Major League Baseball has provided millions of us with one of the most exciting and memorable seasons in recent memory. Although there still are some kinks to be worked out, the expanded Wild Card Format keep people glued to the standings (and packing the stands) literally down to the final hours of the 2012 regular season. No one would logically have projected the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles as participants in post-season play. And how can we match the Oakland Athletics amazing assault on the AL West’s divisional crown in the final ten days of the season?
The season has its sad tales and melodrama. You only have to travel to Boston and recap the soap opera that was the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine. How many innings would Stephen Strasburg pitch and would he really be benched before the Nationals captured a pennant for Washington in centuries? And superstar Josh Hamilton’s ups and downs at Texas, did he really deserved carrying the brunt of the blame for the vaunted Rangers collapse? Grow up, Ron Washington.
The best baseball story in 2012 had to be Miguel Cabrera’s winning of the Triple Crown. He is the first to do so since Carl Yastremski in 1967! Miguel’s season almost ended in spring training when he took a shot to the eye, bloodied but protected by his sunglasses. Miguel was also trying to be on his best behavior after well-documented marital and alcohol problems.
Cabrera has obviously grown up. Perhaps the best baseball player today, certainly the most intelligent and prolific hitter, he also proved to be the consummate team player–professing his willingness to make sure his Tigers captured the AL Central crown even if it meant he did not achieve his personal prize-the Triple Crown. Playing with a Tigers team that started very hot but then struggled mightily to live up to its pedigree and payroll, it was Cabrera’s consistent production that kept them in the race and ultimately propelled them into the playoffs. One cannot help but agree with Justin Verlander (last year’s AL MVP) that Miguel Cabrera is the 2012 AL MVP.
By the way–hats off to the classy fans of the Kansas City Royals, who gave Cabrera two standing O’s when he captured the crown in their park–treating him with the respect he deserved.