Tigers catcher Gerald Laird has been around the game a long time, he’s played in both the American League and National League, and he’s seen a whole lot of players — including one of the best, Albert Pujols, while he was a backup for the Cardinals in 2011.
So, your thoughts on Miguel Cabrera, Gerald?
“Unbelievable. If he’s not the MVP, then I should quit baseball because I don’t know the game. I got a chance to play in both leagues, and I have seen all the hittters, and he’s hands-down the best hitter in the game, both the American League and the National League. If both leagues had a combined MVP, then he should be that, too. He’s just that good. I’ve seen them all hit, and there are some great hitters out there, but the stuff that he does with the bat is remarkable, and he never ceases to amaze me.”
Those comments come less than a hour after Tuesday night’s 12-2 victory over the Athletics in which Cabrera had two homers, including a grand slam. In doing so, Cabrera maintained his lead in the AL batting race (.333) and took over sole possession of the RBI lead (129).
He’s two homers off the lead in that, as he makes a stunning bid for baseball’s first Triple Crown since 1967.
Amazingly, because of the season Angels phenom Mike Trout, 21, has had, there are some who believe Cabrera, 29, actually would have to win that Triple Crown — he’s two homers behind the leader, Josh Hamilton — to beat Trout in the MVP voting, which will be announced in November.
Your rebuttal, Mr. Laird?
“If he dosn’t win the MVP … I won’t be a fan of sporstwriters. Honestly. That’s how I feel. I understand you guys have a job to do to vote on it, but if he ain’t the MVP, then there shouldn’t even be an MVP for the league. The numbers speak for themselves. If you’ve gotta win a Triple Crown to win an MVP, that’s ridiculous.”
Twenty-eight members of the Baseball Writers Association of America — two from each AL city — will vote for AL MVP, with the ballots due before the start of the playoffs. Earlier today, I asked several national baseball analysts for their take. Here’s what they said.