If Detroit Tigers Don't Make Playoffs, Miguel Cabrera's MVP Means Nothing

Josh Berenter@JBerenterCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:   Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers waves to fans as he heads to the dugout with Omar Infante #4 and Andy Dirks #12 after hitting a three run home run against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning of their game on September 16, 2012 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.   (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David Maxwell/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera is on the verge of winning the American League Triple Crown for the first time since Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1967.

Cabrera leads the AL with a .331 average and 133 RBI's, and is tied for the AL home run lead with Texas Rangers' slugger Josh Hamilton, with 42 homers.

The Tigers' third baseman is the front-runner for AL MVP, but if the the Tigers don't overcome the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central and fail to make the 2012 postseason, Cabrera winning MVP would mean nothing.

Cabrera has been tearing the cover off the baseball in September, averaging .346 with nine home runs and 24 RBI's in 21 games this month. But Detroit hasn't taken advantage of Chicago's five-game losing streak and the Tigers still trail the White Sox by one game, with 10 games remaining.

Cabrera has a 13-game hitting streak and in the Tigers' series against the Oakland Athletics, the 29-year-old strengthened his MVP resuming, going 5-for-11, with three home runs and seven RBI's.

In Detroit's last series against the Minnesota Twins, Cabrera added another home run, putting himself in at least a share of the lead in every category for the Triple Crown. But the Tigers lost two of three games to the anemic last-place Twins, and remain in on the outside, looking in, for the pennant race.

Detroit went into this season with the highest expectations in recent history, but a game back of Chicago, with 10 games left in the regular season, the Tigers are on the brink of completing one of the most disappointing seasons in MLB history.


Cabrera winning the MVP would be a terrific individual accomplishment, especially because he's come so close—top five in voting five times and in each of the last three years—but because of the preseason expectations, the individual award would be overshadowed by the team's failure.

The Tigers' slugger has done everything he can possibly do to help keep Detroit in the hunt for a division title and postseason berth, boasting  a .353 average, with seven home runs and 21 RBI's in the seventh inning or later, when the Tigers are down by one or tied this season.

Cabrera has hit .352 with 17 home runs and 48 RBI's the last 47 games, and has put his team on his back this month, accounting for almost 40 percent of the Tigers' runs in September, and hitting almost 100 points higher in Tigers' wins, than in team losses.

There's no question, Cabrera is having the best season of his life, and should win AL MVP, but if the Tigers don't make the playoffs, what does it mean?

Would that satisfy the fans? Would it satisfy him?

I don't think so.