Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you are a baseball fan you should
really sit back and appreciate what is happening in Detroit.
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera could very well be on his way to becoming
the best hitter this game has seen in some time. Yes Manny Ramirez and Alex
Rodriguez were great and few players were ever as prolific as Barry Bonds, but
I'm pretty sure we can all agree there may have been something else fueling
Perhaps history will one day tell us that Cabrera was doing a little more than
just saying his prayers and eating his vitamins, but for now we should just
accept the fact that we could be watching the best all-around hitter since Ted
Please save your Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs arguments. Yes they were great pure
hitters. Punch and Judy hitters, but two of the best ever, no doubt. Neither
one of them, though, are on the overall level of Cabrera.
And that's not a knock. Few are. Regardless of the situation, Cabrera is the
one anyone would want at the plate.
Now, this really isn't breaking news, though. We've all known for a while now
that Cabrera is kind of a big deal.
Cabrera is a three-time batting champion, has driven in more than a 100 runs
in each of the last nine seasons, is a two-time home run champion. And oh yea,
he also won the Triple Crown last year.
Cabrera, who has homered in four straight games, is in the midst of an
absolute tear, as he is hitting .486 over the course of a nine-game hitting
streak and has belted seven home runs with 15 RBI in that span.
His 55 RBI through 45 games are something no major league hitter has done
since Manny Ramirez in 2001. Thirteen of them, though, have come in the last
Obviously, having Prince Fielder hit behind him does not hurt. Fielder is on
pace for an RBI a game as well and lately he has made opposing pitchers who
opt to walk Cabrera to face him pay.
"You hate walking anyone to pitch to Prince Fielder, I can tell you that right
now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But you've got to take your choice,
and the way Cabrera is swinging the bat, you've got to do it."
Cabrera has been walked five times in the last four games. Fielder has
followed each of those walks with run-scoring hits, including what turned out
to be the game-winning RBI single Thursday.
"It's absolutely incredible what they are doing," Tigers starter Rick Porcello
said. "If I were pitching against them, I'd just walk both of them every time
they came up."
In my Tigers' season preview I asked if it was crazy to think that Cabrera
would be an odds-on favorite to win another Triple Crown. Well if you take a
gander at that the leaders heading into this weekend Cabrera leads the majors
with a .391 average and 55 RBI, plus is 14 home runs are one off the pace of
AL leader Chris Davis from Baltimore.
Keep in mind that none of the previous 16 Triple Crown winners has led his
league in even two categories the next season and none has ever led the league
in home runs the next year, either.
So, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
It's also a reminder of just how far Miguel Cabrera has come as a person. It
wasn't long ago that Cabrera was arrested for a drunken, domestic violence
dispute, while his team was the midst of a playoff chase on the final weekend
of the season in 2009.
Heck, it was only two spring trainings ago that Miggy was popped for DUI and
took a swig from a whiskey bottle in front of the cops.
He's certainly come a long way since that ugly night.
We hadn't seen a Triple Crown winner in 45 years before Cabrera did it in
2012. It's been even longer since we've seen someone hit .400. Anyone want to
bet against Cabrera being the one to do it?
The Sports Network