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 Miggy beats Trout to add 2012 AL MVP to collection

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PostSubject: Miggy beats Trout to add 2012 AL MVP to collection   Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:01 pm


Miggy beats Trout to add AL MVP to collection
Tigers' Triple Crown winner named first on 22 of 28 ballots

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 11/15/12 7:16 PM ET

DETROIT -- After all the debate, all the rhetoric, all the statistical and historical analysis, the result is the same: The American League Most Valuable Player Award is staying in Detroit.

Along the way, however, it's probably taking a side trip through Venezuela.

In the long-anticipated battle of historic seasons, Miguel Cabrera put an exclamation point on his 2012 campaign with the AL MVP, beating out Angels rookie sensation Mike Trout in voting cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In the end, it wasn't really that close. Cabrera received 22 out of 28 first-place votes, with Trout receiving the other six. Cabrera finished with 362 points; Trout had 281.

On all six ballots that had Trout on top, Cabrera was voted second. Trout was voted second on all but one of Cabrera's 22 first-place ballots, and third behind Adrian Beltre on the other.

It marked the second straight MVP award for a Tigers player, Cabrera following in the footsteps of vocally supportive teammate Justin Verlander, and the first MVP for a Venezuelan-born player. It's the first MVP for a Tigers position player since Hank Greenberg in 1940.

"I don't believe it. I'm very excited," Cabrera said on MLB Network after being named the winner. "I'm like, I don't have any words to explain how excited I am right now. I never expect I'm going to win, because Mike Trout had an unbelievable season. I'm very surprised."

Whether the vote reinforced the historic importance of the Triple Crown or the emphasis of offensive explosiveness over speed and defense or the relevance of traditional stats over more recent metrics will be debated for quite awhile. Regardless, the vote breakdown will likely be remembered for a long time as the agonizing balance of two amazing seasons and the catalyst for a statistical debate that's unlikely to end.

Cabrera and Trout seemed reluctant to be drawn into that argument, complimenting one another often since season's end. Cabrera had hinted more than once that splitting the vote wouldn't be bad.

"I thought it was gonna be close," Cabrera told MLB Network. "I don't know how many points I win by, but I thought it was going to be a good race."

Though Cabrera follows Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson and Mickey Mantle in 1967, '66 and '56, respectively, as players to win an MVP in a Triple Crown season, it's difficult to suggest that alone won him the award. Hall of Famer Ted Williams, a two-time Triple Crown winner in '42 and '47, finished second in MVP balloting both times.

Unlike Wiliams' Red Sox, Cabrera's Tigers made it to the postseason thanks to a September rally. Without Cabrera's offensive boost, it's extremely difficult to envision them getting there.

In the end, that probably swayed some votes his way, not to mention a charge to a second consecutive batting title. While Cabrera batted .344 (73-for-212) with 42 runs scored, 19 home runs and 54 RBIs after Aug. 1, Trout hit .287 with 12 homers, 28 RBIs and 49 runs.

Slash those stats to just Sept. 1 onward, and the difference remains. Cabrera hit .333 with 11 homers, 30 RBIs, 23 runs and a 1.071 OPS in the season's final month. Trout hit.289 with five homers, nine RBIs, 23 runs and a .900 OPS.

The Tigers scored 130 runs from Sept. 1 to season's end. Cabrera scored or drove in 42 of them, helping give him the edge in one underrated statistic: runs created.

If not for playoff races, September would be like any other month. For the Tigers, however, it was the month that saved their season.

Detroit actually finished with one less win than the Angels, but won a division title by beating out the White Sox in the final two weeks. The Tigers, however, played their best ball over the final couple months, two games better than the Angels.

The vastly different offensive skill sets provided one challenge for the 28 MVP voters across 14 American League cities to consider. Defense was another, and Cabrera's move from first base to third in the wake of Prince Fielder's signing last January provided a wrinkle.

While Trout earned Wilson's AL Defensive Player of the Year honors, Cabrera proved better than expected but still far from stellar at third. Yet his improved play down the stretch, highlighted by several standout plays that saved runs in late September, might have worked in his favor.

Player, Team_________ 1st_ 2nd_ 3rd_ 4th_ 5th_ 6th_ 7th_ 8th_ 9th_ 10th_ Points
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 22 6 -
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
362
Mike Trout, Angels 6 21 1 -
-
-
-
-
-
-
281
Adrian Beltre, Rangers -
1 16 9 1 -
1 -
-
-
210
Robinson Cano, Yankees -
-
6 10 1 1 3 2 1 -
149
Josh Hamilton, Rangers -
-
-
3 6 5 8 2 3 1 127
Adam Jones, Orioles -
-
1 2 8 5 4 3 2 -
124
Derek Jeter, Yankees -
-
2 1 4 1 3 2 1 1 73
Justin Verlander, Tigers -
-
-
2 3 3 2 -
1 1 58
Prince Fielder, Tigers -
-
-
-
1 5 1 2 5 5 56
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics -
-
-
-
1 2 2 3 2 4 41
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays -
-
-
-
2 -
-
5
6 33
David Price, Rays -
-
1 -
-
3 -
1 -
-
26
Fernando Rodney, Rays -
-
-
-
-
-
1 5 2 1 24
Jim Johnson, Orioles -
-
1 1 -
-
1 1 -
-
22
Alex Rios, White Sox -
-
-
-
1 -
-
-
5 1 17
Josh Reddick, Athletics -
-
-
-
-
2 -
-
1 2 14
Albert Pujols, Angels -
-
-
-
-
1 -
-
1 1 8
Ben Zobrist, Rays -
-
-
-
-
-
1 -
1 1 7
Joe Mauer, Twins -
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 -
3 6
Rafael Soriano, Yankees -
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 1 -
5
Matt Wieters, Orioles -
-
-
-
-
-
1 -
-
-
4
Felix Hernandez, Mariners -
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 -
2
Jered Weaver, Angels -
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 -
2
Raul Ibanez, Yankees -
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1 1

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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