Miggy keeps Players Choice Player of the Year award in the 'D'
In line with Justin Verlander’s campaign to “Keep the MVP in the D,” Miguel Cabrera made a similar sweep as his teammate had a year earlier, cleaning up in the Players Choice Awards announced Monday night, earning Player of the Year.
Cabrera was also voted by his peers as the American League Outstanding Player for 2012.
Verlander was the Player of the Year, as well as AL Outstanding Pitcher in 2011.
“It’s unbelievable. I never thought I would be in this position. I got lucky. Very lucky,” said Cabrera, who was on hand in the studio for the live broadcast of the awards show on MLB Network. “I think it’s all because I have good teammates.”
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout and Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre were the other finalists for the AL Outstanding Player award.
Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen won the Outstanding Player honors in the National League, and was one of three finalists for Player of the Year, along with Cabrera and Trout.
The first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski, Cabrera led the AL in hitting, and all of the big leagues in RBI and home runs.
The Tigers’ third baseman had previously won the Sporting News’ Player of the Year award, as well as the AL Hank Aaron award, given to the top offensive performer in each league.
Cabrera and Trout are considered the main contenders for the AL Most Valuable Player, which will be announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of American on Thursday, Nov. 15.
“I got opportunity to play with great players, Hall of Fame. Last year, Victor is behind me,” said Cabrera, who admitted he got even better pitches this year, with Prince Fielder — who Miggy jokingly tabbed to be the 2013 Triple Crown winner — hitting behind him. “I say it’s better to be lucky than good. This year was big-time lucky.”
It didn’t start out that way, with Cabrera moving to third base, and taking a wicked liner off the face in Spring Training, one that could have been even more damaging than just a bloody gash, if not for Cabrera’s sunglasses.
“I think it give me good vision, because I hit better this year,” Cabrera joked, calling the transition to third “a lot of work.”
His performance was a large reason the Tigers even made the playoffs, allowing them the platform to make the run all the way to the World Series, where they were swept by the San Francisco Giants.
“I think Mr. (Mike) Ilitch, and (team president/GM) Dave Dombrowski build a team to win divisions, and win championships,” Cabrera told the hosts on MLB Network. “Hopefully, next year, we can get better, do a better job in the World Series, and be champs.”
Chipper Jones won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year honoree. Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier (NL) and Trout (AL) were the Outstanding Rookies. White Sox slugger Adam Dunn (AL) and San Francisco’s Buster Posey (NL) were the Comeback Players of the Year, while the Mets’ R.A. Dickey (NL) and Tampa’s David Price (AL) were the Outstanding Pitchers.
For the two awards, the MLB Players Association will make donations totaling $70,000 to the charity of Cabrera’s choice. He chose his own Miguel Cabrera Foundation.
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