His team finds itself of the verge of getting swept into the offseason, and he is struggling at the plate during the World Series, but Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera came away from Comerica Park on Saturday night with perhaps the sweetest trophy in the history of trophies. As a reward for winning the first Triple Crown in 45 years during the regular season, Cabrera was presented with an actual crown. Neat.
Cabrera could have put the crown on his head, but didn't, as Hall of Famer and former Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson and commissioner Bud Selig looked on. If not his own head, then Cabrera should have put it atop Bud's head, with its typically unkempt haircut. Maybe Selig could have added a patented shrug as he posed. It would have made for a funny photo op.
The golden crown itself includes a ball welded to the top, along with a sweet, olde English "D" — the Tigers logo — and diamond-shaped jewels across the front that might represent batting average, home runs and RBIs — the statistical components of the Triple Crown. Cabrera led the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 homers and 139 RBIs. Not since Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox in 1967 had any one player swept those categories. Robinson did it with the Orioles in '66.
MLB also presented Cabrera and Buster Posey of the Giants (from the NL side) with the Hank Aaron Award, which is described as going to the best hitter in each league. The look of the photo is deceiving; the Aaron award itself is not actually shaped like Hank Aaron or a podium.
As for the playoffs, things were going great for Cabrera and the Tigers until the World Series started. After falling 2-0 to the San Francisco Giants in Game 3, the Tigers need to do something nobody ever has in the World Series: Come back to win four straight.
Cabrera is 2 for 9 (two singles) with a pair of walks and one RBI so far. His biggest missed opportunity: He stranded the bases loaded by popping up in the fifth against Ryan Vogelsong. Cabrera's not the only one not hitting (Prince Fielder is 1 for 10), and the Giants certainly are pitching well. But it's going to be a bittersweet memory, taking home these cool individual awards as your team fails at the World Series. Unless, the Tigers turn it around, of course. And then the Cabrera name would become actual Michigan royalty, like Harwell, Laimbeer, Lidström and Magnum, P.I.