What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:
As expected, Miguel Cabrera was named the American League MVP on Thursday, beating Mike Trout in the balloting. Yes, this was expected; no, it didn’t prevent outrage in some circles.
Trout, as anybody who understands sophisticated baseball analysis, will tell you, was the better player this season. Even better than the guy who won the Triple Crown. But that didn’t stop the voters from being seduced by the traditional statistics of batting average, home runs, and RBI at the expense of more intricate analysis. Those voters, we guess, will gather soon at the weekly meeting of The Flat Earth Society.
There were some good reasons to vote for Cabrera (did we mention the Triple Crown?). And even though Trout deserved the award, the vote doesn’t come close to being the most egregious in MVP history.
One argument being used to support Cabrera, however, is unacceptable. Some are saying that he carried the Tigers to the AL Central title, while Trout’s Angels didn’t make the playoffs. This represents the highest form of absurdity; Trout’s team had a better record than Cabrera’s, and it wasn’t his fault they played in a more difficult division.
Soccer fan or not, you must make it a point to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal Wednesday. For his fourth goal — yes, fourth! — goal in Sweden’s 4-2 victory against England, Ibrahimovic delivered a bicycle kick from about 30 yards out.
While Talking Points has a bit of a love/hate relationship with soccer (love the passion and the athleticism, but can do without the 0-0 games and the nebulous notion of injury time), Ibrahimovic’s goal would make any true sports fan cheer.
One of the great things about sports is the manner in which athletes can revive a career. Recover from injuries, improve your skills, land in the right situation … any number of things can alter a professional’s fortunes. But nothing can really explain R.A. Dickey, who was released by the Mariners in 2008 and by the Twins in 2009. Since then he has gone 39-28 with a 2.95 ERA for the Mets, and now he has a Cy Young award. Here’s to perseverance.