Miguel Cabrera is so consistently, monotonously, routinely great year in and year out, there's really only one word to appropriately describe his production.
That's right. What Cabrera has done so far in 2013, a season in which he's actually (gasp) been better than last year's American League MVP-winning and Triple Crown-capturing campaign, is so remarkably...boring.
But in a sports world—heck, an entire society—where everything is so focused on what's next and who's coming up and how young so-and-so is, well, Cabrera is yesterday's news.
How can a 30-year-old Cabrera, who's only leading baseball in batting average (.368), on-base percentage (.460) and RBI (77), compete with a 22-year-old Cuban sensation whose career—all 20 or so games of it—is off to a start we've basically never seen before?
Why should we spend—nay, waste—any time enjoying Cabrera's well-honed lumber artistry as the offensive force behind a first-place team that went to the World Series last year, when every waking moment we're told not to take our eyes off a 21-year-old playing for a team that's nearly 10 games under .500?
Since when does an 11-year veteran who's never once been voted an All-Star starter deserve more pub and recognition than a 24-year-old flamethrower who's making a too-hard-to-ignore case to be named the All-Star Game's starting pitcher in his first full season?
With apologies to Cabrera, he is no Yasiel Puig, Mike Trout or Matt Harvey. And that's a shame.
Once upon a time—ages ago, really—Cabrera was where Puig and Trout are now. He was the phenom, the prodigy, the Next Big Thing.
In his first shot with the big boys back then, Cabrera flashed all the requisite skills to become a future star, hitting .268, smacking 36 extra-base hits, including 12 homers, and driving in 62 runs. In half a season, more or less.
Oh, and he also helped the Marlins, 35-39 at the time of his promotion on June 20, go 56-32 the rest of the way, make the postseason as the NL wild card and beat a Yankees team that wasn't exactly too far removed from its dynasty days...to win the bleepin' World Series.
And all he's done since is hit and hit and hit. And hit some more.
After a 2012 season that was his best yet, Cabrera is currently batting .368 with a .460 OBP and a .649 SLG, and entering play Tuesday, he's on pace for 232 hits, 45 homers, 124 runs and 164 RBI.
All of those, by the way, would be career bests, meaning he's in line to—somehow—be even better than he was last year. When he won MVP. When he became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.
Cabrera, if possible, has become both the maestro and the metronome. The bat is his baton by which he keeps all of us in time with his swinging. Yet because of this, we don't often appreciate—or maybe even notice—what he's doing. We just assume it will continue forever.
It won't, of course.
So take a break from Twitter for an evening. Save that Facebook status update for another time. Put down your ongoing, never-ending game of Words with Friends.
Just take a moment to watch Miguel Cabrera in the batter's box.
He might not be as flashy and new as Yasiel Puig or as all-around great as Mike Trout or as blistering as Matt Harvey and his fastball.
That's OK, because Cabrera is better than them. And everyone else, too.
Sometimes boring is best.
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