Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
Last August or so I took up a somewhat unconventional argument that it was vastly more important for Miguel Cabrera to win the Triple Crown than the puny MVP award. Sure, at the time, one (TC) might ensure the other (MVP), and it did, but for the purpose of building a untouchable historical legacy, I argued that a Triple Crown makes you a baseball immortal. An MVP does not.
Aside from Joe Medwick, who was no slouch with a career .324 average, every TC winner since 1900 is essentially an MLB legend. Here they are.
Sure, some of baseball's titans have won MVPs (full list here), but so have Bobby Shantz, Willie McGee, Elston Howard and other names you're unfamiliar with. And that's not to slight Cabrera; he's now IN the argument with Pujols for best player over the last decade, and as @CrashburnAlley said on Twitter over the weekend, Cabrera's BR page is truly baseball porn.
This year, with there already being discussion about not only back to back MVP campaigns for Cabrera - I'll bet on that - but back to back TC years as well.
Think about that. No one a TC in 40+ years, and now the SAME guy might do it two years in a row.
Miguel Cabrera is so supreme a hitter right now that your immediate response to the thought of back to back TC's wasn't 'I need to stop drinking.' Back to back TC's for Cabrera is something very viable.
Which brings me to something I'd prefer over even such a transcendental achievement.
I'd like Cabrera to approach the top ten on this list of all time RBI seasons.
I know, I know, back to back TC's would put Cabrera in a seemingly unreachable universe, but if at some point Chris Davis goes on multiple homerun binges leaving him with more than Cabrera, or if Robinson Cano, in a contract year, snatches the batting crown away from Miggy it would be quite a piece of history in its own right if Cabrera's RBI total topped the number I have in mind.
It's not Hack Wilson's 191 or Gehrig's 184.
Even with Cabrera streaking toward a historic 194 at this point, pace and projections, even with an omnipotent force like the reigning AL MVP, are just fun numbers to daydream about early in the year. There's always slumps and regressions. I'll wager more that Cabrera wins a second TC, before I put money on him keeping this unthinkable RBI pace.
So what's my magic digit for Cabrera?
166. Though I may settle for 149 or 150.
165 is how many Manny Ramirez drove in during his '99 campaign. The other names in that area on the list are Foxx, DiMaggio, Ruth and a few others. They were good. A lot good.
If Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, and even Omar Infante in the 9 hole continue to provide Cabrera with plenty of runners on base, 166 is definitely a manageable goal.
But, if Hunter tumbles back to earth and Infante reverts to a more typical bottom of the order hitter (instead of a 2-hole type producer), 166 may be unreachable for Cabrera.
However, let's assume drug testing has lessened the cheaters in the game and pitching has reasserted itself as the decisive side of the game, then let's remove all the Steroid Era players from the single season RBI list.
That's fair, no?
Goodbye to Alex Rodriguez, Manny, Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Andres Galaragga, Miguel Tejada, Albert Belle and sorry to convict you, but as part of the era, Ryan Howard's 149 are nudged aside.
If you can agree to remove all of those enhanced, and those suspected to have done just that (OK, leave Howard), equaling or best George Foster's 149 RBIs in 1977 would once again land Cabrera is historical prestigous company. Sure there's names like Ken Williams and Tommy Davis (who!?) on the all tiem RBI list, but for the most part that list is littered with the very best hitters who've ever picked up a bat for a Major League team.
Ruth, Gehrig, Greenberg, Foxx, Cabrera.
It doesn't look like it fits...now. But as the present becomes the past, and the history, Cabrera's name may fit just fine amid those names above.
.From Richard Deitsch's SI media column, 9. NBC Sports Network's NHL regular season averaged 392,000 viewers, up 18 percent from last year. It is the most-watched NHL regular season on cable in 19 years since ESPN and ESPN2 averaged 474,000 during the 1993-94 season.
I don't watch the NHL, but I don't bash it either. Good for NBC for helping to rebuild the league's image after the lockout. I mean, they have to, to get to the most out of their investment, but still, that's quite a surprising stat.
.Lidge then Valverde, now Rodney. The Devil needs a separate Outlook folder for all his closer deals.
Fernando Rodney has allowed 6 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings this season. He gave up 5 ER in 74 2/3 IP last year. #rays
.After 17 years, they will come from underground and storm the East Coast, in search of nothing but sex. What are they? Cicadas.
Since 1996, this group of 1-inch bugs, in wingless nymph form, has been a few feet underground, sucking on tree roots and biding their time. They will emerge only when the ground temperature reaches precisely 64 degrees. After a few weeks up in the trees, they will die and their offspring will go underground, not to return until 2030.
‘‘It’s just an amazing accomplishment,’’ Berenbaum says. ‘‘How can anyone not be impressed?’’
And they will make a big racket, too. The noise all the male cicadas make when they sing for sex can drown out your own thoughts, and maybe even rival a rock concert. In 2004, Gene Kritsky, an entomologist at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, measured cicadas at 94 decibels, saying it was so loud ‘‘you don’t hear planes flying overhead.’’
.I'm cognizant of how well Jordann Zimmermann, tonight's starter vs. the Tigers, has pitched this year (5-1 1.64 ERA), but to read this is troubling, "His stuff is so much better than Strasburg's," the scout said. "Strasburg's stuff has gone backwards. Zimmermann is throwing 95-96 [mph], with two different breaking balls that he throws for strikes. The hitters will tell you it's tough to pick up. And he's so free and easy."
.Please watch this ball that Mark Reynolds clobbered 460 feet last night. It's Stanton-ian.
.Amid all the Johnny Football hype as the reigning Heisman champ, no one ever thought much of how his game would translate to the NFL. But now we have this, I believe Doug Flutie is a more apt comparison when it comes to Manziel. Flutie was an effective improvisational playmaker as a pro who could also play the game from the pocket. After spending years refining his craft in the Canadian Football League, Flutie landed in the NFL and enjoyed a successful stint as a starting quarterback. Manziel will certainly get his chance, but I don't believe he is a top quarterback prospect at this time.
.Kevin Durant's going to have to score at least 30+ each game, and Kevin Martin will need to show up offensively, as he has in the last two games, for Durant to have opportunities like this to showcase his greatness. Now would also be a wonderous time for Serge Ibaka to arrive and earn that extension he signed. If Durant's the only offense against Memphis, then he'll need this to be an 11 pointer each night.
.An enormous about of words why every NBA is, or should be, looking for the next Shane Battier with how the league is operate these days.
On the one hand, this is obvious: Defense and shooting are fundamental basketball skills. They have always been important. But they are becoming more important as the league changes, and on the flip side, the absence of those skills has become more damaging; a player like Mbah a Moute, a multi-positional defensive genius who can't shoot, may not deserve $5 million per season — even if Mbah a Moute has a nifty post game and some passing skills he can break out in a pinch. And players such as Green or Thabo Sefolosha may be worth much more than their current contracts.
.Comics and psychology, my two passions fused together as Does Iron Man have PTSD is asked. When Iron Man 3 (a.k.a. Iron Man Three once in the end credits) takes us to today's Tony Stark, we find a man haunted by his experiences in New York, a hero who can barely sleep. He suffers anxiety attacks with shortness of breath whenever reminded of the New York invasion, an incident he refuses to discuss even when asked simple questions about it. Despite all this, he insists that he does not have PTSD, but would he really know?
.By now you got Carmelo got ONE first place MVP vote. Sad.