Amid the wafting cigar smoke and stinging champagne sweat, Miguel Cabrera was given a simple either/or proposition.

Triple Crown or Most Valuable Player?

Which would he prefer?

True to his hitting prowess, Cabrera took the option and went the other way with it.

"I want the championship," he said without hesitation. "Everybody's excited (about the Triple Crown). And that's good. But I want to win."

He then pointed to his hugging, laughing, lapping teammates as the Tigers toasted their back-to-back American League Central championships.

"That's most important to me."

It's always about the team for Cabrera. It's why tonight nobody will root louder or pull harder for Cabrera to make baseball history than his teammates. On the season's final day, in Game 162, against the Royals, Cabrera can become the first player since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to lead a league in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

Only 13 players ever have won the Triple Crown. Only four players have won it since World War II.

"I get goose bumps talking about it," Justin Verlander said.

"Big isn't the word for it," Prince Fielder said. "We're witnessing one of the greatest offensive performances ever in baseball history."

By late tonight, a sport that cherishes its numbers as well as its traditions could celebrate the marriage of its best offensive player to one of its biggest historical honors.

And what's Cabrera's response to all the fuss? A "whatever" shrug of the shoulders and an almost apologetic grin. Despite a 10-year career with a Hall of Fame arc, Cabrera does not like to draw attention to himself off the field or talk about himself in the locker room.