Detroit's Cabrera wins AL MVP award

Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:23am EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, the first player to win the Triple Crown in 45 years, added the American League's Most Valuable Player award on Thursday for the 2012 Major League Baseball season.

Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967 to lead the league in the three top traditional offensive categories with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 runs batted in.

He also became the first Venezuelan to win the coveted MVP award, getting the nod over Rookie of the Year winner Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, whose brilliant all-around play had made him a serious challenger to Cabrera.

"I'm very excited. I don't have any words to explain how excited I feel," Cabrera, 29, said. "I never expected I'm going to win because Mike Trout, he got an unbelievable season."

Some pundits favored the overall talents of Trout, making a case that his 30 home runs while hitting .326 with a league-leading 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases made him the MVP, especially given his defensive brilliance in center field.

Even Cabrera was a fan of the Angels' outfielder, though what was expected to be a close race turned into a rout as the Venezuelan won 22 of 28 first-place votes cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Trout received the other six first-place votes.

Cabrera said the duel between him and the 21-year-old Trout was good for baseball.   Continued...

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera (L) and Austin Jackson celebrate Cabrera's two run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the third inning during Game 4 of the MLB World Series baseball championship in Detroit, Michigan, October 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese