Cranky Detroit Columnist Thinks Cabrera Haters Can Shove It

04.01.14 4 years ago 109 Comments

via Wikipedia

As you all of course know, this offseason the two biggest players in baseball were locked up to long-term contracts. The Detroit Tigers will pay $292 million for the services of reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera for the next 10 years ($29.2 million per year), and the Los Angeles Angels locked up AL MVP runner-up for six years at $144.5 million ($24 million per year).

As it appears, one writer at the Detroit News is just a weeee bit defensive about the former deal. His name is Joe Adams.

This just in: ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law ripped the Tigers for signing Miguel Cabrera to a big deal and praised Mike Trout for signing a big deal with the Angels.

In other news, the sun rose in the East and set in the West.

Uh oh. Shit’s about to get real.

Law is best known as Trout’s campaign manager the last two years for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award, won each season by Cabrera.

Nothing wrong with that. Trout is a wonderful player who likely will win his share of MVP awards, possibly as early as this season. The problem is Law can’t praise Trout without denigrating Cabrera, the best hitter of his generation.

Hmmm, that’s funny, because I distinctly remember Keith Law’s exact words being “Cabrera is one of the best hitters in the game.” I mean, that’s kind of undeniable at this point. His point was that Miggy struggles with defense, baserunning, etc. And while these things are nowhere near as important as hitting, considering the fact that Trout is just a smidge behind Miggy in that category, those issues could be the tipping point

Given a chance to take the classy way out and say both players were deserving of the honor, which is true, he instead decries the injustice done Trout and rips Cabrera, something he did numerous times on Twitter and in chats during his Triple Crown season.

Did he really “denigrate” Cabrera, Joe? Or did he merely say paying nearly $300 million for a guy’s declining years when he’s two years away from free agency is insane?

Look, I get it, you love Miggy. He’s won the MVP the last two years. He won the Sabermetrics Triple Crown by being number one in OBP, SLG, and OPS. He’s been worth more than seven wins to the Tigers the last three years. But he’s also going to be 31 years old this year. That would be the peak of his prime. He ain’t going to get better as he dips deep into his 30s and finishes out his contract in his early 40s. Mike Trout is 22 years old and already a rival to Cabrera’s title as the best player in baseball. For $5 million per year less, the Angels have locked him up throughout his twenties, when he’s supposed to get better.

Law is the most prominent member of the sabermetrician crowd. Unfortunately, while sabermetrics have added a lot to baseball, Law also personifies what’s wrong with that movement. … Some of the new stats are great, such as WHIP and the slash line. But others, such as FIP, UZR and WAR, do nothing but confuse people. In the case of WAR, there is more than one version.

SO THROW THEM OUT! If stats are confusing, they’re wrong! I think Einstein said that. In fact, why stop at baseball? I don’t understand all this nonsense in chemistry about bonding and electrons and all that jazz, so get rid of it! Back in my day, “mix that green stuff with that blue stuff” was good enough for chemists!

Plus, while stats are one of the things that make baseball great, there are things stats just can’t quantify.

WRONG. Sabermetricians are well known to argue that they can quantify EVERYTHING. For example, did you know that Omar Infante is worth +3.72 Ecksteins to the Royals? Look it up!

So the next time Law has an anti-Cabrera rant, I’ll say to him what Charlie Brown said to Lucy when she recited all the bad numbers his team had compiled “Tell your statistics to shut up.”

Have you tried putting your fingers in your ears and yelling “I can’t hear you”?

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