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Keith Law: “Miguel Cabrera is the third-most valuable player on his own team”

Aug 17, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT

Miguel Cabrera Getty Images

Keith Law is still catching hell from Cardinals fans over his 2009 Cy Young Award ballot which they (erroneously) believe screwed Adam Wainwright and/or Chris Carpenter out of the Cy Young Award. That’s not his problem. He’s wrongfully accused of hating every team’s fans at some time or another, but Keith votes his mind and his conscience on such things. And given that he and the rest of the old Baseball Prospectus folks made their bones by going against the often-faulty conventional wisdom, it’s not at all surprising that his take on such matters pisses people off.

Well, it’s gonna happen again. This time with Detroit fans who really, really love their Miguel Cabrera. Here’s Keith:

“One of the most popular questions I’ve gotten recently is whether Miguel Cabrera will win the AL MVP award. I don’t presume to know what the voters will do, but I know that as it stands right now, he shouldn’t appear in the top three spots on any ballot.

“Cabrera’s offensive performance has been solid, but he’s a major negative on defense at third base, so a player like Cano, a good defender at a position (second base) where offensive levels are lower, is more valuable overall even though Cabrera has slightly higher raw rate stats.

“Cabrera is the third-most valuable player on his own team, behind Verlander and Jackson, the latter of whom has completely transformed himself at the plate this year and is a plus defender in center.”

I see his argument. I don’t have much intelligent to say about it one way or the other apart from the fact that, if you don’t look too deeply into defense, you’re never going to agree with Keith here given Cabrera’s offensive production, but I do see what he’s saying. He’s not trying to hate here because I know Keith a little bit and he doesn’t hate on anyone like people claim he does.

But, yeah, I do not think that these comments — which are now being repeated in the Detroit Free Press — are going to endear him to Tigers fans.

The most interesting question — the answer to which I don’t think Keith will ever tell us — is whether, motivated by it or not, Keith actually kinda likes it when the mob goes after him. I’ll admit that I kinda like it. It can be a lot of fun. I could be wrong, but I sort of picture Keith cackling at this a bit.

  1. steveflack - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Judging from 2006, “third most valuable player on his own team” is enough to win the AL MVP.

    • kopy - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Pull over, the WAAAAAAAAAAMBULANCE is coming through! A legitimate MVP case can be made for many players that year. Just because Morneau was picked doesn’t make it wrong.

      • bdvlad - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        A legitimate case can be made for many players that year, but Morneau isn’t one of them.

      • tomnickle - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        First basemen are replaceable defensively by players of similar height. If I were a voter a first basemen wouldn’t have my check-mark unless he hit 74 homeruns, batted .400 or knocked in an RBI per game.

        You can call that narrow-minded if you wish but it is far and away the easiest position to fill for defensive purposes in baseball. It’s the position where hitters go in their twilight.

        Elite middle infielders, catchers and centrefielders provide much more value to a club overall than a first baseman.

    • mplsjoe - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Justin Morneau is the most unfairly maligned MVP since Andre Dawson. Not only did he deserve the award in 2006, but it shouldn’t have been close.

      • tomnickle - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Joe Mauer was a better player in 2006. Since I know that the only argument you would consider listening to is for another Twin.

      • tomnickle - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM

        Vernon Wells and Mark Texeira specifically had comparable years to Morneau in 2006 but both earned Gold Gloves in addition.

        Not saying either of them should have won, but I am saying that their defensive play in those years combined with their similar offensive production to Morneau should have had them ahead of him in voting.

  2. danielcp0303 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    So Keith Law is your buddy and people shouldn’t be too hard on him for saying things just because they get people riled up?

    • skids003 - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      I want to know who the idiots are that allow these idiots to “vote” in the first place for MVP. It should be someone besides “journalists.”

      • DJ MC - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        The MVP, along with many–if not most–of the other awards we use to judge players, are creations of the BBWAA, not MLB.

      • paperlions - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        You mean, like….former front office people and scouts? Like…you know Keith Law?

      • skids003 - Aug 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        So what, DJ? ANd paperlions, how about the managers, they have a little bit more idea than “former front office people.” Might be why they are former.

      • Alex K - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        The same managers that vote the gold glove award? I think we should pass on that idea.

      • Detroit Michael - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        Just pay attention to the Internet Baseball Awards, not the BBWAA awards. Problem solved.

  3. jarathen - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    I do think he enjoys the way people freak out when their favorite player or team isn’t as successful in his own eyes.

