Lovers of base and ball, we have a crisis. A crisis of terrific and overwhelming proportions, necessitating the author’s very purplest prose. I speak to you today of the Triple, that loveliest and most thrilling of base hits. Whereas once that graceful animal seemed to flit its way through every box score, today, sadly, it is rarely and fleetingly encountered. I will not mince words: if immediate, drastic, and comprehensive action is not taken, there is a very real possibility that this creature will go the way of the passenger pigeon, the Tasmanian wolf, and the barehanded catcher. Regard! And feel the awful urgency of this lamentable state of affairs:
This erosion, this persecution, this vile and dismal trend has been tolerated far too long. Friends, we have been the frogs in the boiling water. Once, we expected a triple every twenty hits. Our baselines insidiously shifted around us, until we were dumbly satisfied with one in every thirty, and one in every forty. Now, as of this black season, not even one in every fifty hits goes for three bases. Two of three entire games go by without a single sighting.
To cast blame is all too easy. We blame Earl Weaver, dread scourge of baseball celerity, and his Orioles, perennial enemies of the triple, dead last in triples this year as in so many others. We blame Manny Machado, who has made second base forty-seven times, and only thrice found the testicles to try for third. We blame Jose Reyes, for getting carelessly hurt. We blame Starlin Castro, for sucking. We blame our parents, who taught us to show respect for a lady’s nether parts. But blame will not bring the triple back. We ourselves allowed this travesty to come to pass, no less so than any villains we could name. And in order to reverse it, we must search our feelings deeply. We must find our collective voice, stifled for so long, and raise it together in a cry of protest. We will march, if we must. We will boycott, if we must. Because baseball, without the triple, is not baseball at all.