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RenoZag
10-02-2012, 09:15 PM
With one game remaining in the regular season, Cabrera leads the American League in average (.331), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), putting him on the brink of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

I know the Angels' Mike Trout is the "sexy" choice for AL MVP but I think Cabrera deserves the nod if he pulls off the TC. . .it hasn't been done in over 40 years and even taking into account some lofty numbers that popped up during the PED era, nobody has sniffed a Triple Crown in two generations.

Pretty special achievement by Cabrera.

Will be rooting for my A's first, the Giants second, and an extended bout with laryngitis for Tim McCarver third.

RenoZag
10-03-2012, 06:10 AM
http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/scott-miller/20438638/leylands-dilemma-play-or-sit-cabrera-with-triple-crown-on-line-wednesday


If Cabrera already is leading in the Triple Crown categories when everyone else is done playing, so what? While a manager's first instinct always is to protect his players, Leyland's biggest responsibility now is to make sure the Tigers are ready for the playoffs.

He -- and they -- have earned that luxury.

"I'm taking that into consideration, if you want to know the truth," Leyland said of Cabera's 6-for-6 run over the past 24 hours. "The guy got six hits in six at-bats. Come on, what else has he got to do?

"What's the difference what I do? He's certainly not backing into anything, what he's done. Six-for-six is pretty good."

bartruff1
10-03-2012, 07:57 AM
I was a beardless youth, trying to switch hit...and Mickey Mantle won the Triple Crown in a season that I will never forget, before expansion, hot balls and bats and chemicals (except beer) as a 24 year old he hit 353 with 130 Runs Batted In and 52 Home Runs......and a kid from Oklahoma owned New York.

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 09:23 AM
I think the Triple Crown is great, but the simple fact is, Trout has had the better year, playing on a better team (that had the bad luck of not playing in the Central, so they didn't make the playoffs).

cjm720
10-03-2012, 09:32 AM
With one game remaining in the regular season, Cabrera leads the American League in average (.331), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), putting him on the brink of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

I know the Angels' Mike Trout is the "sexy" choice for AL MVP but I think Cabrera deserves the nod if he pulls off the TC. . .it hasn't been done in over 40 years and even taking into account some lofty numbers that popped up during the PED era, nobody has sniffed a Triple Crown in two generations.

Pretty special achievement by Cabrera.

Will be rooting for my A's first, the Giants second, and an extended bout with laryngitis for Tim McCarver third.

Wow! I dont' follow baseball much but if this guys wins the TC and doesn't get the MVP it'd be a travesty.

KStyles
10-03-2012, 09:59 AM
I think the Triple Crown is great, but the simple fact is, Trout has had the better year, playing on a better team (that had the bad luck of not playing in the Central, so they didn't make the playoffs).

:agreed:

I believe the MVP award should go to the most valuable (best) player. Cabrera has had a great year, and the triple crown is a great accomplishment, but Mike Trout has been a more valuable (better) all-around baseball player this year.

sittingon50
10-03-2012, 12:28 PM
but that's what makes the world go 'round.

A Triple Crown IS that special (& if he stays healthy, Trout may win one down the road himself).

CDC84
10-03-2012, 02:59 PM
I think MVP awards in pro sports should always go to guys who play on postseason teams unless none of those players have had standout seasons. It's happened before, but not this year. Cabrera's phenomenal success led to his team winning the AL central division. I think that matters. Trout plays for a team that spent $300 million in the offseason and will be sitting at home.

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 04:27 PM
I think MVP awards in pro sports should always go to guys who play on postseason teams unless none of those players have had standout seasons. It's happened before, but not this year. Cabrera's phenomenal success led to his team winning the AL central division. I think that matters. Trout plays for a team that spent $300 million in the offseason and will be sitting at home.

How is it Trout's fault that his team plays in the wrong division? The Angels WERE a better team than the Tigers, but stuck behind the As and the Rangers, instead of getting to beat up on KC, Cleveland and Minnesota. The top 3 teams in the west all finnished with better records than the best time in the Central, and the worst team in the West finished with a better record than 3 of the 5 teams in the Central. That's not Trout's fault (and Cabrera doesn't deserve any special credit for that).

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 04:33 PM
but that's what makes the world go 'round.

A Triple Crown IS that special (& if he stays healthy, Trout may win one down the road himself).