    Cabrera is a great offensive baseball player, but he’s a defensive liability where he’s at, and the award is MVP, not a Silver Slugger. Concepts like “stabilizing force in the lineup” don’t do well in SABR-land.

    But anyway, who cares. Trout for MVP/ROY!

    • biasedhomer - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      The award is MVP, not a Gold Glove.

      • Kleinz 57 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Do Gold Gloves really sum up a player’s defense anymore though?

      • Joe - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        And, of course, fielding has no Value.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        But it doesn’t say we should ignore the glove. Defense contributes to (or detracts from) a player’s total Value. It is relevant.

      • manifunk - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        The award is MVP, not Silver Slugger

      • biasedhomer - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        Defense is the second aspect of a players game that is analyzed in the MVP discussion. All the position players in every MVP race have one thing in common: amazing offensive numbers.

        How many players have been superb defensively, but because of their offense, have missed out on even being an MVP candidate (I’m not even talking about actually wining MVP)?

        Compare that t how many players have put up great offensive numbers, but because of their defense, have missed out on being in the running for MVP?

    • ddridgeusa - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Major negative on defense? What criteria is used to judge this? If you look at his fielding percentage he ranks third in the AL behind only Adrian Beltre and Mike Moustakis.If you look at range factor he is also 3rd in the AL behind Brett Lawrie and Moustakis… He won’t win a Gold Glove but he sure isn’t as bad as he’s been labeled in this thread.

      There’s no arguing his offensive dominance in the league..

      • paperlions - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        He actually has the worst range of all 3B in the majors, based on the percentage of balls he gets to that are hit in his direction (using advance range statistics based on video of all batted balls, and not the archaic range factor that is based only chances/inning with no batted ball information). He’s a statue, but he does usually make the plays he can get to.

      • ddridgeusa - Aug 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        where do you get your stats?

      • hammyofdoom - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        Ddridgeusa, fielding percentage really doesn’t tell you anything about how good a fielder is, its weird I know. Fielding percentage only tells you how well he does to balls he gets to, while some of the best fielders ever might have not the greatest fielding percentages because they get to a much higher volume of balls. He may have a high fielding percentage, but he might be the worst player in the league when it comes to actually getting to balls, fielding percentage doesnt tell you that. I dont know where he got his stats from but there are much more complete and complicated stats for fielding involving a players range. its a more SABR oriented thing. Someone else can fill you in on that

      • ddridgeusa - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        Well isn’t Range Factor a more comprehensive stat? He’s top 3 there too.. Again, he won’t win a Gold Glove but I watch the guy play and he does alright. I don’t understand where people come up with the label “worst” for him. I get the feeling people simply remember the predictions of how he will fail at 3rd base before the season even started and they haven’t watched him play but simply believe the pre-season talk about it…

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Well isn’t Range Factor a more comprehensive stat?

        Yes, insofar that a shitburger with cheese is a better choice than a shitburger. Range Factor is just putouts and assists (RF/9 would be over 9 innings). If you are on a team of ground ball pitchers, which guys like Doug Fister and Rick Porcello are, you’ll have more opportunities for PO/A than teams without.

        Is Cabrera as bad as we all thought he’d be during preseason, probably not. Is he the next Brooks Robinson, no.

  4. Ben - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I mean, sure, maybe. But whatever. If your third-most valuable player is a guy slashing .327/.388/.585 then I think you’re doing something right.

  5. hasbeen5 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    To be fair to Cabrera, it’s not his fault he’s being played out of position. If he were at 1B or DH, he might be a lock for MVP. Either way, hell of a hitter and fun to watch.

    • joshfrancis50 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Regardless of fault, that doesn’t him any less/more valuable. He’s a third baseman, and defense matters. Whether that should drop him below the others is fair debate, but whether he’s a natural first baseman shouldn’t factor into the equation at all.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        Not saying it should factor into the vote. I think defense should count, and in his current position he’s not as valuable as he would be at 1B. If he were at DH, his offense alone might be enough to win it. To be clear, I don’t think he should win the MVP this year, I was just stating that he has moved to a less comfortable position (seemingly) without complaining or letting it affect the offensive side of his game.

      • Joe - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        I think the voters will see it this way – he willingly moved off position for the best of the team, and he continued to mash. And the team is using him in the manner that they see as most valuable to the Tigers. YMMV on that, but it is what it is.

