"I haven't seen Trout out there since the first of the season. I know he's had a heckuva year and people are saying this and that about him. I'm just tipping my hat to Cabrera. He's the best player in this league. He should be the MVP," Gardenhire told reporters on Friday.
Friday was the 13th time the Twins have seen Cabrera this season. He batted .438 (21-for-48) with five doubles, four home runs and 20 RBIs. He has driven in more runs against the Twins this year than against any other opponent except the Indians, a fact which will likely change with five more Twins-Tigers tilts starting Saturday.
"If we were to stop right now, there's no doubt in my mind," Gardenhire said. "Going for a Triple Crown, that's an MVP season. He has his team in a playoff hunt. Whether they get there or not can't solely depend upon him, but he's the reason they're in it right now. And that's an MVP. He's the best player in our league."
To Gardenhire, the Triple Crown still means a lot.
"All I'm going to tell you is, if you're going for a Triple Crown and you've got his numbers, you can saber all you want to," he said. "Those numbers blow your brain. And I know Trout's do, too. That's pretty good numbers. A couple of other guys have decent numbers. But look at Cabrera's numbers. That's ridiculous. That's right up there with some of the best players in baseball. It doesn't make much sense to me to be arguing about this to tell you the truth."