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The Triple Crown still matters!!!

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:26 AM

I have been meaning to write a blog or an article on this topic for days. Thankfully, Kurt Mensching from the terrific Tigers blog Bless You Boys wrote it for me! (http://www.blessyoub...l-you-otherwise)

Sure, he's a Tigers blogger, so he might be a little biased on this topic today. But I'm a Twins blogger, and I 100% agree with him.

The Triple Crown still matters, no matter what some people want you to think.

Do I think that if Miguel Cabrera achieves the Triple Crown that it should assure that he be the AL MVP? No. But the two don't have to go hand in hand, do they? Why can't we just appreciate a statistical achievement that has not happened in Major League Baseball in 45 years!! Why can't we just appreciate a statistical achievement that only 11 players have done since 1900!

Batting Average - yes, I understand, it's not as important as on-base percentage, but it's still a nice statistic. It must be fairly important as it is counted twice in OPS!

HR - These are fairly important and have a nice impact on Slugging Percentage and RBI.

RBI - yes, they are dependent often upon teammates getting on base. Kurt wrote it so much more thoroughly and eloquently than I, but Someone has to drive in runs. As Twins fans, we should appreciate this. How many times this year (and in recent years), have the Twins had a runner on 3B and less than two outs and NOT scored a run. A sacrifice fly would do it. A ground out to 2B would do it. Someone has to score the runs.

I don't know. Maybe I read the wrong bloggers and writers on Twitter or something. I like most of the new-school stats and try to have a cursory understanding of what they are telling me. They are great, and I do believe that all front offices should use them to some degree. But I also believe that front office do need to use old-school methods of scouting and player evaluation too.

People can talk all they want about whether Mike Trout or Miguel Cabrera should win the AL MVP award. I'm not sure I care which wins because I feel both are deserving. Just as I hope voters will not use solely the SABRmetric stats like WAR to decide, I don't think they should only use the old-school stats either.

But that's about the MVP award. If we're just talking about the Triple Crown on its own, it is incredible cool. I don't think that Cabrera is being talked about enough for what he is likely to be able to claim by the end of today.

45 years... accomplished 11 times since 1900 (and by Hall of Famers)... What Miguel Cabrera is doing in 2012 is historical, and I guess, in my opinion, it hasn't been treated as such. Especially as we are seeing offensive numbers declining the last couple of years, it is even more impressive. Vote for whoever you want for the AL MVP, but at least give Cabrera credit for a monster offensive season.

#2 Twins Fan From Afar

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:41 AM

Thanks for the link -- that is indeed a great read.
And I agree that the Triple Crown is still relevant, even with modern statistical analysis.
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#3 notoriousgod71

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:01 AM

Also no one really pays attention the the pitching triple crown which has been won quite a few times in recent memory.

#4 JB_Iowa

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:48 AM

I understand the arguments about RBIs. It is part of the equation and Cabrera clearly leads in that category but I think you can ignore it when you look at the rest.

Unless the person who answered me the other day was incorrect, NO ONE has led in Home Runs and Batting Average since 1967. 45 years and not one single player has accomplished that 2/3 segment of the TC -- the parts that don't rely on teammates being on base.

That, in itself, proves to me that the Cabrera's accomplishment is incredibly rare and historic.

The cool kids can denigrate the Triple Crown and Miggy's accomplishment. I'm just very happy to see another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime.

#5 jharaldson

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:01 PM

Let's just say for argument that RBI's are not a worthwhile stat, if you look at what Cabrera has done with regards to RBI% (Percentage of Runners on Driven in) his RBI related stats are still impressive.

http://www.baseballm...=desc&MinPA=100

Cabrera is #2 in RBI% while Trout is 49th (behind even local scapegoat Danny Valencia).

Edited by jharaldson, 03 October 2012 - 12:26 PM.


#6 Nick Nelson

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:02 PM

Jon Heyman made this same argument the other day about Cabrera's Triple Crown quest not getting enough attention, and I don't really get it. From my view, it's been the most covered storyline in baseball over the past several weeks. Yes, there are some new-school SABR folks that aren't going to get very worked up about it, but you're not going to be able to convince those folks of the value of BA/RBI. They're also a relative minority.

I think most of the baseball world is captivated by Cabrera's achievement and his Triple Crown will likely give him the edge in MVP voting, fairly or not.

#7 Riverbrian

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

The triple crown is an amazing achievement. We are talking about 4 decades since it was done last. It's too bad it will be done by a Tiger.

#8 Winston Smith

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:48 PM

"[COLOR=#333333]Batting Average - yes, I understand, it's not as important as on-base percentage,...." [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]Batting average isn't cut and dry the quality of the hits are not considered. If you think the OBP is the best judge, in OBP I think a 3 run homer counts the same as a walk doesn't it? If there is a runner or runners on I want my best hitters looking to drive them in not working a walk.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]If the game is on the line what player would you rather have at the plate Cabrera or Trout? I'll vote for Cabrera.[/COLOR]

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#9 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for posting--great link.

I dont care if the Miggy gets the MVP--the triple crown is historic. As I said last week--Yaz got it in 1969--I was a senior in college. Nobody since, I am now retired. Nobody got the triple crown during my whole working career. That is amazing. Whether Miggy actually gets it or not--he has had an historic season.

#10 snepp

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:13 PM

Most of the "sabr folk" I converse with are just as excited to see a triple crown winner as non-sabr folk are.

They (myself included) just don't want to see it be a determinant in the MVP voting.

#11 Nick Nelson

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:30 PM

[COLOR=#333333]If the game is on the line what player would you rather have at the plate Cabrera or Trout? I'll vote for Cabrera.[/COLOR]

It's not really that simple. There's more to the game of baseball than hitting and driving in runs.

