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Old 10-01-2012, 08:43 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Do you want to see Miguel Cabrera win MLBs Triple Crown?

Could be the first Triple Crown since 1967


Ironically, the Royals will have a say in the race, since he plays against them the last 3 games.

Discuss....


http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/spo...race-heats-up/



Miguel Cabrera is slowly inching towards achieving the first Triple Crown since 1967.

With a line drive home run in the eighth inning against Minnesota on Saturday night, Cabrera moved into a tie with Texas star Josh Hamilton for the AL lead.

Cabrera's blast in the eighth inning off Casey Fien was his 43rd home run for the year. He also leads the AL in batting average (.327) and RBIs (136) as he looks to become the first player since 1967 to lead the league in all three categories.

"It's unbelievable what he's done this year," pitcher Justin Verlander said, the reigning AL MVP who was wearing a dark blue t-shirt with the message "Keep the MVP in the D" and Cabrera's name on the front.

"It's amazing to me how he keeps getting better. He's already the best hitter in the game and he keeps taking it to another level."

While it was Cabrera and his home run that gave the Tigers the five-run cushion they would end up needing in a 6-4 victory over the Twins that gave them a two-game lead in the AL Central, the Triple Crown hopeful deferred the attention away from himself.


It's unbelievable what he's done this year.- Justin Verlander


"I want to talk about the team," Cabrera said respectfully. "There's too many distractions right now and been talking too much about triple crowns. I pull too much attention. I don't want to do that. I want to go out there and play my game."

Cabrera entered the day leading Joe Mauer by five points in the batting race, Hamilton by eight in the RBI race, but trailing Hamilton by one in homers.

So will he be watching Hamilton down the stretch?

"I'll let you guys keep Hamilton in your eyes," Cabrera said. "I'll go to the hotel and get some breakfast tomorrow and try to win tomorrow."

The bigger prize, of course, is the division title. Neither the Tigers nor the Sox will qualify for one of two wild cards in the American League, so their only way in is through the division door.

"The last couple weeks, there's too much attention right now," Cabrera said of the triple crown. "I don't like too much of that stuff. But it's always good. You've got to feel comfortable with that. You've got to feel positive and be ready to play."
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by duncan_idaho View Post
Five minutes of work. Go to fangraphs. Go to League Leaders section. Select August as a filter. Then select September/October as a filter.

Anyway, I actually don't like the overall WAR stat very much (as the defensive statistics are just too flaky/inconsistent), but offensive WAR - especially the way Baseball America calculates it - is very reliable. Cabrera would hold the edge there, I'm sure (I haven't found a site that will split out offensive and total WAR month-by-month yet), because all of his value is derived from his bat.

I'm of the mindset that statistical analysis is a nice complement to old-fashioned scouting. When the two are worked together in a way that is sound, you get great results (See the Tampa Rays). You can't go all sabermetrics, and you can't go all old-school.

In defense of offensive WAR: Here's the top 10 all-time list at Baseball America.

Babe Ruth
Ty Cobb
Barry Bonds
Willie Mays
Hank Aaron
Ted Williams
Stan Musial
Rogers Hornsby
Honus Wagner
Tris Speaker

Factor in longevity (which is what gets a guy like Speaker on there), and I think that's a pretty accurate list. 9/10 of those guys would come up when discussing "best all-time hitter."
Just now getting through this thread.

I agree with your post here but still disagree with your outcome. In the end, the triple crown isn't just some arbitrary set of numbers, as Saul is trying to claim. It's 3 numbers that have historically meant a ton to winning ballgames.

RBI stats do matter - it means that your team thought enough of your performance to put you in the spot most conducive to driving in runs and trusted that you would do so. Realistically, Trout should have been the 3 hole hitter in his lineup, but he wasn't. Was that because the team didn't think he'd be able to handle the pressure of the 3 spot? Possibly. It's happened to far more experienced guys than Trout.

HRs are self explanatory - they matter. A lot.

AVG is still a valuable stat for a middle of the order hitter and you'll never convince me otherwise. A guy like Dunn that bats .240 in the middle of a lineup with a .380 OBP isn't as valuable as a guy that puts up a .290 with a .360 OBP if they're batting in the 3 or 4 hole. You need those base hits to actually get runners in. And in the end, that's how you win ballgames - driving in runners. Drawing a walk there just passes that burden on to the next guy.

Cabrera's contact rates have been outstanding, his baserunning has actually been pretty good (no, he doesn't steal, but steals are wildly overrated) and his defense, by virtue of being acceptable, has yielded huge dividents for the team.

