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Tigers Cabrera deserved MVP over Hamilton
November 23, 2010 - Keith Shelton
Baseball got it wrong for the second time this year concerning the Detroit Tigers. This wasn't worse than the perfect game that wasn't, but it's a mistake nonetheless. Major League Baseball awarded the AL MVP to Josh Hamilton Tuesday. Miguel Cabrera came in a distant second, continuing an MVP drought in Detroit that has stood since Hank Greenberg won the award in 1940. Cabrera turned in one of the best seasons ever by a Detroit Tiger. His batting average of .328 was second to Hamilton's .359. However Cabrera led the American League in RBI's with 126, and was third in the AL in home runs with 38. Hamilton hit 32 home runs and had 100 RBIs. Each player led the AL in one important hitting category, with Cabrera leading Hamilton in a third. Cabrera also had more runs scored and more doubles, as well as a higher on base percentage. So we've established that Cabrera is statistically the better player than Hamilton. Let's also not forget that Cabrera posted these numbers in pitching friendly Comerica Park, whereas Hamilton enjoyed the hitting friendly Rangers Park in Arlington. You can point to Hamilton and say that his team was in the playoffs because of him. But Texas had a trio of big bats. Along with Hamilton, there was Valdimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz. Who did the Tigers have besides Cabrera though? On many nights he was the only offense for Detroit. Austin Jackson hit well, and so did Ordonez but neither could hit for power, and it was inconsistent. Making the playoffs isn't a requirement for winning the MVP, and there is precedent to back that up. Ryan Howard won on a Philadelphia team that missed the playoffs in 2006. Alex Rodriguez also won the award with a Texas Rangers team that missed the playoffs in 2003. I doubt many outside of Detroit will show much sympathy for Miguel Cabrera coming in second, but the man was robbed. To have the season that he did, with no help, in a big open ballpark and not win? Maybe the curse of Greenberg does exist.
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