Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cabrera ’

Cabrera and Posey Win Most Valuable Player Award

I was extremely surprised with this year’s MVP voting. Not just with the winners of the award from the American League and National League, but also with the blowout fashion in which they won. I don’t feel it should’ve been such a major difference between first and second place in each league, but it is what it is.

In the end, it was Miguel Cabrera taking home the MVP award for the American League, with Buster Posey receiving the MVP award for the National Leauge; as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).

This was both Miguel Cabrera’s and Buster Posey’s first Most Valuable Player award.

AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: MIGUEL CABRERA

Original Pick: Mike Trout

Pick after finalists were revealed: Mike Trout

Thoughts On Miguel Cabrera Winning

I can’t believe how much of a landslide the vote for American League Most Valuable Player was. Although I was pulling for Mike Trout, I pretty much expected Miguel Cabrera to win. But to receive 22 of the 28 first place votes is absolutely ridiculous. Even if you think Cabrera was the more valuable player, you can’t honestly tell me that he was THAT much more valuable than Trout. It’s just not true.

So really, I’m not as upset about Miguel Cabrera winning the MVP award as much as I’m upset at how much of a blowout it was. In total, Cabrera beat out Trout by 81 points.

Truly incredible for an award that was supposedly going to be close.

The main reason Cabrera won the MVP award is the fact that he won the Triple Crown–posting a .330 average with 44 homeruns and 139 RBI’s.

While it’s amazing that he was able to accomplish something that hasn’t been done since 1967, I find it necessary to point out that Trout was able to accomplish things no player in the history of baseball has EVER been able to do. Besides, when it comes down to it, just because you posted better stats doesn’t mean you were the more valuable player to your team–which is what the award is all about.

So, while the Triple Crown is an amazing accomplishment for Cabrera, it’s not something you should base your vote on, in my opinion. Especially when Trout was able to one up Cabrera as far as historical occurences go.

Moving on to the second key aspect of Cabrera’s MVP win, I feel the voters’ pushed Trout out of the picture for the sole reason that he and his Angels didn’t make it to the playoffs, while Cabrera and the Tigers made it all the way to the World Series. I truly don’t understand why you would even consider using that as a reason for picking the most valuable player.

If you look at the facts, Cabrera’s Tigers actually had a worse record than the Angels. The reason they made it to the playoffs, while the Angels fell short, is because they played in an easier division. Should Trout be penalized because he played in the difficult AL West, and wasn’t able lead his team to the playoffs? Absolutely not. Making it to the playoffs takes a team effort; Trout could only do so much.

He was still extremely valuable to his team, even though it didn’t result in a playoff run.

So, while Miguel Cabrera received the award, and will go down in the record books as the 2012 AL MVP, when I look back on this season decades from now I’ll always find myself thinking about what should’ve been.

The BBWAA’s vote had Mike Trout finishing second, with Adrian Beltre coming in third.

NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: BUSTER POSEY

Original Pick: Ryan Braun

Pick after finalists were revealed: Ryan Braun

Thoughts On Buster Posey Winning

While I don’t feel as strongly about the National League portion of the MVP award as I do about the American League side, I still think Ryan Braun should’ve won the award; but at the same time, I’m not upset that Buster Posey won.

What it comes down to for me is what the voters’ (once again) decided to base their decision on. I feel like just as with the AL award, the National League MVP didn’t go to the “most valuable” player, but rather the player that was on the more successful team.

Just because Braun’s Brewers didn’t make the playoffs, he was pretty much pushed aside by the voters’ who historically love to see players from playoff teams win the award. (Since 1995, only 6 MVP winners have come from teams that didn’t make the post season.)

So I feel Braun wasn’t given a fair chance in that regard.

The only real complaint I have with the National League MVP award is the fact that Posey beat out Braun by an astounding 137 points. I don’t feel the voting results truly show how close it really was statistically between Braun and Posey. Yet another example of how much stock the BBWAA takes in whether or not a player’s team made the playoffs.