In the end, the traditional stuff does matter, IMO. And if combined with the fact that he does compare favorably in many 'new school' categories (if not outright better), Cabrera is your MVP.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #92
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Ask me again where you set up a straw man so that you can easily knock it down. At least Duncan Idaho is providing intelligent responses, even if I disagree with his choice for MVP.
I'm pretty sure I quoted a post that said exactly what you are now claiming to be a straw man created by me.
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Colon is 0.7 WAR or 5M in value. He makes 500k. Getting pretty close, and since he's producing war each of the next 4 years of club control, he's fair value for Upton straight up. More than fair actually.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #93
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I completely agree with you on that, and I feel a little sheepish about even using that argument.
It matters if the player was a driving force behind it, IMO.

Essentially, a playoff appearance is a force multiplier for a strong finishing kick. Cabrera destroyed the world for 2 months and as a direct result of that his team is going to make the playoffs.

That carries weight, IMO. It makes the finishing kick that much more impressive, especially since the respective teams were in very similar positions at the start of that stretch.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #94
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No it shouldn't.

His season is marginally better than the season Jacoby Elsbury had last year. A 30/30 season with a 300+ batting average and a lot of runs scored is a very very good season and worth of MVP consideration in a lot of years, but if Cabrera had won the triple crown last season and made the playoffs, there wouldn't be a discussion on this front - he'd have probably won it unanimously over Elsbury.


Trout's had arguably the greatest rookie season in baseball history and a very very good season overall. That said, his service time and rookie status are immaterial when discussing an MVP award - a single season award. Rookies are on the same field as the vets.

Ultimately, this is a hardcore battle between the SABRE dork and the crusty old baseball men where where the stats guys are going to point at stuff like WAR and claim that Trout's smoked Cabrera when in reality he hasn't. Cabrera's been a better hitter AND he's moved to 3b and played it admirably, allowing his team to go sign Prince Fielder. Trout's advantage in WAR comes from his defensive value but even the most ardent stats guys will grudgingly concede that defensive statistics are largely crap right now (at least the ones we know about, the good ones are all in-house and the teams won't release the results).

I will allow that Cabrera's defense isn't as good as Trouts, certainly, but playing a passable 3b allowed the Tigers to go get the best LH slugger on the market and that's extremely valuable in its own right.

Yes, hell yes, I want Cabrera to win the triple crown. A) It's history and I love seeing history get made. B) It's not Albert Pujols, the presumptive favorite for the crown for a decade. C) It should be sufficient to get him the MVP and make the SABRE folks absolutely lose their goddamn minds.

And that's always fun. I love me some baseball stats, but they aren't the end all, be all. To argue that a triple crown winner and the leader of a playoff team should not get the MVP because a rookie led the league in WAR is just crazy talk to me.
I wouldn't call what Cabrera does at 3B "admirable" defense. He's fine as long as the ball is within two steps to either side (and if it is moderately well-hit, has to dive to knock it down) and is an accurate thrower. That's about it. His range is terrible.

For me, the argument for Trout is not simply his WAR (though his offensive WAR is still a smidge higher than Cabrera's for the full year).

Comparing the two, there is not a huge separation with what they've done offensively. They are clearly 1-2 in terms of offensive production in the American League. Cabrera is the best 3 hitter in baseball. Trout is the best 1 hitter in baseball.

Defensively, you don't have to use statistics to see Trout's impact in center field. He's Gold Glove caliber out there. GG defense at a premium (second- or third-most important defensive position) is an important factor.

As for a Triple Crown winner HAVING to win the MVP... hey, there's precedent for him not.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #95
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I wouldn't call what Cabrera does at 3B "admirable" defense. He's fine as long as the ball is within two steps to either side (and if it is moderately well-hit, has to dive to knock it down) and is an accurate thrower. That's about it. His range is terrible.

For me, the argument for Trout is not simply his WAR (though his offensive WAR is still a smidge higher than Cabrera's for the full year).

Comparing the two, there is not a huge separation with what they've done offensively. They are clearly 1-2 in terms of offensive production in the American League. Cabrera is the best 3 hitter in baseball. Trout is the best 1 hitter in baseball.

Defensively, you don't have to use statistics to see Trout's impact in center field. He's Gold Glove caliber out there. GG defense at a premium (second- or third-most important defensive position) is an important factor.