Why is a Triple Crown that special? RBIs aren't anything special as far as stats go, really (they're very dependent on who hits in front you). Batting Average is a nice stat, but it isn't everything, and HRs are a nice stat, but there's certainly more to baseball than just BA and HRs. What about the fact that Trout plays one of the three toughest positions in baseball, at a Gold Glove level, and Cabrera plays an average position at a below average level? What about the fact that Cabrera grounded into 28 DPs and Trout grounded into 7? What about the fact that Trout stole 49 bases while getting caught only 4 times?

Look, I know some people aren't huge fans of WAR, and if Cabrera and Trout were close, sure, give it to Cabrera. Cabrera has had another excellent year, right around 7 WAR (where he was last year). Trout, on the other hand, is around 10 WAR, so roughly 40% better. If WAR is even remotely accurate, the race shouldn't even be close.

sittingon50
10-03-2012, 06:41 PM
Because it's been done 10 times in the history of the game.

RenoZag
10-03-2012, 07:13 PM
ESPN's Jayson Stark has his end of season awards column up and offers a good argument for Trout as MVP and why the Triple Crown achievement remains a remarkable achievement:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8450155/mike-trout-buster-posey-rest-2012-award-winners-mlb


It's been bizarre to sit back and watch the American League MVP debate unfold. There has never been anything like it. Has there? Maybe it started out as a debate over the credentials of Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera. But now it's erupted into your basic civil war between new-age and old-age thinkers. On one side, you hear the self-appointed enlightened minds of a new millennium screaming, "The Triple Crown is meaningless." On the other side, you hear the Carl Yastrzemski Fan Club roaring, "WAR is just a bunch of sabermetric baloney."

But here's the deal: Both sides are wrong. If Miguel Cabrera pulls off this triple crown, it's NOT meaningless. It might not mean what it meant when, say, Joe Medwick won it. But there's a tradition, a dash of folklore and a certain romance in play here. And oh,by the way, if NONE of the great hitters who have passed through the old batter's box in the past 45 years have found a way to win this thing, it must be pretty frigging hard to do, right?

CDC84
10-03-2012, 07:31 PM
How is it Trout's fault that his team plays in the wrong division? The Angels WERE a better team than the Tigers, but stuck behind the As and the Rangers, instead of getting to beat up on KC, Cleveland and Minnesota. The top 3 teams in the west all finnished with better records than the best time in the Central, and the worst team in the West finished with a better record than 3 of the 5 teams in the Central. That's not Trout's fault (and Cabrera doesn't deserve any special credit for that).

MVP awards are not best player awards for me. If I had it my way, Trout would be ineligible for the award based on his team's absence from the postseason, period. It sends the right message about what the award should be about. It's about being the guy most responsible for his team's success, and a team's success is ultimately measured by its ability to make the postseason, regardless of its situation, the breaks of the game, etc. That being said, I can understand when it is given to a non-postseason player when there are no other decent candidates.

I have always been supportive of having a separate best "non-pitcher" player award in baseball alongside the Cy Young, but I think the MVP is a different thing.

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 07:32 PM
Because it's been done 10 times in the history of the game.

This is the 16th time it's been done:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/triple_crowns.shtml

Of those, Ted Williams (twice!), Joe Medwick, and Chuck Klein didn't win it, and in 6 of the years, no MVP was awarded at all. So, of the 10 guys who did it in the MVP era, only 6 of them actually won the MVP.

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 07:38 PM
MVP awards are not best player awards for me. If I had it my way, Trout would be ineligible for the award based on his team's absence from the postseason, period. It sends the right message about what the award should be about. It's about being the guy most responsible for his team's success, and a team's success, rightly or wrongly, is measured by its ability to make the postseason, regardless of its situation, the breaks of the game, etc. That being said, I can understand when it is given to a non-postseason player when there are no other decent candidates.

I have always been supportive of having a separate best "non-pitcher" player award in baseball alongside the Cy Young, but I think the MVP is a different thing.

You didn't answer my question. How is it his fault that his team didn't make the playoffs? They were better than another playoff team, and had the mis-fortune of playing in the wrong division. There is nothing at all in the award that says anything about being in the playoffs. In baseball more than any other sport, players are unable to simply will their team into the playoffs. Part of this is because fewer baseball teams make the playoffs, proportionately than other major sports. The primary reason for this its much harder for any single player to dominate the game and carry a team on his back. In basketball, there's no way you could possibly be the best player in the league if your team didn't make the playoffs, as half the league makes the playoffs, and in basketball, one star player is all it takes to make the playoffs. It doesn't work that way in baseball.