Who would you rather have standing on base representing the go-ahead run? Who would you rather have trying to make a difficult defensive play with the game on the line?

#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:47 PM

And that's the difference, potentially, between Best Hitter in the Game and MVP.

#13 ericchri

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:47 PM

It's an interesting year, no doubt. Cabrera's trying to accomplish something with historical significance that hasn't happened in 45 years, while Trout's already put up a season which hasn't happened ever (depending on which stats you pick at what level, and you can use a bunch pretty high). I think Trout deserves MVP, but I won't get upset if Cabrera wins it. He's been a monster the last couple weeks when Detroit was playing their way into (or Chicago was playing their way out of) the playoffs. For a baseball lover, those two have certainly made the last few weeks of a miserable Twins season more interesting to pay attention to, along with the playoff races.

#14 ScottyB

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

I dont care if the Miggy gets the MVP--the triple crown is historic. As I said last week--Yaz got it in 1969--I was a senior in college. Nobody since, I am now retired. Nobody got the triple crown during my whole working career. That is amazing. Whether Miggy actually gets it or not--he has had an historic season.


Yaz actually won in '67 - .326, 44 HR (tied with Killer), 121 RBI. That was the year after Frank Robinson - .316, 49 HR, 122 RBI's. 1969 was Killebrew's MVP season .276, 49 HR, 140 RBI's.

The amazing thing to me is that when Ted Williams won his 2nd triple crown in 1947, he came in 2nd place for MVP to Dimaggio, even though his numbers far eclipsed Dimaggio's.

#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

The amazing thing to me is that when Ted Williams won his 2nd triple crown in 1947, he came in 2nd place for MVP to Dimaggio, even though his numbers far eclipsed Dimaggio's.


Yeah, that' the year that Dimaggio had the 56 game hit streak too, I believe. Media hated Williams (and vice versa).

#16 Curt

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:18 PM

For the record, '41 was the year DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games. Williams only hit .406 that year. But DiMag did win the MVP in '41 too.

#17 Curt

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

For the record, '41 was the year DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games. Williams only hit .406 that year. But DiMag did win the MVP in '41 too.

For those who disregard BA, Williams' triple slash was .406/.553/.735 for an OPS of 1.287 and an OPS+ of 235. He led the league in homers with 37. He came in fourth in RBI with 120 (DiMaggio led the league with 125) though he had only 456 official at bats due mainly to being walked 147 times. Oh yeah, he struck out 27 times.

#18 Winston Smith

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:37 PM


[COLOR=#333333]If the game is on the line what player would you rather have at the plate Cabrera or Trout? I'll vote for Cabrera.[/COLOR]

It's not really that simple. There's more to the game of baseball than hitting and driving in runs.

Who would you rather have standing on base representing the go-ahead run? Who would you rather have trying to make a difficult defensive play with the game on the line?


It was that simple because I was talking about which guy do you want at the plate with the game on the line and I said Cabrera. You made into base running and defense which wasn't part of what I was talking about. If you'd rather have Trout at the plate fine. The other stuff really doesn't apply to my statement.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#19 JB_Iowa

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

MVP isn't all about batting stats. In fact, it isn't all about Stats altogether. If it were, it would be determined by computers not voters.

One of the subjective factors that will probably play into votes (and I think should play into votes) is the question of sustained excellence. Sort of a mini lifetime achievement award. Cabrera has an OPS above 1.000 for 3 consecutive years -- sort of a "triple crown" of another sort.

I know, that's still offense but, combined with his willingness to move back to 3rd base, I think the voters will reward Cabrera for sustained leadership -- and that's the essence of "most valuable".

#20 ashburyjohn

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:29 PM

For the record, '41 was the year DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games. Williams only hit .406 that year. But DiMag did win the MVP in '41 too.

For those who disregard BA, Williams' triple slash was .406/.553/.735 for an OPS of 1.287 and an OPS+ of 235. He led the league in homers with 37. He came in fourth in RBI with 120 (DiMaggio led the league with 125) though he had only 456 official at bats due mainly to being walked 147 times. Oh yeah, he struck out 27 times.


Maybe he could have taken the lead in RBI if he hadn't choked with all those strikeouts.

#21 kab21

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:09 PM

Most of the "sabr folk" I converse with are just as excited to see a triple crown winner as non-sabr folk are.

They (myself included) just don't want to see it be a determinant in the MVP voting.


Yeah, I don't understand how someone can be labeled as a sabr guy that hates the triple crown just because he makes an argument that Trout should win a very close MVP race. Cabrera's having a great year and Trout is having a great year.

#22 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

Cabrera deserves the award, the last two months of the year Cabrera was on fire while Trout started to come down to earth a bit. The triple crown and taking his team to the playoffs is the icing on the cake.

Note: I don't think taking your team to the playoffs is always necessary, but in a race this close it should put one candidate over the top.

#23 Beemo

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 09:14 AM

What Miguel Cabrera is doing in 2012 is historical, and I guess, in my opinion, it hasn't been treated as such. Especially as we are seeing offensive numbers declining the last couple of years, it is even more impressive. Vote for whoever you want for the AL MVP, but at least give Cabrera credit for a monster offensive season.


Why do declining offensive numbers make a Triple Crown more impressive? No matter what the offensive environment is, someone still has to lead the league in BA, HRs and RBIs.

Cabrera deserves the award, the last two months of the year Cabrera was on fire while Trout started to come down to earth a bit. The triple crown and taking his team to the playoffs is the icing on the cake.Note: I don't think taking your team to the playoffs is always necessary, but in a race this close it should put one candidate over the top.

The Angels actually won more games than the Tigers. I have a tough time giving Cabrera extra credit for how bad his division is.