As for a Triple Crown winner HAVING to win the MVP... hey, there's precedent for him not.
I saw someone on Twitter last night claiming that Cabrera has better stats because he plays in the AL Central vs the AL West for Trout. So I created a spreadsheet where I averaged out Trout and Cabrera's stats vs the AL Central and the AL West (essentially what their stats would be with the same number of ABs against each division) and Cabrera's stats are by far better. Trout only leads in SBs, BBs and by far more Ks. Cabrera leads in every other category. MVP has never been a defensive award so I could care less about those stats, however one team is going to the playoffs and the other isn't.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:11 AM   #96
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Just for fun: Here's Trout's line if he had Cabrera's PA (which he would if the Angels hadn't been idiots to start the season):

33 HR/92 RBI/144 R/29 2B/10 3B/58 SB
.324/.397/.561 SLG

Not trying to make any point with it. Just posting it because I had it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #97
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I saw someone on Twitter last night claiming that Cabrera has better stats because he plays in the AL Central vs the AL West for Trout. So I created a spreadsheet where I averaged out Trout and Cabrera's stats vs the AL Central and the AL West (essentially what their stats would be with the same number of ABs against each division) and Cabrera's stats are by far better. Trout only leads in SBs and BBs. Cabrera leads in every other category. MVP has never been a defensive award so I could care less about those stats, however one team is going to the playoffs and the other isn't.
It's "Most Valuable Player," though. To me, that's the player who adds the most value, total. If they are so much better than everyone else with the bat, that's just fine (examples: Bonds in his roids years, Ruth, Mantle in 56, etc). But if you're talking about two guys who are very close offensively, then defense becomes a big factor.

There are lots of guys who have won it with defense being a significant positive factor for them.

Ivan Rodriguez in 99. A-Rod in 2003. Caminiti in 96, Larkin in 95. Terry Pendleton and Cal Ripken in 91.

Offense is obviously an important factor, too. But defense can be considered as well.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:27 AM   #98
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I wouldn't call what Cabrera does at 3B "admirable" defense. He's fine as long as the ball is within two steps to either side (and if it is moderately well-hit, has to dive to knock it down) and is an accurate thrower. That's about it. His range is terrible.

For me, the argument for Trout is not simply his WAR (though his offensive WAR is still a smidge higher than Cabrera's for the full year).

Comparing the two, there is not a huge separation with what they've done offensively. They are clearly 1-2 in terms of offensive production in the American League. Cabrera is the best 3 hitter in baseball. Trout is the best 1 hitter in baseball.

Defensively, you don't have to use statistics to see Trout's impact in center field. He's Gold Glove caliber out there. GG defense at a premium (second- or third-most important defensive position) is an important factor.

As for a Triple Crown winner HAVING to win the MVP... hey, there's precedent for him not.
I just disagree that there's not a separation between the two offensively. 56 more RBI? That's a massive gulf. And I know that Trout's a leadoff hitter, but he's a leadoff hitter in an AL lineup, don't forget. Austin Jackson's had a nice season, but he was hurt for a bit and during that time Quentin Berry was the leadoff hitter with Omar Infante or some mis-mash of cruddy ass parts ahead of Miggy. Trout's had Aybar and Ianetta in front of him. It's clearly not as strong a group of table-setters, but it's not batting leadoff ahead of the pitcher either.

Trout had 109 ABs with RISP and did a great job w/ a .330 BA. Cabrera had more opportunities to drive in runs with 174 ABs with runners in scoring position - but he also did a better job of it with a .356 BA in those spots. Cabrera, while he was given more chances, did do a better job of driving in runs.

And I don't accept the run produced state either because there's a great deal to be said for being able to both score and drive yourself in. You're doing in 1 plate appearance what would otherwise take 2, so why shouldn't you get to double count it? Those extra bombs where all situations where Cabrera did the work of 2 batters - that counts for a lot.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:39 AM   #99
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It's "Most Valuable Player," though. To me, that's the player who adds the most value, total. If they are so much better than everyone else with the bat, that's just fine (examples: Bonds in his roids years, Ruth, Mantle in 56, etc). But if you're talking about two guys who are very close offensively, then defense becomes a big factor.

There are lots of guys who have won it with defense being a significant positive factor for them.

Ivan Rodriguez in 99. A-Rod in 2003. Caminiti in 96, Larkin in 95. Terry Pendleton and Cal Ripken in 91.

Offense is obviously an important factor, too. But defense can be considered as well.
I think defensive scarcity is more critical than actual defensive performance. We still don't have a good way of knowing exactly what value in terms of wins defense adds.

We do know that a guy that can play an elite CF while also hitting 30 bombs is pretty valuable because it allows you to get production from a 'defensive' position and therefore end up with a much deeper lineup or perhaps give up some offense at another critical defensive position like SS in favor of a superlative defender.

And that's how I think Cabrera can help close the gap on the fact that he's clearly not as good a defender as Trout. I know you say his defense is awful, but the stats don't really support it, for whatever they're worth. His RF is just a shade below average but RF is largely a product of chances and the Tigers are an extreme strikeout staff, so that's going to diminish his number of overall chances. And I know FLD% is out-dated, but for a 3b is still speaks to how soft their hands are and how accurate their throwing is - the two most critical elements of sound 3b defense. Cabrera is above average at his position. He doesn't do well in UZR, I'll grant you, but again I really do think that 3b 'range' is a little overrated. 3b is a read/react position. You talk range when discussing the elite guys that can allow a SS to shade up the middle, but for your average 3b, the differences in range are largely negligible.