        Of course, were Cabrera playing first base or DH, then his offense wouldn’t be as valuable because the average bat at those positions is better than the average third baseman. So if you are saying he’d be more valuable as a first baseman, you still have to dock his numbers a bit for that. I’m sure WAR could do the math for you.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        I think that does indicate value because his willingness to move off his position allowed them to play another great player at first. More succinctly which is more valuable to the Tigers; Cabrera at 3rd and Fielder at 1st or Cabrera at 1st and Inge at 3rd?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      He wouldn’t though, he’d look far worse. The positional adjustment breakdown of fWAR is as follows:

      Catcher: +12.5 runs (all are per 162 defensive games)
      First Base: -12.5 runs
      Second Base: +2.5 runs
      Third Base: +2.5 runs
      Shortstop: +7.5 runs
      Left Field: -7.5 runs
      Center Field: +2.5 runs
      Right Field: -7.5 runs
      Designated Hitter: -17.5 runs

      It’s a 15 run swing between 3b and 1b (1.5 fWAR).

      [as always, someone double check my #s]

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Yes but most voters don’t use these numbers. I think voters overlook defense at 1B, and a ridiculously good offensive year could score him a lot of votes there. Again, I do not think he should win the MVP this year and I do think defense matters.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        That’s true, but while they may not know the specifics, I’m sure most of them understand how many slugging 1b there are, and how few slugging 3b there are?

  6. The Common Man - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Nobody ever stops and thinks to themselves “If Keith Law thinks we have two guys who are even better than Miguel Cabrera, they must be really awesome players!” That’s yet another reason why I hate people.

    • kopy - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      2006 Twins had the same thing going on. Lights out pitcher, dominating slugger, and high OBP, great defender at a premium position.

      It gets to a point where picking one is a personal preference.

      • zzalapski - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        If personal preference means “ZOMG RBIs”, sure. Doesn’t make it reasonable.

      • kopy - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

        Well, it’s also “ZOMG OPS(+)”

      • zzalapski - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        No other AL catcher had the year Mauer had, and Santana was pretty much in his own league in 2006. Meanwhile, other than five games, six singles, seven doubles, and 13 RBIs, Morneau’s stat line was pretty much identical to Paul Konerko’s. Konerko finished 22nd in the AL MVP voting.

        If you want to argue that Morneau was more valuable than Konerko, sure, I’ll buy that. But if you’re using that slight differentiation as the basis for saying he was more valuable than Mauer or Santana, you need a better argument.

    • - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Exactly! Since when did effectivly saying your team is so good, they have two players better than the trendy pick for MVP become…hate?

      That’s props people, not hate.

  7. darthicarus - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    I can’t fault Law for his opinion but sometimes one has to mesh “seeing” the player & what his does to help his team along with all the stats that Keith is using to discredit what Cabrera means to the Tigers. Is he the best all-around player in the AL, nope…but are the Tigers the same team with his bat out of the lineup? Not even close.

    • The Common Man - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      “Is he the best all-around player in the AL, nope”

      Thanks for playing “Why Miguel Cabrera is not the AL MVP.” You win! Oh wait, you kept talking…

      • seeinred87 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        There’s no standard definition for “most valuable” according to the award. It doesn’t have to mean best all-around.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        The funny thing is, these are really interesting arguments once you get away from arguing about your favorite players.

        In the larger sense, Keith Law is saying defense is really important — so important that — for example — Jackson is more valuable to his team than Cabrera, even though Cabrera’s offensive awesomeness is inarguable. No one in his right might would say Jackson is a better hitter than Cabrera, and I’m sure that the Cabreristas (as opposed to the Jacksonians) will rebut Law by quoting offensive stats.

        When you step back one millimeter, it’s fascinating stuff. Instead, we get “Law is a dork” and “Law hates the Tigers.” And that’s not what he’s saying at all!

      • darthicarus - Aug 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Most Valuable != Best All Around. Don Baylor won in 1979 as a DH, What about the relief pitchers who won (Eckersley, Willie Hernandez), they pitched an inning here or there…does that make them the best all around player on the team?

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        Ken Singleton should have won the MVP award in 1979.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      If you are going to use the “have to see him play argument,” how do you get around the inability to watch every single other player play?

    • danrizzle - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Are the Tigers the same team with Verlander’s arm out of the rotation or Jackson off the roster? No way. Similarly, are the Angels the same team without Trout’s bat in the lineup, speed on the bases, and defense in the field? Not even close. Are the contributions that those players make any less than Cabrera’s contribution?

      • jarathen - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        The Angels are a shell of this team without Trout. He is undoubtedly the highest-impact player on the team, and, alongside McCutcheon, the player taht adds the most to their team.

