Don’t try to talk sabermetrics with Frank Robinson. When he won the Triple Crown in 1966, he was the MVP. And he thinks Miguel Cabrera deserves the same honor.
The Hall of Fame slugger weighed in on the AL MVP debate Wednesday after throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Game 3 of the St. Louis-Washington series. While new-age stat-heads might favor Angels rookie Mike Trout, Robinson is definitely old school about Cabrera’s .330 batting average, 44 homers and 139 RBI with Detroit.
Guys have had a good year, Trout especially, Robinson said. But I don’t see how an individual can play on a winning ballclub and get his team into a series trying to get into the World Series and win a Triple Crown – and not be the MVP of the league.
Robinson’s impressive feat was repeated in 1967 by Carl Yastrzemski, but baseball then went 45 years without a Triple Crown winner before Cabrera pulled it off.
I’m really happy for him because I think people take the Triple Crown for granted really, take it too lightly, Robinson said.
I think it’s the most outstanding thing an individual player as a hitter can do. It’s not an easy thing.
I don’t know of anybody who went into spring training and said, I’m going to win the Triple Crown.’ You can’t do that.
You don’t start thinking about Triple Crown until early or mid-September.