Monday, September 20, 2010
OK, let's add to my list of interesting stories about out national pastime. The 2010 season is winding down, so many interesting things about this season are still going on, to include tight races for the division titles and wild card spots in the AL East, NL East, and especially the NL West.
There are a lot of possible achievements on the side of the best players, especially the hitters, that go on the line as well, most of which are watched carefully in order to determine the winners of the league MVP awards in both leagues, like the batting titles and leading the league in other major offensive categories.
So, on that note, let's refer to the possibility of a "Triple Crown" winner, this one on the side of the hitters, who could potentially lead their leagues in all three of the major offensive categories, they being batting average, home runs and RBI's respectively.
Triple Crown winners in baseball's modern time have been very few and far between. The last one was Boston Red Sox hall of famer Carl Yazstremski in 1967. You'd have to go back to the late thirties to find another one.
The 2010 season has a showcase of possible triple crown winners in both leagues. The most likely one in the National League would have to be Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is likely to take the batting title and is in the top five in home runs and RBI's.
St. Loius Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols, a likely hall of famer, is leading the NL in home runs and RBI's at the time of this post and also stands in the top ten in batting average. Pujols already has a batting title to his credit and has lead the league in home runs before but as odd as it may be, no RBI title to his credit. Cincinnati Red first baseman Joey Votto is a close third in all three of the offensive catagories.
Over in the American League Texas Ranger leftfielder Josh Hamilton is, like Carlos Gonzalez, literally running away with the batting title. Hamilton is in the top five in home runs and the top ten in RBI's. Then there's Detroit Tiger's first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who's pretty much in the same position in the American League as Joey Votto is in the National League.
To see a triple crown winner in baseball would be quite interesting, but by today's standards just isn't as possible as some people think it is. There's always those big sluggers, like Pujols, for the category of home runs and RBI's in bunches, some of whom are likely to strike out quite often, keeping their batting averages down, then there's those players, like Ichiro Suzuki, who are "hitting machines,' literally running away with the batting title.
The game of baseball has a lot of achievements that seem out of reach by today's standards, one of which, we all know, is Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak. The game has changed in many ways during the course of the last 60 years, and no, I don't mean just player salaries. Who knows, maybe something interesting, even spectacular is in store for us fans in the course of our lifetimes. There may be a triple crown winner, a hitting streak of more than 56 games, perhaps even the Chicago Cubs will win a World Series, their first since 1908. We'll just have to do the right thing, that's wait and see.