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Tigers’ Cabrera is a special player, season one to remember

October 7, 2012
By CRAIG REMSBURG - Senior Sports Writer (cremsburg@miningjournal.net) , The Mining Journal

In 1967, the Green Bay Packers won the inaugural Super Bowl game, the Beatles released their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album and a gallon of gas cost 33 cents.

It was also the last year someone won baseball's Triple Crown, as Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox turned the trick.

Until now.

Article Photos

CRAIG REMSBURG

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers pocketed baseball's version of the Holy Grail this past week. He did it with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.

It's a monumental achievement, one which should lead to Cabrera being named the American League Most Valuable Player.

To award it to anyone else - Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels turned in a terrific season, but not as good as Cabrera - would be an injustice.

Watching Cabrera hit is a sight to behold. He doesn't take monster swings, nor does the righthanded batter hit most of his balls to left field.

Yet his timing is dead-on. He gets a lot of power to center and right field in Comerica Park, not known as a hitter's ballpark.

You know opposing pitchers are not going to give him much to hit. They no doubt use a lot of curves, sliders and changeups in an attempt to get the slugger out.

The Tigers' Victor Martinez in 2011 and Prince Fielder this season no doubt helped Cabrera by batting behind him. Pitchers couldn't just pitch around Cabrera with either of those two on the on-deck circle.

But to hit as well as Cabrera did with all the travel, night baseball and the game's dependance on relief pitching has been truly amazing.

I don't know how many times I turned to the Lovely Linda Lou this season while watching the Tigers on television and remarked how great a hitter Cabrera had become.

To her credit, she knew who Cabrera was and sometimes watched him bat, just to see for herself what I was talking about.

If Cabrera felt any pressure the last week or 10 days of the regular season when the Triple Crown win became a possibility, he didn't show any strain.

He'd often be seen with a smile on his face, like he just loves playing the game.

He could have taken the last couple of games off to preserve his lead in all three hitting categories. But he started both, batting three times in the first and twice in the regular season finale before manager Jim Leyland took him out.

Leyland giving Cabrera a chance to receive kudos from the Kansas City fans was a nice touch. The Royals' faithful showed their class by giving Cabrera a standing ovation.

"It was an unbelievable feeling" the Tigers' slugger said afterwards.

The same could be said for those baseball fans who saw Cabrera hit this season.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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