I’m really getting tired of it.

The BBWAA’s vote had Ryan Braun finishing second, with Andrew McCutchen coming in third.

My Vote for American League M.V.P.

When it comes to the 2012 Most Valuable Player award it seems as if many people could care less about who wins it from the National League. Ryan Braun…Buster Posey…Andrew McCutchen…give it to any of them, and no one would really complain.

The main focus falls on the American League portion, where baseball fans have sided with either Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. Everyone (no matter which player they side with) has a dozen reasons behind why their pick is the best, and they’re all adamant as to who they think should win the award. I’m no different.

My vote for MVP of the American League would have to go to Mike Trout.

Before you ask, no, I haven’t been living under a rock for the past week. I’m fully aware that Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown (the first player to do so since 1967), and while that’s extremely impressive–and nothing to sneeze at–if you take the time to examine both player’s effect on their respective team, you start to see there’s really no contest. You quickly find yourself leaning a bit more towards Mike Trout; or at least that’s the case with me.

When making a pick for Most Valuable Player, I feel it’s extremely important to remember what the award is truly for: The player who had the greatest positive impact on their team, and thus was the “most valuable”. While it’s easy to look at the stats and declare Miguel Cabrera the winner, MVP is not necessarily an award for the better player, but rather an award for the player that held a bigger role in helping their team succeed.

That’s what I feel gets lost in translation. People see the incredible stats that Cabrera was able to post and they find themselves thinking, “with numbers like that, he’s got to win.” While that may be true in some situations, this particular instance, it’s just not the case in my opinion.

As far as statistics go, Trout and Cabrera were under completely different circumstances while at the plate, which makes it a bit difficult to compare the two. For example:

Trout bats leadoff, thus (in at least one at-bat) has no chance at having anyone on base to knock in; yet he accumulated 83 RBI’s. Cabrera on the other hand batted in the three-hole, giving him a higher chance of an RBI situation every time he stepped into the batters box.

Another thing Trout had going against him by batting leadoff was the fact that he had no one behind him in the lineup for protection. In an RBI pressure situation Trout didn’t have a guy like Prince Fielder to fall back on. If Trout didn’t come through, who knew if the next guy could get the job done. (As Prince Fielder does the majority of the time.)

In Cabrera’s case–and Ryan Braun’s, last season–he had Fielder behind him in the order to take some of the pressure off, which could be argued allowed Cabrera to come through more often than he normally would have in big spots. That’s something I personally take into consideration.

Something that really bothers me when it comes to MVP voting is the voter’s tendency to use whether or not a candidate’s team made it to the playoffs when making their decision of who to vote for. You can be an extremely valuable asset to your team and still end up falling short as a whole.

Take last year’s National League MVP voting for example.

Matt Kemp had arguably better stats than Ryan Braun, yet Braun ended up taking home the MVP award, greatly due to the fact that Braun’s Brewers made it to the post season, and Kemp’s Dodgers did not. That’s just not the right thing to base your decision on. It wasn’t right in 2011, it’s not right now, and it won’t be right in 2013 and beyond, either.

Mike Trout posted stats that no rookie has ever been able to in MLB history–the only rookie to ever have a 30/40 season. Trout came in and completely turned the Angels around; and while this is purely speculative, could’ve very well led his team to the playoffs had he of been called up sooner. (But that’s another debate, for another time.)

Trout put up insane numbers for a team that had an embarrassing record of 6-14 (worse than the Houston Astros at the time) before his callup on April 28th. A mere month after Trout’s addition to the roster, the Angels’ had a .500 record, and were on a seven game winning streak; greatly due to Mike Trout and his ability to impact the ball club.

If that doesn’t make for an MVP, I don’t know what does.

