OT: Where does Miggy Stand?

Submitted by MGoLesher on May 13th, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Well, if you didn't see Miguel Cabrera's dramatic go-ahead ninth inning homerun tonight, here it is: 

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/70087564/v32843503/

I know this is a cheesy radio topic, but where does the back-to-back MVP stand currently amongst the all-time greats? How high can he go by the time he decides to call it quits? I say he has a chance to be among the top three hitters in the history of baseball when it's all said and done. 

Comments

Bryan

May 13th, 2014 at 11:12 PM ^

Is that he was nearly identical with Aaron for stats at this point in his career. That said, long way to go and needs to stay healthy to be considered among the greats.

He also needs a ring.

rainingmaize

May 14th, 2014 at 3:01 AM ^

Pretending Cabrera doesn't already have a ring, Hall of Famers such as Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, and Ken Griffey Jr. don't have a ring either. Williams only played in the postseason once. All of those players have been or could be mentioned in arguments about the greatest player of all time. Several other Hall of Famers lack rings as well.

TRAILofVICTORY

May 14th, 2014 at 8:17 AM ^

This is obviously subjective to an extent, but if we're wondering if Miggy can be one of the best 3 hitters of all time, isn't Hank Aaron the wrong guy to compare him to? I think there's debate on whether Aaron is one of the top-10 hitters of all time, let alone top 3 (although he is defininitely the "Home Run King"). When top hitters come to mind, I'm thinking (not necessarily in order):

Ted Williams

Ty Cobb

Barry Bonds

Mickey Mantle

Babe Ruth

Joe DiMaggio

Lou Gehrig

Rogers Hornsby

 

Will Miggy land among the top-3 of those guys? He's got a ways to go, but man he has been good so far.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

May 14th, 2014 at 8:54 AM ^

The only way there's a debate about Hank Aaron being top ten is if you define "best hitter" to mean "best in his prime."  My opinion is that anyone saying Aaron isn't top ten is penalizing him for having his prime last so much longer than everyone else's.  Aaron's best single-season numbers don't place him top ten, but a guy who hit .301-40-96 when he was 39, without needles being involved, belongs in the tip-top of the pantheon.

WMUgoblue

May 13th, 2014 at 11:19 PM ^

 I was at Camden tonight, I may have squealed like a school girl at a One Direction concert when that ball fell into the O's bullpen. It's a rather meaningless game in May, but this is one of those moments that just shows how special a player Miggy is.

JClay

May 13th, 2014 at 11:32 PM ^

Hey me too ! I think every displaced Tigers fan within 4 hour drive decided we could take one day off work and see two Tigers games (going to see Verlander tomorrow afternoon too). Been to several Tigers games at Camden and never seen even 1/3rd this many Tigers fans.

Martinez' blast hit Eutaw St too. Amazingly tense game the whole way thru. Thought we'd list twice in the 9th before the blast.

WMUgoblue

May 13th, 2014 at 11:39 PM ^

We blend in quite well wearing orange, but ya I went to all 3 games last year and none of them had the fan support like the Tigers fans gave tonight. It wasn't as crazy as it was at Wrigley 2 years ago but every transplanted Michigander seemed to don the D at Camden tonight.

JClay

May 13th, 2014 at 11:49 PM ^

Well as soon as miggy's shot cleared the OF glove and we all had the chance to exhale and take a much needed deep breath, you could tell where every Tigers fan in the stadium was from the unbridled exuberance! :) As Stephenrjking said below, regular season or not, I'll tell the relevant 9th inning details of this one to my grand kids. So dramatic.

Thirty random people singing the Bless You Boys song on our way outta the concourse was pretty incredible too.

I really do think the "2 games, one day off work" thing plays into the fan support too seriously. I'm going to get home tomorrow the time I usually get off of work and feel like I had a full weekend mid-week after this.

stephenrjking

May 13th, 2014 at 11:36 PM ^

Dude, don't undersell. This may be May, but this will remain one of the best moments of the year in the regular season. That must have been awesome to see in person.

I know it was awesome at home. I was worried that I had scarred my children...

But my wife tells me that six-year-old daughter's reaction from her bed to hearing my reaction downstairs was this matter-of-fact statement to her sisters: "That was Mi-GUEL Cab-RERA."

BlueCube

May 14th, 2014 at 8:17 AM ^

Watching the player reactions on TV was awesome. They are fired up, they believe in themselves and, while they were well on their way already, that may be the hit to make this a very special year.

I had doubts about the changes at the beginning of the year. I was hopeful but didn't want to get expectations too high. It's clear they believe and they have made me a believer.

nowicki2005

May 13th, 2014 at 11:19 PM ^

I always feel like because he doesn't speak great understandable English, he will never get the credit he deserves. I feel like as Might goes down as one of the greatest hitters in the game over the next five years plus, you will see a guy like Mike Trout, white, American, over shadow him greatly, and basically has in a lot of places that aren't Michigan or Florida.

