A great story falls too far under the radar
I haven’t seen the newspapers back there on a daily basis this week but if Miguel Cabrera hasn’t been at the top of page one this week it’s a terrible call because what the Detroit Tigers slugger has accomplished this week is simply stunning and might be the best story of the summer, outside of all those Olympians, of course.
A Triple Crown?
Come on. That’s huge.
I know there are all kinds of advance analytic folks out there who might downplay the significance of winning the RBI, home run and batting titles because it doesn’t fit into WAR or OPS or whatever the new thing is but to them I have just one thing to say:
There’s no hope for them.
What Cabrera did hasn’t been done in 45 years – and Yaz’s Triple Crown came in the first year a young would-be grunt started watching baseball so it’s always in the corner of the mind – and winning a Triple Crown would be awful close to the top of the list of the most difficult milestones in all of professional sports.
We all should search out good stories in sports when we can, we shouldn’t put aside the bad ones we see all too often but we truly need to celebrate the good.
What Cabrera did – 44 homers, a .330 batting average, a stunning 139 RBIs – was nothing short of amazing. He did it in a time of relief-pitching specialists, hard travel and long seasons, he did it with no hint of help from the outside, he did it for a playoff-bound team and he did it far too quietly.
There is a debate, I’m told, about whether Cabrera should win the American League MVP or whether Mike Trout of the Angels should get an MPV-rookie of the year double.
All I can say is: “You’ve to be kidding.”
I don’t think there should even be much debate; I’m sure Trout is an excellent baseball player who did wonderful things for his team but what Cabrera did hasn’t been done in more than four decades, it may not satisfy the sabremeticians out there but there is no denying the numbers, the historical significance of his season or the fact his team playing tomorrow and Trout’s isn’t.
The story didn’t get nearly the attention it should have over the last week but when they next update the history of baseball, Cabrera’s name is going to be there next to some of the best players ever because of what he did. And I’m sure some fans will say, ‘hey, I should have paid more attention.’
Okay, I’m told there’s a chance we’ll be at some bash Friday night where the lead singer of Great Big Sea will be performing -- -- more on that in the morning when we get some details but Haligonians have to let us know if it’ll be a good time – so …
So we’re talking to Dwane yesterday after the morning practice and it’s the usual drill. We have stories we’re trying to the reporting for and everyone’s asking specific questions in search of good quotes.
And he, of course, is playing along because he knows what we do and what we need but he’s also got something he wants to get out there.
With almost every answer, he throws in a shot about the team’s propensity for turnovers during the scrimmages and you could tell he was an unhappy camper.
“It was a good day; love our effort, love our spirit but way too many turnovers. One thing when you play fast, and we’re trying to up-tempo the game there becomes a responsibility with the ball and everyone’s guilty of it and it’s natural but that’s the only thing I’m saying we’re behind on is taking are of the ball and making sure we make the right basketball play, the smart basketball play.
“The effort is there; it’s one of those things we’re doing to have to grow into, playing at a high tempo. Every drill we run is on a clock and that heightens the situation and with that, we were just too careless with the ball.”
He made the same point about three more times in a 10-minute interview so you know what he’ll be hammering home today when they get together.
That’ll teach me.
I laud the Canada Games Centre as very good out here; we drag our sorry selves out there Tuesday morning only to find the coffee machine at the Subway is busted.
(I know, Subway coffee probably isn’t considered coffee in any way, shape or form but, still)
Okay, not many outside of Halifax will care but if you spend part of an afternoon at Maxwell’s Plum finding out all about Propeller Pilsner and then find your way to the Split Crow for some music, you’ve had a very good day.
And with only one practice today, am open to suggestions for late this afternoon and this evening. I can be talked into almost anything and it doesn’t appear like news will break out so what have you got?
You know, I understand players associations and the need for “process” and all that but, really.
The NBA announced it’s new policy and penalties for flopping and seconds later, it seemed, the players association announced it was going to grieve it.
The penalties aren’t too harsh, although they are more punitive for flopping than they are for amassing technical fouls but if it even results in one guy thinking he’d rather not flop than give the league some of his money, it works.
I’m not entirely sure it will work – I don’t imagine in the heat of a game any notorious flopper will consider not doing it because of the consequences – but I’d hope that, eventually, the message will sink in that it’s not part of the game and won’t be tolerated.
As I mentioned last weekend in the mail, I think a post-game review might be the most workable solution; I don’t want to slow down any game with something like a coaches challenge that goes to replay, I think the referees in real time miss the most nuanced flops too often but I can understand why they do at full speed and, maybe, in the long run, this is the best way to handle it.
I don’t expect flopping to leave the game entirely but this is a good first step to lessening its impact on the games.
That time again.
And since I am 1,000 per cent sure I can find a friendly spot somewhere for a couple of afternoon hours with comfy stools and new beverages, there’s nothing like killing a few hours with mail.
Ask to your heart’s content.