While the Tigers wait around to find out who they'll face in the playoffs, they're getting a nice historic diversion. They get to watch a teammate rip apart baseball's record book.
Miguel Cabrera isn't quite unstoppable, but he's about as close as anyone ever gets. He had two more hits and two more RBIs Tuesday night, and the Triple Crown is in his grasp. Not that he needed further confirmation of his greatness, but surely this would do it. Heck, it might even end that relentlessly tiring MVP debate.
Cabrera left after the fifth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Royals, and if he wants to rest today to secure the Triple Crown, there should be no argument. None. Manager Jim Leyland said he'd make the decision whether to play Cabrera, but he also has a bit of a luxury — all of the hitting contenders play before the Tigers game tonight.
If Cabrera has it wrapped up, he's absolutely entitled to watch the finale from the dugout.
"He's got 600-some at-bats, what else you want the kid to do?" Leyland said. "Enough's enough. I think he's proven himself no matter what I do. I'm gonna be in a no-win position in the eyes of some, but if he wants to play, he'll play."
This hasn't been seen in baseball in 45 years, which might explain why it's hard for some to fathom what we're witnessing. But truthfully, you could see it coming for a while, as Cabrera locked in during the tension of the division race. One day after the Tigers clinched, all the game's meaning was packed into three at-bats.
Cabrera blooped a single in the first inning, then lined a two-run single in the third, his sixth consecutive hit over two games. After he lofted a foul fly to right, he left with an AL-leading .331 batting average. His RBI total of 139 is way ahead. His 44 home runs were one ahead of Josh Hamilton.
Cabrera deferred to Leyland, but obviously, the decision will be his. He said he wants to play, but let's see what happens with Hamilton and Mike Trout beforehand.
"I played 160 games, so I think one more won't affect me," Cabrera said. "Whatever decision (Leyland) makes, I'm good with it."
I bet Cabrera can't wait to get this finished, as the clamor grows ever louder, sometimes too loud for him. If he could chase the Triple Crown in a sensory-free bubble, he would. But for teammates who still watch in amazement, this has become the best seat at baseball's history table.
Tigers believe Miguel Cabrera's quest for Triple Crown should receive more acclaim
Detroit News | Oct 3