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Miguel Cabrera wins the A.L. MVP for 2012

6:53 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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DETROIT, Mich (DETROIT FREE PRESS) -- Old school common sense won out over new school sabermetrics.

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won the American League's Most Valuable Player Award over Mike Trout of the Los Angles Angels in voting by 28 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The announcement was made live on the MLB Network tonight.

Even though the Tiger won, the Cabrera-Trout debate likely will rage on for years.

After all, many in Detroit still believe Alan Trammell was robbed of the 1987 award by George Bell of the Blue Jays.

The debate between Cabrera and Trout took on a life of its own.

Cabrera became the first player to win the Triple Crown in 45 years, leading the league in home runs (44), RBIs (139) and batting average (.330), among other categories. He also performed better than Trout over the final months of the season and late in games.

Unlike Trout, Cabrera helped his team reach the playoffs (and ultimately the World Series, although votes were cast before the postseason).

Cabrera, a third baseman, already had beaten Trout, a centerfielder, in a vote of their peers, recently winning player of the year in the Players Choice Awards.

Trout was trumpeted by a new breed of baseball-loving statisticians who tried to find value in number analysis.

Given his speed and defense, Trout was viewed as the better all-around player. His supporters tossed out proof in things like Wins Above Replacement and Defensive Runs Saved. Trout already had been unanimously voted the AL rookie of the year.

Cabrera had edged Trout by a 4-3 vote of MLB Network analysts who debated the AL MVP race on Wednesday. Peter Gammons, Brian Kenny and Ken Rosenthal gave the nod to Trout, while Tom Verducci, Harold Reynolds, Larry Bowa and Billy Ripken chose Cabrera.

 

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