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August 16, 2013

Cabrera should be appreciated

(Continued)

Cabrera leads by more than 30 points in the batting average category. He’s hitting .360 and still hitting for the same power numbers as Davis, who has a batting average at .300. Conventional wisdom tells you hitting for that high of an average with those power numbers shouldn’t be possible. For Cabrera, this has become his new normal. His offensive numbers outweigh whatever defensive and baserunning edge Trout has.

Cabrera’s slash line of .360 batting average/.453 on-base percentage/.685 slugging percentage/1.138 OPS as of Thursday are all improvements from last year, including a 30 point jump in batting average. Some sabermatricians want to devalue batting average and RBI, because to them they are apparently outdated statistics. Cabrera’s slugging percentage are 26 points higher, his slugging 111 points higher and his OPS is 137 points higher than Trout’s.

It’s a shame that even on August 16, Cabrera is just now getting the attention he deserves. Cabrera even performed the unthinkable feat of homering off of the greatest reliever of all time — Mariano Rivera — not once but twice in three days this past weekend.

The first off these homers took place last Friday night. With Detroit trailing 4-2 in the ninth inning and one runner on base, Cabrera fouled the patented Rivera cut fastball off his knee and looked like he could barely walk and two pitches later he hit a 430-foot bomb over the centerfield fence to tie the game. It was a moment in time between two of the all-time greats.

Rivera isn’t as good as he once was, but it was an example of how dominant Cabrera is at the plate these days. He’s set a standard of play that can only be duplicated by maybe 10 hitters in the history of baseball.

You can’t ever be sure about anyone these days, but Cabrera looks like a clean player who has exceeded the hype of what kind of player he could be when he entered the big leagues with the Marlins a decade ago.

With all the negative storylines circling the game of baseball with the Biogenesis scandal and A-Rod appealing his 211-game suspension we would be smart to focus in on the best hitter any of us will ever see — Miguel Cabrera.

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