Almost lost in the maelstrom of last night's wacky 10-6 win over the pinstripes was the fact that our little All-Star snub-ee, Chone Figgins, tripled in the go-ahead run in the 6th.
What an electric moment. I love slick double-plays, highlight-reel grabs, dramatic homeruns, etc. ... but for my buck, there's not much more exciting than a triple with a runner on base. Partially because the triple is a slowly dying art form.
When Desmond scorches one down the OF line, you know he's thinking three bags when he sprints out of the box. It's great watching two fleet guys like Figgins and Erick Aybar running like hell for 270 feet, Dino Ebel pinwheeling his arm, the defense trying to cope. Aybar was already sliding into home by the time the Skankees got the ball back to cut-off man Robinson Cano. (Curiously, why didn't on-deck hitter Maicer Izturis signal Aybar not to slide?).
But I digress. Most of us know that Figgins is the club all-time leader in stolen bases, but the point here is that our oft-underappreciated Desmond DeChone is closing in on another all-time club record: triples.
The great '60s and '70s shortstop Jim Fregosi (my favourite player as a kid, and the reason I always wore No. 11 when I played baseball) is the club leader in triples with 70 over 11 seasons under the Halo. Despite his somewhat stocky frame, Fregosi was a fast and very aggressive player.
Figgins, with 6 three-baggers under his belt in 2009, now has 52 career triples in roughly 6 full seasons as an Angel.
A little bit of math tells us that Figgins is already the most tripling SOB in club history on average. Fregosi in 5,244 ABs had a .0133 triple average as an Angel; whilst Figgy, in 3,294 ABs, is a .0157 tripler. Triples being so rare, that's fairly significant.
Some more math tells us that with an average of 8.67 triples per season (guesswork really, because Figgy has two anomaly years - 17 triples in 2004 and only 1 in 2008), Figgins could surpass Fregosi's triples record in little more than two full seasons.
So after all this BS, what does this mean? Well, for one I hope the Angels are wise and re-sign Desmond to a 2- or 3-year deal after this season. We all know his value for his OBP and base-running prowess at the top of the order, great arm and flashy glove.
But another reason why? Triples mean excitement. And Chone Figgins is an exciting player.
(For some stat-geek information about the triple, read this interesting piece from John Walsh of the Hardball Times).