Justin Verlander: It Would Be a Joke if Miguel Cabrera Didn't Win the AL MVP. And the Sabermetric Crowd Groans.

Miguel Cabrera is trying to do something nobody has done since 1967: capture the Triple Crown by leading the league in average (.333), home runs (41) and RBI (130). Cabrera is comfortably ahead in average (by .006) and RBI (by seven), but trails Josh Hamilton in homers by one. Cabrera’s got to be the AL MVP, right?

Not necessarily. The other player in contention is Angels rookie Mike Trout. He’s having a Cam Newton-like rookie year — .327 average (2nd), 27 homers, and 77 RBI, to go with 118 runs and 46 stolen bases. He turned 21 last month.

When asked about the MVP race between the two, Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander sounded off:

“Bullshit. 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.”

But Justin, the eye test and traditional stats don’t matter! You know how this works — baseball is now the domain of older fans and stat guys. And there’s only one stat that matters to them — WAR! Go to a ballpark and you’ll find maybe one person in your section who can accurately describe WAR. The stat places a large value on speed and defense, and thus Trout has a massive lead over Cabrera, 9.4 to 6.6.

Ornery, chain-smoking, F-bomb dropper Jim Leyland was asked about WAR. He seemed to know his answer would piss some people off, and this is what the old-school, anti-replay manager said:

“I will not use a player’s name, but according to the Sabermetrics, there’s a player that is better than Miguel Cabrera. When the guy that gave me the Sabermetrics told me that, I said, ‘Well then should we trade Miguel Cabrera for the player you’re talking about,’ and he said, ‘Oh no, you can’t do that.’ “And I said, ‘Well then you don’t believe in Sabermetrics, and neither do I.'”

My vote goes to Cabrera. I hope he wins. And to celebrate, I hope he goes on another Scotch-swigging bender — but calls a taxi, obviously.

Here’s a solution — when the Tigers and Angels both miss the postseason, why not give the award to Jeter? On a team decimated by injuries, he’s been the one constant — .322 average, a 200-hit season at the age of 37, and the Yankees will be playing in October. [Ed. GOODNESS PEOPLE, can you not see this is a joke???????]

ESPN needs to have Keith Law and Buster Olney debate this. [Detroit News]

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