AL: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Why he won: The Triple Crown still has magic, it seems.
Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera, in the end, emerged as the American Leagues Most Valuable Player by a comfortable margin in a fiercely debated contest over Los Angeles rookie outfielder Mike Trout.
Cabrera, 29, received 22 of 28 first-place votes and 362 points after leading the AL with 44 homers, 139 RBIs and a .330 average. He is the first player to sweep the Triple Crown categories in either league since Boston outfielder Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The award by the BBWAA mirrors that of Cabreras peers; he recently received the Players Choice Award as the seasons most outstanding player.
Even so, Trout drew strong support particularly among believers in sabermetric stats, which suggested his speed and defensive skills made him a far better overall player. He collected six first-place votes and 281 points.
Trout, 21, batted .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs in 139 games. He also led the league with 129 runs and 49 steals. Supporters pointed to his remarkable 10.7 WAR (wins above replacement) rating. Cabrera finished fourth at 6.9 in that metric.
Only one voter failed to place Cabrera and Trout in his top two selections. Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal had Trout at No. 3 behind Cabrera and Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Trout was a unanimous selection earlier in the week as the AL Rookie of the Year.
In his words
Im very excited, Cabrera said. I dont have any words to explain how excited I am right now.
Top 10 in voting
|Miguel Cabrera, Det.||22||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||362|
|Mike Trout, LA||6||21||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||281|
|Adrian Beltre, Texas||0||1||16||9||1||0||1||0||0||0||210|
|Robinson Cano, N.Y.||0||0||6||10||1||1||3||2||1||0||149|
|Josh Hamilton, Texas||0||0||0||3||6||5||8||2||3||1||127|
|Adam Jones, Balt.||0||0||1||2||8||5||4||3||2||0||124|
|Derek Jeter, N.Y.||0||0||2||1||4||1||3||2||1||1||73|
|Justin Verlander, Det.||0||0||0||2||3||3||2||0||1||1||58|
|Prince Fielder, Det.||0||0||0||0||1||5||1||2||5||5||56|
|Yoenis Cespedes, Oak.||0||0||0||0||1||2||2||3||2||4||41|
The voting panel consists of two BBWAA members from each of the 14 chapters in American League cities. Players receive 14 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote and eight for a third-place vote, etc., down to one point for a 10th-place vote. Balloting is conducted prior to post-season play.
Kansas City Chapter ballots
Bob Dutton, Kansas City Star: Cabrera, Trout, Cano, Beltre, Fielder, Price, Verlander, Jones, Hamilton, Encarnacion.
• Jeff Passan, Yahoo.com: Trout, Cabrera, Beltre, Cano, Verlander, Jones, Hamilton, Mauer, Hernandez, Fielder.
NL: Buster Posey, San Francisco
Why he won:
There wasnt a lot of debate in the National League.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey received 27 of the 32 first-place votes and 422 points in a runaway victory. Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 recipient, was second with three and 285.
Posey, 25, led the Giants to their second World Series crown in three years, but the balloting took place before postseason. The award caps a remarkable comeback season; Posey played just 45 games in 2011 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
The Giants overcame the drug-related suspension of outfielder Melky Cabrera over the closing weeks in large part because Posey batted .385 with a .456 on-base percentage in 71 games after the All-Star break.
Posey won the NL batting title at .336 when commissioner Bud Selig declared Cabrera to be ineligible for the honor because of his suspension. Posey also finished with 24 homers and 103 RBIs.
In his words
It probably took a couple of months (to feel fully recovered from last years injury), Posey said. For me, the toughest thing was running bases. When I would cut, sometimes, it would tend to aggravate my ankle a little bit, which in turn would bother me behind the plate.
I give tons and tons of credit to Dave Groeschner, our head trainer, and the rest of the training staff, and the doctors who put me back together.
Top 10 in voting
|Buster Posey, San Fran.||27||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||422|
|Ryan Braun, Mil.||3||15||10||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||388|
|Andrew McCutchen, Pitt.||0||6||13||11||1||0||1||0||0||0||245|
|Yadier Molina, St. Louis||2||6||8||13||0||0||0||1||0||1||241|
|Chase Headley, S.D.||0||0||0||1||9||7||5||0||5||1||127|
|David Wright, N.Y.||0||0||0||0||7||4||1||3||4||3||86|
|Adam LaRoche, Wash.||0||0||0||0||6||5||2||5||1||0||86|
|Craig Kimbrel, Atl.||0||1||0||0||3||5||2||2||3||1||73|
|Aramis Ramirez, Mil.||0||0||0||0||1||1||4||6||1||0||47|
|Jay Bruce, Cinci.||0||0||0||2||1||3||2||1||0||0||46|
The voting panel consists of two BBWAA members from each of the 16 chapters in National League cities. Players receive 14 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote and eight for a third-place vote, etc., down to one point for a 10th-place vote. Balloting is conducted prior to post-season play.
2012 BBWAA award winners
AL Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera, Det.
NL Most Valuable Player: Buster Posey, San Fran.
AL Cy Young Award: David Price, Tampa Bay
NL Cy Young Award: R.A. Dickey, N.Y.
AL Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin, Oak.
NL Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Wash.
AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, LA
NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper, Wash.