Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Miggy chases Yaz

                          O.K. everyone, I'm going to delay the rest of my series on managers as players for now so we can focus on Miguel Cabrera  and his pursuit of the triple crown.  As it stands now, he is tied for homers with Josh Hamilton (44), and has a safe lead in both average (.329) and RBI's (137). The Tigers have clinched their division, so the pressure's off in that regard, so now all he has to do is keep pace with Hamilton, and we'll have the first triple crown winner in my life...which brings me to Yaz...

                 As pretty much every baseball fan knows, Carl Yazstremski was the last player to win the batting triple crown (not to be confused with the pitching version, which has been done more, last year, with Cabrera's teammate, Justin Verlander).  But , unlike Miguel, Yaz did it during a pennant race between four teams (one of them being the Tigers, ironically...or maybe just a coincidence), and also unlike Cabrera, Yaz basically carried the Red Sox on his shoulders.

           Of course, as I mentioned before, I wasn't alive when Yaz did this; I got to see him play later...mostly because he played for like 40 years...but hearing what he did from my dad and brothers, it was like the messiah had come back from the dead.  We had a cat named Yaz.  There was "Yaz" bread...there was a record that I still have somewhere called "The impossible dream",( featuring the local hit, "Carl Yazstremski", by Jess Cain) which chronicled the 1967 Red Sox season, and how they took the St Louis Cardinals, a team they had no business being competitive with, to 7 games. 

                  And like the Tigers with Verlander, the Sox had a Cy Young worthy ace in Jim Longborg, who enjoyed by far his best season, winning 23 games.  The Sox also had a lot of young talent in George Scott, Reggie Smith and Rico Petrocelli...good players, but maybe not quite so fearsome at the plate as say, Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson or Delmon Young (well, not yet, anyway...Rico's best year was 1969, when he hit 40 homers as a shortstop and both Scott and Smith went on to have solid careers...and George could outfield Prince at first any day...)

                So, I hope Cabrera does get the triple crown.  One thing I would also like to see, however,  is Miggy and Hamilton tied for homers at the end of the season with 44, just like Yaz and Harmon Killebrew were in 1967.  I also hope the Tigers go far this year; with the confusing-as-hell playoff format this year, it's good to know at least ONE team that's in it and knows where they'll be this weekend...yeah, more on this Wild Card nonsense in a few day....for now, ciao... ( btw, as we all know now, he did get the triple crown...congrats!)

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