Race for AL MVP could be a classic

10:27 AM, Jul 1, 2013   |    comments
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(The Chirp) -- The original idea behind "The Chirp" is to offer this space as a platform for inspiring sports writers. Today's offering comes from Sam Clancy of Webster University.

Cabrera and Davis are bringing offense back
The major league's current ERA of 3.93 is on pace to be the lowest since 1992, but two men, if you believe they are in fact men and not cyborgs programmed to play baseball, are looking to buck this trend.

Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis are setting up for a MVP race for the ages, in terms of Triple Crown statistics.

Miguel Cabrera, last year's Triple Crown winner, currently leads baseball in average, .373, and RBIs, 82, while blasting 25 HR. His production with runners in scoring position has been nothing short of spectacular, a .456 average with 62 RBIs.

This production is unmatched by any player at any position in Major League Baseball, but when you put into account Cabrera's position he becomes even more valuable.

During the offseason of 2012, Prince Fielder signed a monster contract with the Detroit Tigers, forcing Cabrera to move across the diamond from first to third. Cabrera is below average defender at third, 22 errors and terrible range in the last two years, but his willingness to change positions in order to pack the lineup with heavy hitters is commendable, and has given him the protection to take over the American League.

Chris Davis , the current American League leader in home runs, is giving Cabrera a run for is money in run production this year, just two RBIs behind and posting a torrent pace of his own. The only person in baseball ignoring Davis's production has been his manager Buck Showalter, who has been hitting him in the fifth spot all year.

In just his second season with the Orioles, Davis has turned the corner in his young career.

After being traded from the Rangers, where he was a highly scrutinized prospect, Davis was given time to grow. After setting a career high in home runs last year with 33, Davis is on pace to smash that mark with 31 already this year in just 82 games.

With these two sluggers on track for unbelievable seasons, it raises the question, when was the last time we saw an offensive MVP race like this?

The answer is 2001.

In the National League, three sluggers duked it out for the title 'Most Valuable', which was bestowed onto Barry Bonds. Bonds had 73 homers 137 RBIs and an on-base of over .500 in his record breaking MVP season, but his production was nearly matched by a slugger on the South Side of Chicago.

Sammy Sosa smoked 64 long balls while driving in 160 and hitting a cool .328. The final candidate was the driving offensive force in a championship run for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Luis Gonzales hit 57 bombs with 142 driven in, and nearly 200 hits.

The main difference between that 2001 season and the one in progress is the nature of the seasons. 2001 was filled with sluggers more jacked up than Popeye after his favorite can of spinach, but this one is much different, as both player appear to be clean. 

With MLB going through another round of wide spread drug accusations, and the league's run scoring potency falling off, Cabrera and Davis look to be showing the entire league how to hit again.

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