez and Ramirez are both in their 19th seasons, while Pujols is in his 13th year. Cabrera is in his 11th.
Of course, again, this year Cabrera reached 30 homers a few games before the All-Star Break.
In fact, he is the first player in the history of the game to record at least 30 homers and 90 RBI by that point.
Add those numbers to Cabrera’s .366 batting average, and it becomes difficult to argue that his first half of this season is not one of the best in history.
“It’s unbelievable,” Detroit starting pitcher Rick Porcello said. “That’s a career season for the majority of guys in baseball, and that’s only in his first half, and he’s still got some games to go. He’s incredible.”
Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez had trouble finding the words to describe it, a look of bewilderment on his face as he talked about his teammate after Wednesday’s game.
“It’s just not normal,” Martinez said. “You don’t see that often. It’s – you just don’t know what to say.”
Even Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who has been playing or coaching baseball for nearly half a century, runs out of ways to describe what Cabrera is doing.
“I’ll let everybody else talk about that – I hope they do,” Leyland said. “It seems like until this year, almost, I guess maybe toward the end of last year with the Triple Crown involved and everything that started to happen, but this guy, seems to me he’s been kind of a hidden treasure.”