Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tigers' big third baseman, hit for the triple crown—.330 batting average, 44 home runs, 139 RBI—in 2012. His triple crown was baseball's first since Carl Yastrzemski's in 1967. Impressive! But it probably wasn't the league's best offensive season, and it assuredly wasn't its best overall season. Los Angeles's Mike Trout had an average only four points lower than Cabrera's, an on-base percentage six points higher, and he scored 20 more runs. He led the league in stolen bases. Add in that Trout played in a tougher hitters' park, that he played a premium defensive position and played it really well, and that Cabrera butchered things at third, and you have a pretty tidy MVP case for Trout. (Even our man Nate Silver endorsed him.) Sorry, Cabrera. Congratulations on the crown and the pennant, and better luck next year.
Oh, ha, wait, baseball writers control the MVP balloting, so Cabrera won in a landslide! He had 22 first-place votes to Trout's six. Twenty-one of the voters who backed Cabrera for the MVP gave Trout their second-place votes, and "Slick" Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal even decided to put Trout behind Adrian Beltre. Good job, guy! You and your print pals ensured us another year of "WAR? What is it good for?" hell.
[via the BBWAA's adorable website]