Originally Posted by DJ's left nut
So if neither of them are 'unprecedented', you just look to the raw numbers and (IMO) also give credit for the 'intangibles'. I know you don't like the playoff thing, but the fact is that for the last 2 months of the year when both teams were extremely similarly situated, Cabrera treated the AL like it was AA whereas Trout regressed. As a result, Cabrera's team is in the playoffs. Now I'm not the real crusty old guy that says you can't win the MVP if your team isn't in the playoffs, but by God it should count. It should especially count when your team is in the playoffs directly because you played so well. Had Trout played as well down the stretch as Cabrera did, the Halos would still be playing ball. To me that matters a great deal.
And I do think the triple crown is significant. I disagree that it's dispositive but it should again carry weight. When compared to his peers in 3 very important categories (yes, RBI and AVG remain important categories for a 3 or 4 hitter, stats guys can eat me on that front), he was the best the league had to offer.
Even if I was going to bring into account the whole "they made the playoffs" factor, there's still the fact the Angels had a better record during the final two months of the season. And that though his raw offensive numbers dropped from otherworldy to merely "All-Star" level in August and September, Trout was brilliant for them over the course of the season and they had the best record in baseball with Trout on the major league roster. And that even when he's only hitting at an All-Star level, Trout is a Gold Glove-caliber defender in CF every night, which also helps his team win.
The only reason the Tigers are in the playoffs is that they're in the Central. That's it. That really takes away any impact "look how he led his team home" would have on me.
The Triple Crown is an awesome achievement. No disputing that, at all. No disputing that Cabrera is a worthy candidate.
I think all the discussion about this - and all the logical, reasoned and supported discussion on both sides - is a great indication of just how close these two guys are.