        If Trout wasn’t an Angel, centerfield would be between Peter Bourjos (elite glove/speed, questionable bat) and VERNON WELLS (Vernon Wells).

    • ThatGuy - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Where is Keith discrediting what Cabrera means to the Tigers? He answers a question about whether Cabrera is the AL MVP, and says in his opinion no, states why he feels that way and than says he feels Cabrera is third most valuable on the Tigers, a team contending for the playoffs. Seems to me Keith isn’t saying he is terrible just that there are two others on the team that mean more to the Tigers success than him. 3rd out of 20+ is still pretty damn good.

    • snowbirdgothic - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      For the record, Keith’s background is in scouting.

  8. seeinred87 - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    My emotional reaction to hearing this is, “fuck you, Keith Law.”

    That doesn’t mean he’s wrong though. Jackson has been fantastic this season, arguably the best leadoff man in the AL right now. And Verlander is Verlander.

    I’ll take the best hitter in baseball as the 3rd MVP on my team any damn day.

    • jarathen - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Arguably? Sure. I’ll argue that Trout is the leadoff man of the baseball right now.

  9. biasedhomer - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Keith Law is one of those people who puts too much into certain stats, while overlooking others. You have to look at everything. And defensive stats are as flawed as can be.

    • danrizzle - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Which he admits. Anyone who thinks Law just looks at defensive stats and draws conclusions from them is just wrong. In fact, according to fangraphs UZR, Cabrera hasn’t been all that bad at third base, and notwithstanding that statistical assessment, Law rates him as a standing atrocity out there. It’s based upon his eyes more than anything else.

      • yahmule - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        Stats are the final word, unless they get in the way of some good old fashioned confirmation bias.

    • geoknows - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      He’s a slave to WAR. If you look at his picks for the major awards he pretty much follows WAR with slavish devotion. Which is too bad, because he admits that UZR is a problematic stat, and UZR is a huge component of WAR.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        That’s really interesting, since Fangraph’s WAR says Cabera is more valuable than Jackson, 5.1 to 4.8. So, basically, you just made that “Slave to WAR” thing up, right? You can admit it. We’re all anonymous here.,d

        Anyone who gives me a thumbs-down for this, please explain yourself. I’m dying to hear the rebuttal.

      • seattlej - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        No. Where he finds WAR problematic, he’s actually had no problem deviating from it. For example, have a look at where Frddy Freeman showed up on his ballot last year.

    • bdvlad - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      It’s not like defensive stats are the only indication that Cabrera is a bad defender, though. The “eyeball test” gives the same result.

  10. hushbrother - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    One could have had fun with Philly fans in ’08 when Ryan Howard, who led the league in home runs and RBI as the Phillies won the World Series, was, according to WAR, the eighth-most valuable player on his own team.

    • snowbirdgothic - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      I think “have fun with Philly fans” is this site’s mantra.

  11. philliesblow - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    If Cabrera wins MVP this year after Verlander winning last year, it will just go to prove that Great Lakes media bias is a force that’s here to stay.

  12. vallewho - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    M.C. is one scary mofo @ the plate, but I would say the Tigers live and die with Verlander.

    • largebill - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Once every five games, yeah.

      • vallewho - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        When V gets rocked, or just gets plain unlucky, the team is “deflated” for 2-3 days…

    • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM

      I think not. People underestimate what Fister and Scherzer have done for them. V has not been super-dominant of late. Steady back up has helped. You could argue that Valverde has been key too.

  13. largebill - Aug 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I actually give Cabrera positive points for defense. Is he ever going to be a Gold Glove type defender? No, but he is more than adequate and the difference in results between him and your basic 3B is not enough to diminish his offensive greatness. Then when you add in his willingness to move back to a tougher defensive position knowing some would just be waiting to criticize any shortcomings you have precisely the type of season that gets strong consideration for MVP. Also, his position switch made it easier for his manager to get Fielder in the lineup without relegating him to DH.

  14. bigleagues - Aug 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I wasn’t gonna weigh in on this one, but then – out of curiosity I went and looked up Cabrera’s defensive stats for the season and I’m now a bit perplexed on what Law is making his assessment of Cabrera:

    I will say this, I’m not sure anything Cabrera does from here until the end of the season will change the tidal wave of support that Trout has anyway (and besides, David Ortiz, who’s been out a month still leads Miggy in wRC+: 165-159).

    Cabrera’s offensive performance has been solid, but he’s a major negative on defense at third base . . .

