Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Elusive Triple Crown
August is typically the time of the season when people stop talking about the Triple Crown races and start talking about the Wild Card races. However, this season the talk does not seem to be going away. With 6 weeks left in the season, there are still several viable candidates in each league. Josh Hamilton leads the American League in hitting by over 20 points with a .356 average as of the time of this post, and is also 5th in homers and 8th in RBI. Miguel Cabrera was the leading all 3 categories for most of the 1st half, and is still 2nd in RBI and average. Jose Bautista is pretty much running away with the AL homerun title, so I do not think anybody from the American League will be winning the Triple Crown. The guy who still has the most realistic chance is the National League's Joey Votto. An NL Final Vote All-Star, Joey is putting together his best season ever and is 2nd in homeruns and average, and 8 back in the RBI category. Carlos Gonazlez of the Rockies has also come on strong since the break. And in the NL, you can never count out Albert Pujols to win a Triple Crown.
There are a lot of guys putting up monster offensive seasons, despite 2010 being the so-called "Year of the Pitcher." However, I just don't see anybody winning the Triple Crown. Not this year, not next year, not ever. I think that it is just one of those unattainable season goals that will probably never happen again. I think that a pitcher might have a slightly better chance of winning the Pitcher's Triple Crown - wins, strikeouts, and ERA - but this is also near impossible. The game has just changed so much since the last Triple Crown in 1967 by Carl Yastremski, and it is so hard to maintain a high average AND hit for power in the middle of the lineup in today's game. I could be wrong - a lot of people never thought that any NFL team would ever go 16-0 again and that happened a few years ago. It is something that is fun to think about, but I personally do not like all of the talk devoted on Baseball Tonight every summer to Triple Crown chances. There is absolutely no reason to be discussing Triple Crown candidates and All-Star voting in April and May. I think it is a waste of time and I'd much rather hear about something more tangible like the Rookie of the Year and MVP races, which almost never get talked about until September. With baseball being the most statistics-oriented of all sports, the dreams and hopes of a Triple Crown winner will never, ever go away.
STANDINGS & UPCOMING GAMES AS OF 08.18:
Brewers 57-64, -12.0 (3 v. Padres, 3 v. Dodgers, 3 v. Pirates)
Reds 68-51, +2.5 (3 @ Dodgers, 3 @ Giants, 3 v. Cubs)
Twins 69-50, +4.0 (3 v. Angels, 4 @ Rangers, 3 @ Mariners)
2010 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 20
Peter - 47