“I can’t say for sure, but all signs point to not soon. It’s not good.”

That was Josh Hamilton’s response to the question of when he will return.

Flash back to 2008. It’s late August, and Carlos Quentin of the Chicago White Sox breaks his wrist.

Usually, we would say that injuries are a normal part of the game.

This was unusual though, because Quentin was the leading AL MVP candidate at the time, having already belted 36 home runs and driven in 100 RBI.

Now it’s 2010, where a similar situation has happened. To many, the MVP race is between Josh Hamilton, whose Rangers have functionally clinched a playoff spot, and between Miguel Cabrera, whose Tigers have faded due to injury.

Now that Hamilton is going to be out for a prolonged period of time, and with Miguel Cabrera continually producing, the MVP award is Cabrera’s to lose.

Miguel Cabrera was having a better season than Josh Hamilton anyway, but voters like to hold the award hostage to somebody from a team in the playoffs.

Take a brief look and compare the two sluggers’ stats:

Hamilton: .361 avg, 31 HR, 97 RBI, 1.049 OPS
Cabrera:  .336 avg, 33 HR, 110 RBI, 1.064 OPS

And this is with Miguel Cabrera playing on a team where the next best players are rookies. The Tigers have lost key players in Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, and Brandon Inge for parts of the season, and it has clearly taken a toll on them.

What makes Cabrera unique is that he never stops producing. And with Hamilton’s prolonged injury, we’re going to see a big gap in the numbers between Cabrera and Hamilton. And Cabrera should be awarded the AL MVP.

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