Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
One has been called the best hitter in baseball. The other, one of the best pitchers in baseball.
One joined the Detroit Tigers in a completely lopsided trade. The other was born and raised in the Detroit Tigers organization.
One had a magical season in 2012 and won the hitting Triple Crown. The other had a magical season in 2011 and won the pitching Triple Crown.
Both are MVPs and perennial All-Stars.
Now pick one.
There is your answer for who you think is the face of the Detroit Tigers.
A recent conversation with isportsweb.com Detroit Tigers lead writer Joe White (@isportsJoe) as well as MLB Network’s ongoing #FaceofMLB tournament sparked the debate in my mind about who is the face of the Tigers.
In the tournament on MLB Network, the choice to represent the Tigers is Cabrera. Take a look at the results of the preliminary vote here on our Twitter page.
But what if Verlander took Cabrera’s place in the tournament? How well would he fare? And Don Kelly? Really? Lets get serious here on MCB with this vote.
My guess is he would fare about the same. Both Verlander and Cabrera are highly recognizable figures around the league. Both are consistently contenders for awards at the end of the season and both immediately come to mind when the words “Detroit Tigers” are uttered.
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either. The work-ethic, determination and motivation for bringing a championship home to Detroit, for the first time since 1984, is displayed year in and year out by both players. Tigers fans should forever be grateful that Cabrera and Verlander have been wearing the Old English D for as long as they have and all signs point to both being Tigers for the rest of their careers.
But if I were faced with the situation that was presented above, I would be rooting for heads. I would be rooting for Miguel Cabrera.
In my opinion, Miguel Cabrera is the face of the Detroit Tigers.
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
No one is more important to the success of the Tigers than Cabrera is. When Cabrera was dealing with his nagging injuries last season, it almost felt as if the Tigers had lost a bit of “luster.” Yes, it was a disappointment to bow out in the ALCS, but wasn’t it a feat in itself to squeak past Oakland with the AL MVP in excruciating pain?
Despite that excruciating pain, Cabrera was the hero of Game 5 against the A’s. Yes, Verlander was absolutely dominant, but who knows what would have happened to his psyche if he didn’t get that 2-run cushion courtesy of a Cabrera 2-run HR? Based on the poor run support Verlander endured through all of last season, maybe he presses a bit too much and gives up a run or two. We all know how the Tigers bats are infamous for being invisible in the postseason. So without that home run, the Tigers may not have advanced.
So to me, Miguel Cabrera is too important to the Tigers to not be the face of the franchise.
But what do you think?
Vote for your face of the Tigers below.
Follow me on Twitter (@JoshPaulisin) to get updates on the results from both the poll and Twitter vote. Winner will be announced next Tuesday at 8 a.m.
As always, follow MCB on Twitter at @MCB_Tigers.