In years past, the MVP race has had a tendency to become clearer as the season draws to a close. That has not been the case in the American League this season. Although Jim Leyland would have told you otherwise, Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout looked like the clear-cut favorite for AL MVP back at the beginning of August. Miguel Cabrera was a close second, but over the past month it has turned into 1A and 1B.
With Cabrera closing in on the Triple Crown, Last year’s AL MVP Justin Verlander feels that it would be ridiculous to give the award to anyone other than his teammate.
“Bull (expletive),” Verlander said on Wednesday when informed that some analysts say they would pick Trout even if Miggy wins the Triple Crown. “That’s ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, ’67? OK.
“That would be a joke in my opinion. Come on. Even the fact he’s one home run away (from a Triple Crown) is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP. Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference.”
Cabrera leads the AL with a .333 batting average and 130 RBI. He is in second by one homer behind Josh Hamilton with 41. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, so it is clearly one of the rarest feats in all of professional sports. If Trout were to win the award, it would be the result of voters keeping amazing defensive plays like this one and this one in mind in addition to his impressive batting stats.
As impressive as Trout has been, I tend to agree with Verlander that a player who wins the Triple Crown would have to be the league MVP. At the same time, the fact that someone is in line for the Triple Crown and hasn’t run away with the award is a reminder of just how phenomenal Trout has been.
H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE