With Miguel Cabrera's blazing August numbers (.387/.452/.699, seven homers, 25 RBIs), his MVP candidacy is taking on some momentum. At least in the Tigersosphere.
Nationally, I'm not sure people have looked outside the Joe Mauer vs. Mark Teixeira frame yet. (Rob Neyer being an exception.) Mauer has a lot of momentum built up already, and Teixeira has the Yankees pinstripes and his team's frequent presence on national television going for him.
But Cabrera's making a surge. And if the AL Central maintains its current standings, the Tigers are going to be in a tight division race through September. Could that frame the debate a little bit differently, as either Cabrera or Mauer could make the pennant-winning difference for their teams? Many voters seem to favor those who played for a winner.
Here's the discussion in the Tigersosphere so far:
At Mack Avenue Tigers, Kurt wonders if Cabrera's quiet June and July numbers (especially in terms of RBIs) might ultimately affect his candidacy.
But as he and I talked about, the MVP race might come down to voter philosophy. Should the award go to the player who had the best season? Or should it go to the player who did the most to carry his team into the playoffs?
J. Ellet Lambie takes that last point a bit further at Eye of the Tigers, looking at Cabrera's impact on the Tigers and where his numbers stack up against the rest of the American League.
In addition, he believes Cabrera making this push toward the end of the season might leave more of an impression on voters as they fill out their ballots. His familiarity among baseball writers likely won't hurt either.
On the latest edition of MLive.com's Cutoff Man Podcast, James Schmehl and I talk about Cabrera's chances against Mauer and Teixeira. I worry that the debate has already been framed among voters, but Cabrera might put up the kinds of numbers - at just the right time - that simply can't be ignored.
You can download the podcast here or listen to streaming audio at MLive.com.
This last point doesn't necessarily have much to do with the MVP debate, but remember when it was looking as if the Tigers might not have a player finish with 100 RBIs for the season? (Cabrera had 62 after the first week of August.)
Forget about that, now that BigMig has 82 RBIs with approximately five weeks left in the season.