From what I've seen, Cabrera has been a capable 3b and the stats seem to largely support that. His ability to make that transition gets him some significant bonus point is that it has allowed the Tigers to add another dangerous hitter to their lineup. That's massive, IMO.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:50 AM   #100
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And I don't accept the run produced state either because there's a great deal to be said for being able to both score and drive yourself in. You're doing in 1 plate appearance what would otherwise take 2, so why shouldn't you get to double count it? Those extra bombs where all situations where Cabrera did the work of 2 batters - that counts for a lot.
Thank you! Duncan Idaho is obviously a smart guy. I don't know why he won't acknowledge this. It seems so obvious.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #101
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Thank you! Duncan Idaho is obviously a smart guy. I don't know why he won't acknowledge this. It seems so obvious.
Just falling back on my (somewhat limited) stats experience. We talked about this a lot at Sporting News, when discussing runs created as a stat and using it as a more standard thing (especially fantasy).

RC is actually very different from the way we've been discussing it.

What I've been mentioning came from a discussion about creating a less complicated version of it. We had basically the same debate we're having here. Our SABRE guy was pretty convincing in arguing for R+RBI-HR, but he stated the case much better than I can. "One run is still one run, even if you hit a home run and are responsible both for scoring it and driving it in." was the basic argument.

I actually used to be a hardcore "eyes and scouts" guy, when I first started there. Kind of the opposite of Keith Law. Now I'm in the middle and prefer a balanced approach to scouting + statistical analysis.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #102
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Just falling back on my (somewhat limited) stats experience. We talked about this a lot at Sporting News, when discussing runs created as a stat and using it as a more standard thing (especially fantasy).

RC is actually very different from the way we've been discussing it.

What I've been mentioning came from a discussion about creating a less complicated version of it. We had basically the same debate we're having here. Our SABRE guy was pretty convincing in arguing for R+RBI-HR, but he stated the case much better than I can. "One run is still one run, even if you hit a home run and are responsible both for scoring it and driving it in." was the basic argument.

I actually used to be a hardcore "eyes and scouts" guy, when I first started there. Kind of the opposite of Keith Law. Now I'm in the middle and prefer a balanced approach to scouting + statistical analysis.
I understand the argument - 1 run is absolutely 1 run and I can see why they believe you're cheat a bit by counting it twice,

But it's odd that SABRE folks, who so value the PA to the point of claiming that a bunt is always wrong and that OBP should count for twice SLG% when discussing OPS, will simply disregard the fact that the HR does in 1 PA what would ordinarily take 2.

It just seems inconsistent to me. If at-bats are so critical and all of baseball truly should center around avoiding the creation of outs, why do we suddenly not care that a batter only used 1 AB to produce a run?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #103
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I understand the argument - 1 run is absolutely 1 run and I can see why they believe you're cheat a bit by counting it twice,

But it's odd that SABRE folks, who so value the PA to the point of claiming that a bunt is always wrong and that OBP should count for twice SLG% when discussing OPS, will simply disregard the fact that the HR does in 1 PA what would ordinarily take 2.

It just seems inconsistent to me. If at-bats are so critical and all of baseball truly should center around avoiding the creation of outs, why do we suddenly not care that a batter only used 1 AB to produce a run?
Yeah, the actual runs created stat accounts for at-bats/plate appearances (basically, you add all the controllable factors together and then divide that number by BA or PA).

There are some things it's just difficult to quantify in a way other than a simple counting.

I'm not a true hardcore SABRE guy, so I'm not the best one to talk to about this. I can't argue passionately for the reasoning (and am not plugged in enough to the numbers or reasoning to get down to this level of detail).
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:09 PM   #104
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Cabrera should win it because 100 years ago somebody coined the term triple crown. If Cabrera was just the first player to lead the league in the three arbitrary offensive categories of BA, HRs, and RBI in decades, Trout would deserve it for being the better all-round player.

That isn't what happened, though. Cabrera will win the "triple crown", so that's more impressive than what Trout has done.
If Cabrera wins the triple Corwn he will be the first player in over 40 years to win it. Impressive. Regardless, Trout is the first player ever to score over 125 runs, 50 steals and 30+ home runs. First player in history. Period. And thats just offensive numbers. His no doubt about it gold glove should factor in as well.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #105
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If Cabrera wins the triple Corwn he will be the first player in over 40 years to win it. Impressive. Regardless, Trout is the first player ever to score over 125 runs, 50 steals and 30+ home runs. First player in history. Period. And thats just offensive numbers. His no doubt about it gold glove should factor in as well.
Yes, but there isn't a name for those arbitrary stats you cited, so it is less valuable than other arbitrary stats that have long been dubbed the "triple crown".
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