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Justin Verlander makes passionate case for Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Miguel Cabrera's momentum-building MVP campaign had a good night on Wednesday. Not only did the Detroit Tigers third basemen hit a home run in a 6-2 win over Oakland, but he also added a strong award endorsement from the reigning AL MVP.

Of course, it helps when that man is Justin Verlander and owns a locker in the same clubhouse. But Verlander has gone above and beyond while touting Cabrera's case over Mike Trout's. He had T-shirts that read "Keep the MVP in the D" made up last week and was more than passionate in hyping Cabrera after the game on Wednesday.

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From the Detroit News:

"Bull (expletive)," ace Justin Verlander barked late Wednesday night, when asked about his opinion about some analysts who would pick Mike Trout even if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown. "That's ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, '67? OK."

Verlander then paused, and shook his head.

"That would be a joke in my opinion," the reigning MVP carried on. "Come on. Even the fact he's one home run away (from a Triple Crown) is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP ... Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference."

Whether or not Cabrera's offensive surge over August and September can help voters shorten the distance between his WAR total (6.8) and Trout's (9.4) won't be known until mid-November when the winner of the award is announced. But there's no doubting that the race is a lot closer than it was a month ago when it looked the Los Angeles Angels rookie was going to run away with the honor.  Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has made his case for Cabrera as MVP as has Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Meanwhile, there's a flood of Tigers fans touting their candidate on social media. It may mean nothing in the end — and I suspect it won't unless the Tigers push their way into the playoffs and Cabrera earns bonus points from voters for being on a postseason team — but it's still a lot of noise. And noise is always good in races like this one. It means you're still relevant and haven't faded into the background.

[Related: Rangers' Josh Hamilton will have many suitors]

The noise also makes for a fun debate, one which we'll be talking about for quite awhile no matter who wins.

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