Triple Crown and the Forgotten Seasons

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Collaborative Posts

Don’t insult me. I know Miguel Cabrera is going after the Triple Crown and I will even concede Cabrera has been one of the best and most consistent hitters in the past three years. But don’t tell me that he’s having the best hitting season since Carl Yestremski in 1967. For some reason this has been a very popular narrative over the past few weeks while we (maybe 2% of the country) have been enthralled in Miguel Cabrera’s chase for the Triple Crown.

 

I’m not going to try to poo-poo Cabrera’s accomplishment, it’s a statistical anomaly in baseball. We should marvel at Cabrera’s accomplishment and even give him the MVP as he’s spearheaded the Tigers’ run to the AL Central Division title. But to try to debate that this is one of the top seasons of all time is embarrassing.

and irresponsible. Off the top of my head I can think of names such as Ted Williams, Ken Griffey, Jr., Sammy Sosa even Alfonso Soriano who have had better seasons than the one Cabrera’s currently having.

 

Yes I get it, Cabrera’s numbers are as follows .329/44/137, impressive by any measure. But if we’re going to argue that the simple fact that he will win the Triple Crown is the reason why this is one of the great season of all-time, forgets that the Triple Crown is a very subjective statistic. Just last year Cabrera’s Triple Crown numbers this year wouldn’t hold up as a Triple Crown season. Why? Because there would be four players (including Cabrera) who would have hit for a better average. If Cabrera hit two less Home Runs, wouldn’t the MLB hand the MVP to Mike Trout? Probably. The accomplishment alone should not merit Cabrera anything more than an MVP nod. Let’s not get carried away with aligning Cabrera’s seasons along side some Pujols, A-Rod and Sosa’s seasons. Not to mention, Barry Lamar Bonds.

 

Again, don’t insult me. I was old enough to see Barry Bonds 2001-2004 seasons. I know what I saw. I saw offensive domination like no one had ever seen. Forget Bonds’ 73 HR season where he also hit .328, drove in 137 RBIs and set the record for walks, 2002 is the most devastating season a player has ever had without crushing more than 50 Home Runs. .370/46/110 with 198 walks. This is a season no one has ever come close to matching. Let’s not even mention that 2004 was not too far behind 2002.

 

The media should stop pretending that those Barry Bonds seasons didn’t happen. I can understand that Bonds was the face of the steroid era and the single-season and career Home Run records are forever tainted. But it’s important to remember that it did happen. If the media really wanted to do the job correctly, provide the necessary perspective. We can’t erase Bonds from the record books and not talking about those seasons won’t make the reality of those seasons any less true. So again, don’t tell me this is one of the best offensive seasons of all-time. 

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