Magic numbers

2012-10-07T18:44:00Z 2012-10-07T19:48:17Z Magic numbersBy Steve Lundeberg, Democrat-Herald Corvallis Gazette Times
October 07, 2012 6:44 pm  • 

Indulge me if you will while I devote this entire blog post to baseball, an important topic this time of year and more interesting by a mile than politics.

Thank you.

OK, here’s the deal:

Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera completed one of baseball’s truly magical feats Wednesday when the regular season ended with him leading the American League in home runs, RBIs and batting average — he won the Triple Crown, a rare accomplishment that hadn’t been turned in in either league since Boston left fielder Carl Yastrzemski pulled it off in 1967.

Angels rookie Mike Trout, meanwhile, put together an amazing season of his own, definitely an MVP-caliber season.

But sorry Mike, you picked the wrong year to be all-around fantastic, including in the field and on the bases, because the AL’s most valuable player award is going to Cabrera, at least if I were the sole guy deciding it.


Because quite simply, the way I look at things, the Triple Crown guarantees you the MVP, just like 3,000 hits and 300 pitching wins make you a lock for the Hall of Fame (500 home runs used to do that too, but steroids ruined that).

To me it doesn’t matter if you amassed 3,000 hits without ever being a truly dominant, feared hitter (Craig Biggio) or picked up 300 wins over a long, methodical career (Don Sutton, Phil Niekro). Those magic numbers are Hall of Fame numbers, period, just like the Triple Crown is an MVP performance.

But here’s where I will admit my own logic isn’t, well, completely logical.

New York’s Curtis Granderson entered the final day of the season trailing Cabrera in the home run race by three, and he actually hit two to pull within one.

Had he managed to pull off that super rare feat of four homers in game, meaning he’d have overtaken Cabrera, then I’d have given the MVP to Trout.

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