Don’t try to talk sabermetrics with Frank Robinson. When he won the Triple Crown in 1966, he was the MVP. And he thinks Miguel Cabrera deserves the same honor.
The Hall of Fame slugger weighed in on the AL MVP debate Wednesday after throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Game 3 of the St. Louis Cardinals-Washington Nationals series. While new-age stat-heads might favor Angels rookie Mike Trout, Robinson is definitely old school about Cabrera’s .330 batting average, 44 homers and 139 RBI with the Detroit Tigers.
“Guys have had a good year, Trout especially,” Robinson said. “But I don’t see how an individual can play on a winning ballclub and get his team into a series trying to get into the World Series and win a Triple Crown – and not be the MVP of the league.”
Robinson’s impressive feat was repeated in 1967 by Carl Yastrzemski, but baseball then went 45 years without a Triple Crown winner before Cabrera pulled it off.
REDS MAKE MOVE: Cincinnati dropped injured ace Johnny Cueto from their division series roster, replacing him with right-hander Mike Leake a few hours before Game 4 against the San Francisco Giants.
Major League Baseball granted permission for the move at 11:30 a.m., less than five hours before the first pitch.
Cueto pulled muscles in his side during the first inning of the series opener Saturday night. The Reds had been hoping their 19-game winner would improve enough to be able to pitch again, but the injury was still bothering him.
Cincinnati was reluctant to make the move with Cueto because it also leaves him ineligible to pitch in the NL Championship Series, should Cincinnati make it that far.
CARTER TRIBUTE: Montreal will name a street and a park after Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher who defined the golden era of a once-
Carter died in February of cancer at age 57.
On Wednesday, the city announced the details of its tribute to the player who starred with the now-defunct Expos for more than half of his career.
The street borders Jarry Park, where the Expos played for most of their first decade and where Carter made his big-league debut. There will also be a park in the north-end named after him.
City officials say they also might eventually honor him at the site of the Olympic Stadium, where Carter played for the majority of his Expos career.
Close to 2,000 proposals were submitted to the city after the call for ideas was launched Feb. 27. Carter delighted Montreal fans with his skills and enthusiasm from 1974-84, when he was traded to New York, and he returned in 1992 for his farewell season. He was the first Expos player to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Carter’s death triggered an outpouring of Expos nostalgia in a city that boasts few lingering traces of baseball. Aside from the Expos banner hanging at the Bell Centre hockey arena, and the usually vacant Olympic Stadium, there is little evidence in Montreal that the city hosted, and was sometimes impassioned for, a major league team over 36 years from 1969-2004.
The California-born star athlete entrenched himself in Quebec life during his time there, calling it a second home and learning some French.