ESPYs 2013: Miguel Cabrera and Athletes Who Were the Biggest Snubs

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2013

July 13, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) reacts to flying out in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2013 ESPYs we know one thing for sure—the fans love LeBron James. 

The Miami Heat star was definitely the life of the party at the awards show. He (and his team) took home five awards to easily lead the ESPY count for the evening. Michael Phelps and Adrian Peterson were the only others to receive more than one award with two apiece. 

However, not every athlete was given the proper recognition that they deserved for their efforts. The fan vote largely placed the awards in the right hands, but there were a few decisions that could have been better. 

These athletes could make a strong case that they were snubbed by the voters. 


Miguel Cabrera for Not Winning Best Male Athlete

There's no denying LeBron James' popularity. At this point, it's well-deserved. He handles his business on and off the court, wisely developing his brand and winning championships on the court. 

The voters got it wrong by handing him the Best Male Athlete award, though. 

That distinction rightfully belonged to Miguel Cabrera. 

The Detroit Tigers slugger posted one of the best seasons in baseball history. 

Throwing out his 2013 numbers, which are extremely impressive once again, the third baseman led the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBI (139) to become the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. 

If it weren't for Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis' 37 home runs, he'd be on pace to achieve the accomplishment again this year.

The obvious counterpoint is that Cabrera didn't win a championship when LeBron did. However, the team achievement shouldn't weigh so heavily for an individual award. 


All the Other Nominees for Best Fighter

Determining who should win the Best Fighter award is tricky business. Unlike the athletes in most other sports, fighters don't have a set schedule, so determining what they've done in a year gets to be murky waters. 

Regardless of how you look at it, it's tough to justify Floyd Mayweather taking home the award. 

Yes, he's the pound-for-pound champion in boxing, but it's not a title he really defended since winning the ESPY for Best Fighter in 2012. 

In the last year he's fought just once—a unanimous decision victory over Robert Guerrero. 

In that same time span, each of the other nominees fought at least twice. Danny Garcia even defended his title three times, beating Zab Judah, Erik Morales and Amir Khan. 

Mayweather might be the best fighter, but you should really have to prove it to win the award. As great as he is, a win over Guerrero really didn't do that. 


Alexander Ovechkin for Losing to Sidney Crosby for Best NHL Player

Here's a good question for voters: Shouldn't the best player in the sport that season win the MVP trophy?

In the voters' mind, the answer is obviously "no." Sidney Crosby failed to beat out Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin in the 2012-13 Hart Trophy voting but was able to snag the ESPY for Best NHL Player. 

There's an argument to be made for Crosby, sure. The two scored the same amount of points (56) despite Crosby playing in 12 fewer games because of injury. But Ovechkin more than doubled Crosby's goal count (32 to 15) and didn't have the benefit of playing on a team that also featured the 2011-12 Hart trophy winner in Evgeni Malkin. 

Crosby's victory feels much more like an acknowledgement of his vast popularity than an actual coronation as the best player in the NHL.