Lou MacAdoo

May 14th, 2014 at 12:47 AM ^

That's an awesome interview. So real and so much personality. This team seems to be having much more fun than previous squads. Miguel is clearly a big part of that and Torii Hunter has had a huge impact as well, but I have to believe Ausmus is the key. He just seems to run a loose clubhouse and it looks like its paying off.

Superjay

May 14th, 2014 at 9:14 AM ^

As cool as it was to see Miggy goofing around and showing his humor... you have to give it up for Anibal. Holy crap, I want to party with that guy.

 

I was hoping that when they had Leyland in the booth the other day, they'd show him this Zubaz picture to get his reaction. 

stephenrjking

May 13th, 2014 at 11:44 PM ^

Baseball has a hard time marketing its stars. There are a lot of legit reasons for this, but the bottom line is that a guy like Miggy isn't going to get as much as he might deserve simply because of the headwinds he naturally faces as a guy who swings at baseballs for a living.

Yeah, Trout is getting a big push because he is so good at such a young age, but even then he's at best the fourth-most-significant athlete in his own market (Kobe, Blake, And CP3) and is unlikely to ever enter the rarified air of superstars that is reserved in this culture for the most elite basketball and football players to the exclusion of anyone else.

So it's no surprise that Miggy isn't up there, either.

rob f

May 13th, 2014 at 11:33 PM ^

The Tigers are just such a fun team to watch now, as they can win in so many ways.

Tonight it was a combination of pitching, speed, and 9th inning back-to-back dingers.  Aren't 3-run homers grrrrreeaeat!?!

But back to your question--IMO, if Cabrera can continue what he's doing---and has been doing for the last several seasons---he has to be one of the 3 best players of the last 50 seasons.  Hands down.

I was a little too young to be able to enjoy the careers of Mays, Mantle, and Aaron, even most of the careers of Al Kaline and Roberto Clemente happened while I was too young to appreciate it.  So I'll consider the careers of that group of players to be primarily prior to this last 50 years.  But those 5 have to be included in any discussion of baseball's best of the previous 25 or so years (starting with post-WWII thru the 60's).

Trying to ignore PEDs in this discussion, I'd have to say Cabrera, Pujols, Bonds,  Clemens, Mariano Rivera, Greg Maddux (off the top of my head) all have to be top ten from the last 50 years.  Then assuming Miggy is "clean"?  That vaults him to the top of that list along with Pujols (who I'm also assuming is clean).  

Quite possible that Miggy might eventually become the Greatest Tiger Ever.

 

JamieH

May 13th, 2014 at 11:59 PM ^

He's already probably the greatest Tiger hitter in HISTORY.   Yes, better han Kaline, though Kaline did hit in some pitcher dominated years before the mound was lowered so that would have to be factored in to get a totally fair comparison.  Of course, Kaline also played in Tiger Stadium, not Comerica Park.  Cabrera would probably hit 40-50 home runs every year if he played in Tiger Stadium.

Through 12 years Cabrera is AVERAGING .320 BA .398 OBP  31HR 108 RBI  Those are crazy numbers

He's led that AL in batting average 3 times.  He's led the AL in OBP twice.  He's led the AL in slugging twice.  He's a 2-time MVP, and 8-time All-Star

Through age 30, his closest comparable stats are to HANK AARON, who in his first 11 years, hit .320/.376/.567 with 366 HR and 1216 RBI.  Miggy has hit .321/.399/.568 with 365 HR and 1260 RBI in almost the exact same number of games.

So basically Miggy is Hark Arron with a few extra RBI and a bunch more walks.  Hank was considerably better at stretching doubles into triples, so we can give him that. 

MIggy is already an alltime great.  The question is really just WHERE on the alltime great list will he end up? 

JamieH

May 14th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

First of call, comparing whatever Ty Cobb played to the baseball of today is rather ridiculous.  It was a completely different game. 

Second of all, if you look at the numbers, Cabrera's OPS is actualy slightly superior

Cabrera: .320/.398/.556 ..964

Cobb .366/.433/.512 .945

So you could actually make an argument that Cabrera is the best Tiger ever. I say comparing them makes no sense given that the game of baseball today hardly resembles the game that Cobb played.  So I should have said that Cabrera is the best Tiger's hitter in MODERN baseball history.  Where modern baseball history actually starts is another argument to have.

Comparing a player of today to Ty Cobb is kind of like trying to compare any current Michigan player to Tom Harmon.  It's just not really possible to do it. 

jmdblue

May 14th, 2014 at 8:32 AM ^

but certainly the best Tiger hitter ever.  Ruth is widely considered the best ballplayer ever (I'd say Mays), but as late as the 70's Cobb was considered the greatest.  I think the switch was because of a general social awakening clashing with Cobb's persona, and because Cobb played so long ago that there is a question as to how well his stats translate.

Knight

May 14th, 2014 at 12:35 AM ^

Miggy has been great for a decade now, not just the past few years. Albert Pujols had 12 great seasons before coming back down to earth last season, Cabrera has had 10 straight great seasons since his solid rookie year. They are two of the all-time greats and much closer than you think.

162 game season averages over their careers:

Cabrera: .320 BA 35 HR 123 RBI

Pujols: .320 BA 41 HR 124 RBI