Now, if you’re one of those people that love sabermetrics–and purely rely on statistics alone when looking at MVP–then it’s clear that Miguel Cabrera beat out Mike Trout by a landslide. While the batting average was fairly close, Cabrera posted 14 more home runs than Trout, as well as 56 more RBI’s.

But looking at stats–and stats alone–only tells part of the story.

Trout came up in late April and went on a tear, and as a result was able to reenergize a struggling Angels team. He got them back on track enabling them to make an incredible run, which unfortunately ended with the Angels coming up just short of a Wild Card spot.

Without Trout, who knows whether or not the Angels’ would’ve finished with a record anywhere near theirs of 89-73. (A better record, mind you, than that of the Tigers, who finished 88-74 on the year.)

That’s what makes a player worthy of a Most Valuable Player award. It’s not always the best player in a given league, but instead, the player that had the biggest impact on their team, and therefore was most valuable.

And that would undoubtedly be Mike Trout.

Miguel Cabrera’s Triple Crown Chances

Miguel Cabrera is currently leading the American League in RBI’s (133) and batting average (.329), while sitting just one back of Josh Hamilton in the home run category. (Hamilton has 43 dingers on the year.)

Obviously, for Cabrera to win the Triple Crown he’ll have to be leading the A.L. in home runs at the end of the season. In order to do so he’ll need to muscle together some power in the coming days to pass Hamilton in the home run category, and I just don’t see that happening. Sure, Cabrera is a power hitter and could certainly pull it off, but going against Hamilton I’d say it’s an uphill battle at best.

It seems like Hamilton hits a homer every other night, and it doesn’t help that Cabrera has been struggling somewhat at the plate lately. Home runs asside, if he doesn’t start hitting better, Cabrera’s at risk of falling into second place on the batting average list behind Joe Mauer, who (as I’m writing this) has a current batting average of .324.

While there’s a good chance that Cabrera will lead the league in RBI’s and batting average at the end of the season, the odds that he’ll crank out enough homers to pass Hamilton–who’ll more that likely hit a few more in the final stretch of the regular season–aren’t good, in my opinion.

So in conclusion, while I’m rooting for Miguel Cabrera to pull it out and become the first player to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski, in 1967, I feel he’ll fall just short. Which will be a real shame, as Cabrera has had one heck of a year.

As always, feel free to leave a comment below.

Fastest and Slowest Starts to the 2012 MLB Season

I realize that we’re JUST over a week into the 2012 MLB season, but I just thought I’d post an entry with the teams and players that are off to the best and worst starts in all of baseball. Some of the names on the lists are no surpise, however there a few that really stand out to me. I never expected the year to begin the way it has for certain players, and certain teams.

FASTEST STARTS

Teams:

1) Dodgers: 7-1

2) Nationals: 6-2

3) Rangers: 6-2

4) Diamondbacks: 5-2

5) Mets: 5-2

6) Tigers: 5-2

The Dodgers are a team that is better than advertised. They have a great lineup, including guys like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and speedy Dee Gordon, as well as an underated starting rotation. While it’s well known that Clayton Kershaw is the Dodger’s Ace, other guys are beginning to step it up, none more than Aaron Harang, who struck out 9 in a row (a new Dodgers record) in last night’s game against the Padres.

The only other teams on the list that are a surprise to me are the Nationals and the Mets. While the National’s are a team that I feel is going to be extremely good in a couple of years, I never saw them having this kind of start to the season. As far as the Mets go, they continue to amaze me.

Individual players:

1) Paul Konerko: .435 average

2) Ryan Sweeney: .429 average

3) Matt Kemp: .419 average

4) Josh Willingham: .417 average

5) Miguel Cabrera: .414 average

Paul Konerko is off to an unbelievable start. He’s really swinging the bat well, and while it’s still early, I think he can keep it up. Now I’m not saying he’s going to end the year with a batting average exceeding .400, but I am saying that I think he’ll continue to rack up hits. Ryan Sweeney is another guy who’s really impressed me so far this season. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up, or if it’s a little bit of early luck. Matt Kemp, Josh Willingham and Miguel Cabrera are all guys that I fully expected to do well this season. So there’s no real shock for the number 3 through 5 guys on the list.

