First a quick introduction to the Silver Slugger award itself:
The Silver Slugger Award is given annually to the best offensive player at each position in the American League and National League and is voted on by coaches and managers. We’ll run the winners down here as they are announced.
Now having a great offense is one piece of a successful baseball team. Both Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera won this award for their positions in the American League. For Fielder it is just his second Silver Slugger award and his first earned in the American League. This is the third time the Cabrera has won the award and is also the first time he has earned in the AL. Cabrera was also named the Tiger player of the year for the third time.
While accolades are nice, and they can go a long way towards how the player and their team is marketed. However, all of the individual accolades are not going to erase the bitter memory of Miguel Cabrera striking out for the final out of the World Series. Forget the fact that the Tigers were swept out of the World Series. The simple fact here is the first World Series won at Comerica Park was won by the opposition. I hate seeing another team celebrate in my house. It is a bitter pill to swallow, and even now more than 10 days after the fact I am still in shock at the out come of the 2012 Fall Classic.
Now focusing on the Silver Slugger awards. It is great that not one, but two Tigers have earned this award. It is great that Cabrera won the first AL Triple Crown in 45 seasons; it is great to have a roster that will likely be sporting back to back AL MVP’s. However the Tigers did not have one Gold Glove winner on their roster for 2012 and those of us who watched this team play in 2012 know that the defense was a concern all year. I’m not saying all Gold Glove winners is the way to go. The New York Yankees had two Gold Glove winners on their roster in 2012 and their season came to a very similar shocking conclusion.
However, having a little balance would be very nice. If the two corner infield spots will be manned by Silver Slugger winners I would like to see a Gold Glove caliber player at short and another at one, if not both of the corner field spots. The Detroit Lions did not get very far on offense alone in 2011, the Tigers got pretty far on their all or nothing concept in 2012, but in the end balance is what wins championships. We saw the San Francisco Giants play each phase of the game pretty well, maybe not dominate but there seemed to be no weak link to expose. That is the kind of team I want to see right here in Detroit.