Award winners debate amusing

At the moment, arguably the one sporting topic that brings up the most passionate forms of debate isn’t about the NHL lockout or replacement refs in the NFL.
Instead, it’s on who should win the American League Most Valuable Player award this year—Detroit Tigers’ third baseman Miguel Cabrera or L.A. Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout.
Both Cabrera and Trout have been playing out of their minds this season for their respective teams, with each of their campaigns standing out for different reasons.
In the case of the 29-year-old Cabrera, who has been one of the top players in the AL since he was traded to the Motor City prior to the 2008 season, he enters the final game of the regular-season tonight against the Kansas City Royals with a chance to lead the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.
If he his able to accomplish that feat, he would be the first player to earn the Triple Crown as a hitter since the legendary Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox back in 1967, although that didn’t earn him the MVP award that year.
Trout, on the other hand, has been turning heads in his first full year in the big leagues since he was called up in late April, both with his performance at the plate and his stunning catches in the field.
Although the Angels won’t be heading to the post-season, the impact Trout had once he joined the team has been instant as the club went from a 6-14 record on April 28, when Trout made his way out to L.A., to owning a league-best mark of 82-57 in that time frame.
Plus, if you go by the advanced stat of wins above replacement (which calculates how many wins a player adds to a team over a back-up player from the minors), Trout currently has a number of 10.5, which only Barry Bonds and Cal Ripken have surpassed in the last 40 years.
And did I mention Trout is doing all of this after just turning 21 back in August?
While both are very deserving of winning the MVP, the debate between fans and writers online has gone completely out of control over the last few weeks, with one side pointing toward the traditional stats that favour Cabrera and the other favouring the advanced sabermetrics that show how amazing Trout’s season has been.
Quite honestly, this current situation makes me laugh as it reminds me a lot of those who are upset that their favourite movie or album of the past year doesn’t win an Oscar or a Grammy.
Awards and accolades all are subject to what the voting criteria is for those who vote on these honours, which is widely different from person to person, and the same goes for fans.
So if you think that Cabrera is better than Trout, or that Trout’s year was more impressive that Cabrera’s, or if someone else entirely was the best player in the American League this year, that is perfectly fine.
While the debate and conversions generated over individual awards are all great, at the end of the day every athlete is trying to win their respective league championship, with all other accolades being a bonus.
You see that all the time from players when they are interviewed after a game, as they always are quick to point out the performance of their teammates before talking about how they played themselves.
There may be a time where individual awards may not gain the publicity they do now, but those who get overly worked up over it may need to take a step back and realize it’s a very small part of a much larger reward.
However, I have to admit I’ll probably forget the points I’ve made in the next month or so when the AL Cy Young Award winner is announced as I’ll probably end up getting into a fight with a friend of mine if his favourite pitcher (Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers) beats out my favourite pitcher (David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays) for the honour.