webspinnre
10-03-2012, 07:41 PM
Regarding WAR, if you use Baseball-Reference's version (I prefer Fangraphs, but they're close enough), Do you want to know the list of hitters that have had more than 10 WAR in a single season since 2002? It's one guy (Barry Bonds, who did it 3 times). Mike Trout has had the 3rd or 4th best single-season in the last decade, and the best since 2005.

sittingon50
10-03-2012, 10:30 PM
Thanks for that accurate correction, web. Not sure where I heard my figure, but obviously wrong.

sonuvazag
10-03-2012, 10:44 PM
Regarding WAR, if you use Baseball-Reference's version (I prefer Fangraphs, but they're close enough), Do you want to know the list of hitters that have had more than 10 WAR in a single season since 2002? It's one guy (Barry Bonds, who did it 3 times). Mike Trout has had the 3rd or 4th best single-season in the last decade, and the best since 2005.
Wow, the steroids warning bell just went off in my head.

Eroop22
10-04-2012, 07:29 AM
Regarding WAR, if you use Baseball-Reference's version (I prefer Fangraphs, but they're close enough), Do you want to know the list of hitters that have had more than 10 WAR in a single season since 2002? It's one guy (Barry Bonds, who did it 3 times). Mike Trout has had the 3rd or 4th best single-season in the last decade, and the best since 2005.

WAR might be good stat someday. But as of right now every site you go to uses a different formula to calculate it. So in my mind it is as useless as the +/- stat in basketball. As far as who should be the MVP it doesn't really matter to me they are both deserving of the award. But if I had to chose I would pick Cabrera. The dude just won the Triple Crown and its not like he is Russ Davis bad at playing 3rd.

webspinnre
10-04-2012, 08:08 AM
Thanks for that accurate correction, web. Not sure where I heard my figure, but obviously wrong.

They might've been referring to the 10 times its been won in the MVP era, as the previous 6 were either before the MVP, or in years it wasn't awarded.

webspinnre
10-04-2012, 08:11 AM
WAR might be good stat someday. But as of right now every site you go to uses a different formula to calculate it. So in my mind it is as useless as the +/- stat in basketball. As far as who should be the MVP it doesn't really matter to me they are both deserving of the award. But if I had to chose I would pick Cabrera. The dude just won the Triple Crown and its not like he is Russ Davis bad at playing 3rd.

So, the fact that Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs use slightly different versions of the formula invalidates it? The hitting portions are identical, the differences come in the way they treat defense and baserunning. Either way, Trout is over 10, and Cabrera is around 7. Again, its not even close. For those of you who don't like WAR:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8456259/wading-crowded-mlb-awards-field



AL MVP: Mike Trout

One of the byproducts of the heated debate that's unfolded over this year's AL MVP is the validity of Wins Above Replacement. If you want a detailed discussion of what WAR is and what its strengths and flaws are, read this or this. We will not be using WAR to explain why Mike Trout is the American League's most valuable player.

Let's start with Trout's hitting. Miguel Cabrera has been lauded for his terrific offensive season, and rightfully so. Heading into Tuesday's games, Cabrera led the league with a .331 batting average, ranked fourth with a .394 on-base percentage, and led the league by slugging .608. Thing is, Trout's raw hitting numbers aren't far off Cabrera's. His .324 batting average trails only Cabrera. His .397 OBP places him third in the league, just ahead of Cabrera. And his .561 slugging average trails only Cabrera and Josh Hamilton.

Baseball isn't basketball, though; the dimensions of every field differ, and weather conditions can also play a significant role in either helping or suppressing offense. Using ESPN's park factors, whether for 2012 alone or factoring in 2010 and 2011 results to produce a three-year comparison, we can see that Comerica Park gives hitters a moderate boost. Angel Stadium, on the other hand, has ranked as the fourth-worst park for hitters in each of the past three years. If we want to even out those differences in park effects, there are stats that do that. One such stat is called OPS+. OPS, as you probably know, is the sum of on-base percentage and slugging average. It's an imperfect metric in that it assumes equal value for OBP and slugging, when in fact getting on base (and not making outs) has been shown to be a more useful skill for creating runs. Thus using OPS, or OPS+, which takes that stat and adjusts for park and league effects, should favor Cabrera, the better slugger, over Trout, the slightly better on-base guy.

