It’s a wonder why the Detroit Tigers aren’t under investigation for cheating. They have a machine on their team. Its name is Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera, the reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner, is chasing history again. He’s possibly looking at another Triple Crown.
How rare is that?
The Triple Crown has only been won 16 times in the history of Major League Baseball, dating back to 1878. And there were 45 years between Carl Yastrzemski’s and Cabrera’s crowns.
The only time there’s ever been a triple crown winner in consecutive years was when Baltimore’s Frank Robinson did it in 1966, followed by Yastrzemski the next year.
The only two players to win multiple Triple Crowns are some guys by the names of Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby. Two of the greatest hitters ever.
So, that’s how rare it is to see someone in a chase for a second consecutive Triple Crown – it’s never been done.
And let’s not forget to consider the most impressive part. The pitching. Not to take anything away from past Triple Crown winners at all, but the pitching that Cabrera is facing these days is much better than it was back in the “old days.”
One legendary pitcher that Cabrera has had notable success against this year is Mariano Rivera. The closer of all closers. Mo is a legend, and Cabrera had no problem driving out a two-out-game-tying bomb in the Bronx late at night – after taking two foul balls off of his knee.
Who does that? Cabrera really is nothing short of a living legend. It’s late August and he’s still carrying a .360 average, while chasing his third straight AL batting title.
Not only does he lead the BA category this season by nearly 30 points, he is poised to put last year’s numbers to shame.
2012 Triple Crown Numbers vs. (Current Season)
Batting Average: .330 (.360)
RBI: 139 (120)
Home Runs: 44 (40)
Cabrera is well on pace to break the HR and RBI marks (as well as the BA mark barring a slump for the ages) with 38 games left. His biggest challenge will be chasing down Baltimore’s Chris Davis for the HR lead (45).
And what’s the best part about his epic season for Tigers fans? Their team also holds the AL’s best record at 73-51. And Cabrera has been at the forefront of their success, in ways other than the three Triple Crown categories.
He also leads the Major Leagues in On-Base Percentage with an astounding .452. Slugging percentage? Leads that too, with .689. OPS? You betcha – 1.141.
And let’s not forget the drama. Cabrera’s walk-off solo home run in Saturday’s win against the Royals will be talked about for years. It was a mad house downtown with fireworks going off and a concert letting out of Ford Field. That will be a fabled story told by anyone who was downtown that night.
Simply put, Cabrera is having a year for the ages. A year for the ages paired with a pitcher doing the same.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, a pitcher and a hitter doing such unbelievable stuff at the same time,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “The fans here could go a lifetime without seeing this again.”
While many fans usually give Leyland grief, he is absolutely right. This is a special season for Tigers fans. Now that they’re past the “oh, we’re awful, and Verlander stinks, and we pay too much for this stage,” it’s time for everyone to soak in the glory of what’s really happening and hope it can finally carry into late October this year.