Last year, Detroit Tiger Miguel Cabrera became the first triple-crown winner in major league baseball since Carl Yastrzemski of Bosox fame way back in 1967. For his superb performance, Cabrera also raked in the American league MVP award.
This year, Cabrera is putting up spectacular numbers once again with his bat. Last time I looked, he was leading all of baseball with a whopping .366 batting average, had 37 home runs, and 111 RBIs. If his production rate stays at or near the same for the rest of the season -- and there's no reason to think it won't -- could Cabrera win, gasp, back-to-back triple crowns? It's never been done before -- ever.
Just one problem. A guy named Chris Davis that plays for the Baltimore Orioles. Davis was hitting a very respectable .306, and was only one ribbie behind Cabrera with 110 of his own. But alas, he has 43 home runs -- 6 more than Cabrera. In the world of major league baseball, that's quite a few.
Could Davis stop "leaving the yard" so often while Cabrera got hot with even more dingers? Maybe. But lately, Cabrera has indeed been hot, hitting one every game, and still finds himself 6 behind -- again, at last look.
And leading the RBI race by merely one with over 40 games left to go is hardly a slam dunk. A lot can happen in a month and a half -- either way.
With all due respect to Chris Davis, yours truly had never heard of him before this year. It could be that he's having one of those freak seasons -- like Roger Maris had back in 1961, when he hit 61 homers to surpass the long held record of 60 by Babe Ruth. Or perhaps he's come of age and will rack up several more seasons like the current one. Nobody knows, and time will tell.
But Miguel Cabrera has certainly proven he's no fluke. No, Cabrera isn't fleet of foot and he won't be winning any Gold Glove awards for his defensive play, but with a bat in his hands, this dude is flat-out dangerous.
At 30 years old with 358 career home runs, he's not yet on the radar regarding the all-time marks of folks like Aaron, or even Bonds. Those are a long ways off. He'd have to hit 40 a year for 10 more years, to even be in the neighborhood. Given the ridiculous amount of money players make today, it's highly unlikely Cabrera will even PLAY ten more years, even if he stayed healthy -- never a given either. Nor will he likely ever approach the all-time RBI total. After (almost) 11 very impressive years in the majors, Cabrera's still 1000 away from bearing down on such legends as Ruth or Aaron. Batting average? Though Cabrera's current .366 average is an eye-popper -- Ty Cobb had a CAREER batting average of the very same number. No one will ever touch that. Fuhgetaboutit.
But Cabrera has a decent shot at pulling off something all the legends in baseball before him never did. Back-to-back triple crowns.
And wouldn't that be something?
From what I can tell, Chris Davis seems like a fine man, a pro's pro, and I wish him all the best.
But I wish he'd cool off with the homers for a little while.
It just isn't everyday, or year, one gets a chance to witness history being made.