Trout leads the AL with a 169 OPS+. Cabrera ranks second at 167. If you'd prefer to use a stat that places more appropriate value on OBP vs. slugging (but does not adjust for park differences, which should favor Cabrera), we can use Weighted On Base Average (wOBA). Through Monday, Trout led the AL with a .421 wOBA; Cabrera was second at .417. (Trout also leads Cabrera in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+), a stat that more accurately weights OBP vs. slugging and adjusts for park and league effects. But it also includes stolen bases and caught-stealing totals, and we want to focus on hitting only for now.) In other words, on a per-at-bat basis, you could argue that Trout has been a better hitter this season than Cabrera.

This isn't meant to diminish Cabrera's own excellent season. The Angels waited nearly a month to call up Trout from the minors, allowing Cabrera to play 22 more games than the Angels center fielder. Which means that Cabrera's bat has been worth more to the Tigers, overall, than Trout's has to the Halos. The idea here is merely to remind you that Trout has been a terrific hitter this year in his own right, at the very least in the same ballpark as Cabrera.

And Trout absolutely annihilates Cabrera with his legs and his glove.

Trout leads the league with 49 stolen bases, to Cabrera's four. Stolen bases have fallen out of favor over the past 20 years, understandably so given the simultaneous rise in power numbers. But a player who steals a lot of bases and rarely gets caught can still be a valuable asset to his team. While swiping 49 bags, Trout has been caught only four times, for a success rate of 92 percent. To put that in perspective, the breakeven rate for a player to steal bases without hurting his team by making too many outs is a little over 70 percent. Using FanGraphs' Base Running Runs stat, we see that Trout leads all of baseball by a wide margin, having produced nearly seven runs of value for the Angels just by virtue of his taking extra bases in non-steal situations. If we combine Trout's base-stealing prowess with those extra bases in non-steal spots, he's been worth nearly 10 runs to his team. (By comparison, Cabrera has cost his team at least two runs with his legs, depending on the metric you use.) Put another way, Trout wins one game for the Angels this year on aggregate just with his legs before we get to his bat or his glove.

That glove has been phenomenal by any measure. If you want to use UZR, Trout's saved more than 13 runs this season, placing him sixth among all AL players, despite Trout spending most of April in the minors. If you prefer Baseball-Reference.com metrics, Trout's 22 Defensive Runs Saved also rank among baseball's super-elite. Read this post from ESPN Stats & Info if you want a more detailed look at how Trout saves so many runs in the outfield. (If you want to turn off your analysis switch for a second, feel free to view any of Trout's four home-run robberies this season, including this all-timer off J.J. Hardy.) You can call Cabrera selfless or noble or anything else for moving to third base when Prince Fielder signed. But the bottom line is that he's cost his team more than nine runs (nearly one full win) by UZR, and four by DRS.

Add it all up and, without the benefit of WAR or any other catchall stat, Trout comes out well ahead.

Before we move on to the other awards, a few "But What About?!" questions:

But what about the first Triple Crown in 45 years?

Great accomplishment. But the award recognizes the most valuable player, not the most valuable hitter, and Trout's vastly superior baserunning and defense trumps Cabrera's moderate offensive advantage. Moreover, the Triple Crown only looks at three measures of offense, one of them highly team-dependent (runs batted in). It tells us nothing about Cabrera's walks, singles, doubles, triples, steals, times grounding into double plays, or any number of other stats. Yelling "Triple Crown!" and dropping a metaphorical mic is not a cogent argument.

But what about Cabrera going off in September, while Trout cooled down?

One win counts for one win in April, May, June, July, August, or September. But if you want to try to ascribe higher leverage to September at-bats the way you would ninth-inning at-bats in tie games, sure, go ahead.

But what about Cabrera leading his team to the playoffs, while Trout led his team to the golf course?

Leaving aside the Angels' superior record in a much tougher division, the teammates your general manager picks for you should have no bearing on a player's value. Trout did more this year to help his team win than did Cabrera (or anyone else, including Robinson Cano, who's had a hell of a year and could be argued to have produced about as much value as Cabrera, maybe even a little more) and Adrian Beltre (another candidate with value comparable to Cabrera's who's not coming up in the main Trout vs. Cabrera debate). He is therefore the league's most valuable player.