SLOWEST STARTS

Teams:

1) Padres: 2-6

2) Red Sox: 2-5

3) Twins: 2-5

4) Angels: 2-5

5) Pirates: 2-5

The San Diego Padres are a team that I was hoping/thinking would have a decent season this year, but so far, they’re proving to be the same team from last year. The thing that gets me with the Padres is that they have a fantastic starting lineup, including guys like Cameron Maybin, Orlando Hudson and newcomer Yonder Alonso, as well as a decent pitching rotation, but it seems like they can only get one or the other to perform well on any given night. If they can figure out a way to have both their pitching and hitting come through at the same time they can be a really good team.

The Red Sox are another team that I thought would have a better year than they’re having. After starting out 0-6 last year, I thought they’d have a bounce back year, but their current record of 2-5 isn’t living up to expectations, and I don’t see things getting any better for them. Jacoby Ellsbury was injured in yesterday’s game while sliding into second base. He is expected to miss a minimum of 6 weeks. Not good news for Red Sox fans.

Of the remaining teams on the list, the Angels are the only team that surprises me. With the addition of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Angels were predicted by many to dominate their division. So far the only dominant aspect of their games has been the other team. I look for things to turn around for them, however, once King Albert starts getting hot.

Individual players:

1) Ike Davis: .043

2) Neil Walker: .048

3) Marlon Byrd: .083

4) J.P. Arencibia: .083

5) Ryan Raburn: .091

*Minimum of 20 at bats.

There’s really no one on this list that stands out in my mind. All of them are players that perform differently from year to year. While I don’t see them getting hot and working their average up to the .300 mark any time soon, I also don’t see their streak of bad luck continuing. They’ll all bounce back.

Like I said several times, I realize that it’s still VERY early in the season. Over 150 games still remain, and things will no doubt look a lot different for both the teams and players on the above lists. Teams and players that are off to fast starts now could hit a wall and end up having a terrible year, and just the opposite for those off to a slow start. That’s why they play 162 games.

Going To My First “Game” of The Year

I am going to be attending my first game of the year tomorrow. Notice I put game in quotes, in the title. That’s because although it’s an actual baseball game, with real players and real baseballs, it’s only a minor league game. (A Double-A game, to be exact.)

The game is at 7:15, and has the Carolina Mudcats taking on the Tennessee Smokies. The gates open an hour before game time, and I’m going to be the FIRST one in line. I’m going to try my hand at snagging baseballs. (Although it’s just a Minor league game, it’ll give me practice for a Major League game.)

I’m attending this game with my dad. And we’re sitting in the best seats in the house. (House=Five County Stadium) Section 106-Row A-Seats 4 and 5. AKA, first row behind home plate. Oh yeeeaaaahh!!! (Okay. Okay. Maybe that would be more impressive of seats if it were a Yankee game and it cost around 8.3 million dollars per seat.(These tickets are just 11 dollars.) But hey. Major or Minor…..it’s still FIRST row.)

The home team, of the Carolina Mudcats, are the Double-A affiliates of the Cincinnati Reds. So who knows…. I might be seeing a FUTURE hall of famer in action.

Several players have played for the Mudcats and gone on to succeed in the Majors. (Tim Wakefield, Miguel Cabrera, etc.)

My first Major League game is on June 21st, with the Reds taking on the Yankees for the first time in 8 years. (Only 62 days away!!)

My second and third Major League games are in Tampa on August 5th and 6th, with the Rays taking on the A’s. (Only 107 and 108 days away!!)

I’ll do a recap of if I get any baseballs during BP and a basic recap of the game sometime next week with pictures. (Next week because my computer won’t let me upload pictures.)

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