A few years ago it looked like Miguel Cabrera was going to be that run of the mill athlete we all look at and frown with great disapproval.
He was an alcoholic, he was having personal life issues, he gave the normal spiel about how he was changing and was a new man. Then he relapsed.
The numbers didn’t matter, so what he was quite possibly this decade’s best hitter, so what he was one of the top 5 first basemen in the game? It didn’t matter because his negatives were starting to outweigh his gleaming talent.
I thought about this after watching Cabrera launch 3 home runs in the last 2 games as he has put the Detroit Tigers on his back and might lead them to a division title even though they are 2 games back with 15 to go.
Cabrera is putting together a monster season in one of the leagues toughest ballparks for hitters and after a position change that saw him shift from first to third base with the acquisition of Prince Fielder.
The numbers are awesome to us but the norm to Cabrera; .333 batting average, 41 home runs, 130 RBI. He leads the American League in average and RBI and is only 1 home run behind Josh Hamilton. We have had runs at the triple crown before but Cabrera’s run is very serious.
His performance has overshadowed a disappointing year for Detroit up to this point. With the Fielder transaction Detroit was supposed to run away with the AL Central and contain for the World Series.
If they didn’t have Cabrera they wouldn’t even be a playoff contender.
Cabrera is without question the league’s MVP. I know Mike Trout has been outstanding putting up historic numbers and Josh Hamilton has put together another outstanding year. However, Cabrera beats them both with his consistency, and clutch performance in recent weeks.
Cabrera hasn’t let the Tigers down in any situation that’s been placed in front of him this season. He’s picked up the slack for the early season loss of Victor Martinez, the loss of power in stretches from Fielder, and the loss of everything from Delmon Young.
Most importantly Cabrera has stuck to his word, he’s become the rare athlete that hasn’t let his demons consume him. As well as he’s performed on the field his biggest accomplishment has been not letting the Tigers down off of it.
Because of that we can now appreciate Cabrera for his great numbers that place him in the top five hitters of the last decade and had him on pace for a call to Cooperstown when it’s all said and done.
As the season winds down look for Cabrera to continue to pulverize pitching, carry the Tigers on his back and bring home a division title and mostly the AL MVP.
He deserves it. After years of watching athletes go back on their words and continue to travel down bad roads it’s good to see one that sticks to his words and lets his positives outshine the negative.
Hopefully Cabrera continues to reap the benefits of his good work on and off the field.