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Rounding Third: Cabrera starting to do his thing
By Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you are a baseball fan you should really sit back and appreciate what is happening in Detroit.
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera could very well be on his way to becoming the best hitter this game has seen in some time. Yes Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez were great and few players were ever as prolific as Barry Bonds, but I'm pretty sure we can all agree there may have been something else fueling them.
Perhaps history will one day tell us that Cabrera was doing a little more than just saying his prayers and eating his vitamins, but for now we should just accept the fact that we could be watching the best all-around hitter since Ted Williams.
Please save your Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs arguments. Yes they were great pure hitters. Punch and Judy hitters, but two of the best ever, no doubt. Neither one of them, though, are on the overall level of Cabrera.
And that's not a knock. Few are. Regardless of the situation, Cabrera is the one anyone would want at the plate.
Now, this really isn't breaking news, though. We've all known for a while now that Cabrera is kind of a big deal.
Cabrera is a three-time batting champion, has driven in more than a 100 runs in each of the last nine seasons, is a two-time home run champion. And oh yea, he also won the Triple Crown last year.
Cabrera, who has homered in four straight games, is in the midst of an absolute tear, as he is hitting .486 over the course of a nine-game hitting streak and has belted seven home runs with 15 RBI in that span.
His 55 RBI through 45 games are something no major league hitter has done since Manny Ramirez in 2001. Thirteen of them, though, have come in the last four games.
Obviously, having Prince Fielder hit behind him does not hurt. Fielder is on pace for an RBI a game as well and lately he has made opposing pitchers who opt to walk Cabrera to face him pay.
"You hate walking anyone to pitch to Prince Fielder, I can tell you that right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But you've got to take your choice, and the way Cabrera is swinging the bat, you've got to do it."
Cabrera has been walked five times in the last four games. Fielder has followed each of those walks with run-scoring hits, including what turned out to be the game-winning RBI single Thursday.
"It's absolutely incredible what they are doing," Tigers starter Rick Porcello said. "If I were pitching against them, I'd just walk both of them every time they came up."
In my Tigers' season preview I asked if it was crazy to think that Cabrera would be an odds-on favorite to win another Triple Crown. Well if you take a gander at that the leaders heading into this weekend Cabrera leads the majors with a .391 average and 55 RBI, plus is 14 home runs are one off the pace of AL leader Chris Davis from Baltimore.
Keep in mind that none of the previous 16 Triple Crown winners has led his league in even two categories the next season and none has ever led the league in home runs the next year, either.
So, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
It's also a reminder of just how far Miguel Cabrera has come as a person. It wasn't long ago that Cabrera was arrested for a drunken, domestic violence dispute, while his team was the midst of a playoff chase on the final weekend of the season in 2009.
Heck, it was only two spring trainings ago that Miggy was popped for DUI and took a swig from a whiskey bottle in front of the cops.
He's certainly come a long way since that ugly night.
We hadn't seen a Triple Crown winner in 45 years before Cabrera did it in 2012. It's been even longer since we've seen someone hit .400. Anyone want to bet against Cabrera being the one to do it?
05/24 12:14:58 ET