The Minds of MVP Voters: Miguel Cabrera

I was irked the other day listening to MLB Radio on XM. A journalist from Detroit - who has an MVP vote - was going on and on about Miguel Cabrera. To paraphrase: "(1) He was the most feared hitter in the AL... (2) No one could change a game with one swing like him... (3) I got to truly appreciate him seeing him everyday... (4) I don't pay attention to all stats, just some, like the ability to drive in runs."

1. Where to start? A feared hitter would be walked a lot, right? Cabrera certainly was (108 times), but that was 24 times fewer than Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays.

2. No one could change the game with one swing? Cabrera homered 30 times, but that was only good enough for 10th in the AL. Who was first you ask? Bautista. 

3. The responsibility of being a BBWAA voter is to learn about the whole league. This argument is wrong in so many ways I can't wrap my head around it. So the players in those other cities aren't as good because you're not watching them everyday? If every voter voted for a player from "their" city, there might never be a consensus winner.

4. And yes, RBI!!! Because, you know, that has nothing at all to do with the hitters in from of him reaching base. And if you're all about RBI, Cabrera was only good enough for seventh in the league (while two Yankees led the league). 

It's guys like this that prevented Derek Jeter from winning the '06 MVP because Justin Morneau had more homers and RBI.

(I have nothing against Cabrera, who did have a remarkable year. This is about the reasoning behind the voting.)

The AL MVP will be announced on Monday at 2 p.m.

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