- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Miguel Cabrera 1st Triple Crown winner in 45 years
It is more rare than a perfect game and about as uncommon as an unassisted triple play.
Miguel Cabrera won baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years Wednesday night, becoming only the third living player to achieve the feat.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Cabrera said. “It was hard the last two days because everybody talked about it. I just had to focus, I had to go out there and do the job. The hardest part was to go out there and focus and win games. I said, `If we win the division, everything would take care of itself.’”
In contrast, there have been 23 perfect games and 15 unassisted triple plays in major league history.
“I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title,” Yastrzemski said in a statement. “I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967 as part of the Red Sox Impossible Dream Team.”
Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout was second in the AL batting race at .326, while New York Yankees slugger Curtis Granderson and Texas star Josh Hamilton finished tied for second with 43 homers. Hamilton ranked second with 128 RBIs.
Granderson homered twice Wednesday night, then was removed from a 14-2 blowout against Boston.
“For me, earning the batting title over Tony Oliva, who we played against in the last series of the year, was the hardest part,” said Frank Robinson, a Triple Crown winner in 1966. “For Miguel, I am sure it was even more challenging, given all the specialized relievers in the game today.”
Until Cabrera’s run, Triple Crowns seemed to be a relic from another era. When the feat was last accomplished, the World Series was still played in the daytime, there were no playoffs and each league had eight teams.
In horse racing, no thoroughbred has won all three big races _ the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes _ since Affirmed in 1978 became the 11th to sweep the trio.
Cabrera had topped each category before, winning the home run title in 2008, the RBI crown in 2010 and the batting championship last year. His remarkable 2012 season ended the longest gap in baseball history between Triple Crown campaigns.
“He’s the best hitter in the game,” Trout said. “I think his approach, the way he battles with two strikes; you leave one pitch over the plate that at-bat and he’s going to hit it. He had an unbelievable year.”
San Francisco’s Buster Posey became the first catcher to win the NL batting title since the Boston Braves’ Ernie Lombardi in 1942. Posey finished with a .336 average, nine points ahead of Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen.
“I don’t think it’s something that you ever think about doing. It’s such a long season, and from Day One you try to grind out at-bats no matter what the situation is,” said Posey, who missed most of 2011 following left leg and ankle injuries from a collision at the plate with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins. “I give a lot of credit to our entire training staff for all the work they did in the offseason to get me back on the field.”
Melky Cabrera missed the final 45 games of the regular season and his 501 plate appearances fell one short of qualifying under an agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ union to change the usual rule, which would have added an extra hitless at-bat to his total.
After his positive drug test was overturned in an arbitration proceeding last winter, NL MVP Ryan Braun won his league’s home run title with 41. San Diego’s Chase Headley led in RBIs with 115, three ahead of Braun.
“I knew from the beginning it was going to be challenging, and it certainly was,” Braun said. “For the most part, I feel like I’ve handled everything well, I was able to keep my composure, compete every day and ultimately contribute to a lot of our success as a team.”
Trout (49) and San Diego’s Everth Cabrera (44) won their first stolen-base titles.
Among pitchers, Gio Gonzalez led the major leagues in wins with a 21-8 record in his first season for the Washington Nationals. Angels ace Jered Weaver (20-4) and Tampa Bay lefty David Price (20-5) tied for the AL lead in victories.
Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the big leagues in ERA at 2.53, becoming the first pitcher to top the NL in consecutive seasons since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2001-02.
“I don’t care,” Kershaw said, disappointed his team failed to make the playoffs.
Price led the AL for the first time at 2.56.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander (239) led the majors in strikeouts for the second straight season and third time in four years, and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets led the NL in strikeouts with 230, one more than Kershaw.
On the negative end, the Pittsburgh Pirates extended their record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. Pittsburgh was 62-46 on Aug. 8 before fading to a 17-37 finish.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow