‘‘This clubhouse wouldn’t be quite as good without him,’’ Leyland said.
While the Triple Crown appears all but assured, the MVP award is not.
On one hand, Cabrera is on the footstep of history, having dominated the major statistical categories favored by traditionalists, the ones that count toward the Triple Crown.
On the other hand, Trout is being championed by new-school baseball thought, number crunchers who rely on more obscure measures such as WAR (Wins Above Replacement), derived from several other statistics designed to judge a player’s overall contribution to a team.
Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline said it would be ‘‘a shame’’ if Cabrera didn’t win the league’s most coveted award, while Royals manager Ned Yost offered a similar sentiment.
‘‘I think they’re both fantastic players, tremendous players, both of them,’’ Yost said, ‘‘but if Cabrera wins the Triple Crown, he has to be the MVP, absolutely.’’