Aug 11, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Detroit Tigers third basemanMiguel Cabrera
hits a home run in the 9th inning against the New York Yankees during the game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
As sports fans, we like to sit back and complain about what is going wrong with our team. Instead of praising the Detroit Tigers for their 12 game win streak, fans asked, “What is the weakness of this team?” Fans are still calling for Jim Leyland to be fired for pitching Phil Coke too much, or playing Ramon Santiago or Andy Dirks. Every fan wants their team to be perfect, but not one team is perfect.
Instead of complaining about the shortfalls of this team, let’s marvel at the man who is easily the best right handed batter in the game right now. He is the best batter in the game right now, period. Last year, he won the first Triple Crown in 45 years with a batting line of .330/.393/.606 with 44 HR, 139 RBI, a WAR of 6.9, and a wRC+ of 166.
This year, he has put up even better numbers. He has a batting line of .360/.453/.685 with 38 HR, 114 RBI, a WAR of 7.4 and a wRC+ of 207. Those numbers weren’t put up in a full season, he has done it in 50 fewer games than last season. These numbers would be career numbers for any other player in baseball and Cabrera has done it in just 111 games and about 30 of those he has been ailed by a hurt hip flexor, abdominal muscle, and other lower body injuries. He cannot run out any plays without limping, so he has decided that instead of running, he will trot around the bases.
In the past 10 game road trip, Cabrera hit .372/.449/.837 with 6 HR and 15 RBI. He is the first batter to ever hit home runs in back to back at bats against Mariano Rivera and one of only 5 players ever hit multiple home runs off of Rivera.
Cabrera is having a season for the ages and we are running out of superlatives for the big man. His weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) of 207 is the 20th greatest of all time. The only player since 1957 to put up numbers that equal this is Barry Bonds which he did every year from 2001-2004 and there are many questions around those numbers.
On the first pitch this season, Cabrera has hit .487 with a SLG of .987 12 HR and 34 RBI. The most home runs that any other player has hit on the first pitch is 9. Cabrera is not one to watch film and sometimes he is seeing a pitcher for the first time when he steps up to the plate. He hits home runs to every part of the field and he will hit pitches in every part of the zone. He has hit pitches that were a foot off of the plate over the left field fence and he is not afraid to flick a pitch over the right field fence. Cabrera also has one of the best eyes in baseball. Pitchers who are lucky enough to get him down in the count 0-2 will try to get cute and throw a perfect pitch, and before you know it, the count is 2-2 or 3-2.
Miguel Cabrera has a chance to be the first back to back winner of the Triple Crown and I would take my chances that he will catch Chris Davis in the Home Run category, if he plays the rest of the season. Many people have called for Cabrera to take a DL stint or take an extended time off so he can recover from his injuries and get healthy for the postseason run.
I am not opposed to Miguel taking some time off to get healthy, because the main goal of this season is not to put up regular season numbers for the ages, it is to win a World Series. Every time that Cabrera steps onto the field, we as fans get to witness history. Appreciate what you are watching right now, because Cabrera is a once in a generation player. Every time he steps on the field, he does something with his bat that makes people say wow and try to find words that to describe the best hitter in the game.