Eroop22
10-04-2012, 09:38 AM
So, the fact that Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs use slightly different versions of the formula invalidates it? The hitting portions are identical, the differences come in the way they treat defense and baserunning. Either way, Trout is over 10, and Cabrera is around 7. Again, its not even close. For those of you who don't like WAR:

No its just useless! Who cares if Trouts over a 10 WAR on Fangraphs and baseball-Reference. There are other sites out there who say Trout has a 9.1 WAR but you leave that out because it doesn't help you make your point. Its ok for you to say RBI aren't anything special and we are all supposed to just agree because you are the resident stat geek. Last time I checked runs matter so driving in runs matters. But I get it you would rather use something like wRC or wRC+. You would probably pick wRC+ because it favors Trout over Cabrera. Stop watching the game with a pocket protector and a slide rule. I don't know about you but that was the first Triple Crown I have seen in my lifetime and it most likely will be the last. We all just witnessed history and you are nit picking over stats. Yes Trout had a great season and he does deserve to be in the conversation. Hell Ricky Henderson won an MVP in 1990 with similar numbers. But the difference between Henderson season and Trouts is no one won the triple crown in 1990. Baseball is game with a long History and when you make history you should be rewarded for it. Thats my opinion and I am sure you disagree but that doesn't surprise me.

webspinnre
10-04-2012, 10:36 AM
Stop watching the game with a pocket protector and a slide rule.

:ban:

I'm sorry, but this is an unacceptable personal attack, and reveals more about you than it does about me. Congratulations, you've successfully called me a nerd. Would you like to imply that I live in my mother's basement? That what I really need is to go out and get laid?

Well, part of that is true - I am a nerd, and have been one my whole life. I also played baseball through High School, and am eagerly awaiting this next summer when my oldest son can start tee ball. In addition to playing baseball I played club ultimate in college, and currently am a HS volleyball coach. I am absolutely passionate about sports in general, and baseball specifically, and watch as many games as I am able, never with a "pocket protector and a slide rule". Don't go questioning my fandom, and I won't go questioning yours.

Now, since I'm not going to go and personally insult you, I'll respond to your arguments. I'm not aware of any site that lists Trout as 9.1, but I'd certainly be open to taking a look at it. Does that same site also have Cabrera around 7, or is he actually in the high 8s or 9s and on the same level as Trout? If it were close, I'd have no problem with choosing Cabrera over Trout. What I'm interested in is using the best stats available, not cherry-picking the ones that only make Trout look good. If anything, its the supporters of Cabrera that are cherry-picking BA, HR and RBI, and ignoring all the other stats that suggest that Trout is as good or better.

Eroop22
10-04-2012, 11:33 AM
Wasn't meant to be a personal attack. Take it however you want. I would never question your fandom and I can tell your passionate about baseball. To tell you the truth I would probably enjoy watching games with you. As far as my stats geek comment goes i don't consider it an insult I am stats geek myself. I just think sports fans in general need to put the stats down and watch the games. Stats don't tell the whole picture. Here is a link to baseball prospectus they have Trout at a 9.1. I am sure Cabrera is way lower than Trout but I didn't look. I just mentioned it because you seemed all hot to trot about Trout being over 10. They have WAR listed as BWARP but its still just Wins Above Replacement.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=1091250

webspinnre
10-04-2012, 12:11 PM
Cabrera is listed there as 6.1, still putting him a good 3 wins behind Trout. The reason theirs is lower is because it doesn't include baserunning. Add that in, and he's back up to 10.

I've never understand the "put the stats down" argument. Many of us find that stats make the game MORE enjoyable, not less. I started learning about statstical analysis in baseball back in the late 90s, when at the time OBP and OPS were basically considered cutting edge. Things have come a long way since then, and in my mind have really improved the enjoyment, knowing more about each player, their abilities, their performance, etc...

a13coach
10-04-2012, 01:35 PM
IMHO the players who win these baseball awards are not necessarily the best statistically. There is a bit of a "flair" factor applied or sometimes they are given based on years of service or "let's spread the awards around" factor. So based on that I think Cabrera might get the award due the "wow" factor of winning the TC. There are many examples out there but the biggest one for me and I am still :mad: because of it is: Jose Oquendo being snubbed ->

His best season with the glove was the following season, when he set a major league record for the fewest errors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_(baseball)) (three) by a second baseman in a 150+ game season.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Oquendo#cite_note-3) However, perennial Gold Glover and future Hall of Famer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Baseball_Hall_of_Fame_and_Museum) Ryne Sandberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryne_Sandberg) won the Gold Glove Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Glove_Award) that year.
Yep Ryne won it not because of his glove but because he had a very good year at the plate (.306 avg, 100 rbi's, 40 hr) but was distant 4th in MVP voting so they rewarded him with the GG. Plus Ozzie Smith easily won the SS GG and they did not want 2 St.L infielders to have a GG. And the Cubbies needed to have a bone thrown their way.
Okay ranting over.