For the first time in 45 years, a baseball player has a legitimate shot at the Triple Crown. Perhaps you've heard.
Maybe you've also heard that Miguel Cabrera, who is chasing this record, is uncomfortable with the increased attention because of this chase.
During the past few weeks, Cabrera has been approached by national reporters seeking insight into how he is doing it, or worse -- at least for him -- insight into what makes him tick. Cabrera has never much liked talking about himself and though he admits that leading the league in batting average, runs batted in and home runs all in the same year would be career defining, he would still rather talk about the Tigers and the race to make the playoffs.
So, for the moment, let's set aside the question of why Cabrera has a chance to do something no player has done since 1967 and focus on what has made the Triple Crown so elusive.
Pitching is a good place to start.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland argues that the specialization of pitchers makes it more difficult for hitters now. Managers these days prefer to make righties face righties and lefties face lefties during late innings. They also might bring in a pitcher just because he has had particular success against a player -- perhaps no manager exemplifies this modern method more than Chicago's Robin Ventura.
Triple Crown is hard hat to earn in baseball
Detroit Free Press | Sep 30