    For what it’s worth, AJ trails MC by just .3 in bWAR and 13 in wRC+ despite having played in 22 fewer games. That having been said, Cabrera still remains one of the top 3 offensive performers in the AL.

    Defensively, the first thing to note is that no one has played more Innings at 3B in the AL this season than Miggy.

    Second thing to note is that he is tied with Kyle Seager for the 4th best FP.

    Miggy’s FP (.966) is above league average (.952)

    Miggy’s RF (2.51) is just below league average (2.59)

    It isn’t until we get to his UZR (-5.1) and RngR (-10.6) that we see where Keith Law is placing the bulk of his judgement on Cabrera’s defensive work this season. Granted these are both supposed to be more comprehensive stats in reflecting defensive performance – but we all know that UZR can fluctuate wildly from year to year, and more importantly the average fan cannot (and will not) sit down and digest all the information that goes into making such a calculation.

    I cannot help but think that there may be an element of prejudice in Cabrera’s UZR. Yeah, he’s not the most laterally mobile guy, but he ain’t that bad.

    If it were to somehow end up being a race between he and, say, Cano, then given that Cano is an above average defender at a position with a dearth of offense, then I think it’s obvious that Cano would be the superior choice.

    But if Trout and Cabrera end up with similar total offensive production, then I think the choice is less obvious – despite Trout being a plus defender in CF.

    First of all, despite having Trout and Pujols, and a very talented pitching staff, the Angels are no lock to make the playoffs. Perhaps Trout was the spark that ignited the Angels after such a poor start, but if Pujols remained less than Pujolian – would the Angels even being sniffing the playoffs right now? I’m not so sure.

    If the Tigers subtracted Cabrera’s presence (and production) in the lineup and instead had a replacement level player at 3B . . . would the Tigers sniffing 1st place in their division and the Wild Card race? I think not.

    • natslady - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      Hey, bigleagues, how do you get those big quotes? (Wrote some more on the Stras thread…).

      Not much to add on this thread, except, it’s not a slam on Cabrera, it’s props to the other two guys, as I see it. What happened to Fielder, he’s not up there? Don’t want to suggest we aren’t happy with ALR–we are veryhappy with him on every count–just curious.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        it’s html coding:
        blockquote = quote
        i = italic
        b = bold
        You use the carrots (shift comma and shift period around them, for instance

        then entire your information). When you are doing quoting, redo the word but put a / in front. (note can show so it’d be.

        word (note sure if this will work)

      • natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

        it’s html coding:
        blockquote = quote
        i = italic
        b = bold
        You use the carrots (shift comma and shift period around them, for instance

        OK, trying. Hope everyone is long past this thread.

      • bigleagues - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM


        It’s a “blockquote cite” tag.

        Once you’ve clicked Reply, look for this line just above the text box:

        Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)

        And hover your cursor over the “HTML tags for style” part and you will see a list of allowed WordPress HTML tags. (remember to ‘close tags’

        Blockquote goes something like this (except replace the brackets with the left/right facing arrows – typically above the comma and period on your keyboard).

        {blockquote cite=”http://URL-of-website-that-the-quote-or-text-is-taken-from”} This is where you place the text that you want to appear in quotes. You can simply cut and paste.

        You can even have more than one paragraph.{/blockquote]

        If you are simply quoting someone else text from the post you are want to comment on, you can skip inserting the URL between the quotes . . . but the two quotes still need to be there, even though they are empty.

        Here is what the example from above would look like:

        This is where you place the text that you want to appear in quotes. You can simply cut and paste.

        You can even have more than one paragraph.

    • jackhitts - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      “If the Tigers subtracted Cabrera’s presence (and production) in the lineup and instead had a replacement level player at 3B . . . would the Tigers sniffing 1st place in their division and the Wild Card race? I think not.”

      Two words, my friends: BRANDON. INGE.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        I just threw up a little.

      • bigleagues - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        In the context of the Tigers, I just figured his unstated name would be understood :-)

  15. papacrick - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Jim Leyland said Cabrera is the MVP. I think he knows more about his own team than Keith Law.

  16. yaryers - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Shouldn’t we also put a bit of weight into the fact that Cabrera changed positions in order to make the team better? Of course he is a defensive liability, but nobody used that argument against him when he was a 1b. Just becasue he has limited range and has booted a few balls at 3b doesn’t mean he deserves it less than if he was a 1b.

    In fact, one could argue that he deserves it more, since he was selfless enough to change positions so that Fielder could join the team. Cabrera agreeing to play 3b has actually made the team far better than if he had stayed at first.

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