A month and a half ago, the greatest rarity in baseball occurred. On Monday, May 12, Toronto’s second-baseman Asdrubal Cabera turned an unassisted triple play, the second of this century for the American League. The National League also has two since 2000. There have only been 14 unassisted triple plays in the history of the National and American Leagues, the first in 1909. The assisted triple play is much more common, although still relatively rare in league play.
On May 30, 1927, Cubs shortstop Jimmy Conney turned in an unassisted triple play in National League play at Pittsburgh. The very next day Johnny Neun, the Detroit first baseman, turned another in American League play against Cleveland.
There would not be another unassisted triple play for 41 years and two months in the American League, until Washington ss Ron Hansen broke the streak on July 30, 1968 for a team so bad they were immortalized in a book (The Year the Yankees lost the Pennant) and a Broadway play (Damn Yankees). Of course, the event didn’t happen at home but in Cleveland. Someone noticed a Mr. Applegate in left field, but he disappeared after the play.
The National League would endure much longer, 67 years and four months, before Mickey Morandini, Philadelphia 2b, would stick it to the Pirates’ at Pittsburgh on September 20, 1992. National Leaguers had thought it was a myth until it actually happened.
As the 100 degree days remind us, cooler times will come, they must come. But for now, we must wait however impatiently. The occurrences of unassisted triple plays reminds us of how fickle and unrelenting the wait can be. So much so that sometimes we even stop waiting. Hopefully, that will not be our fate.
We are in the grasp of the mythic. Great future events lie shimmering in the heat waves of the pavement leading to Austin. Great chants and roars echo in distant stadiums. We thirst but we are denied, we hunger but we can not be fulfilled, we think but it's only the reverberation of our past mumbling in our ears.
We face many events which are anomalies, but are also quite common. Tornadoes and lightning are great examples; they will occur, but when, where and at what strength is not known until they have struck.
In football, big plays are a similar process. We know they're going to occur but we can never predict exactly when or where. Some players, like VY, are walking big plays just waiting for the right moment. Others, not so much....we endure.
Sometime in the early part of the football season, the defense of Will Muschamp will have a moment when we rise up as a single entity with the same primal instinct completely awakened, lustily clenching and jabbing our fists and screaming at the top of our lungs "Boom Motherfucker."
Oh, we will have longed for that moment so passionately. And chances are that there will be more than a few false alarms. Hits that seem like they're definitive, that are the epitome of the slobber-knocking defense we hope will form before our eyes, but each will be lacking that authoritative power that even our opponents will have to acknowledge and turn away in fear. But this moment will happen...
There were plenty of Bryant Westbrook hits, but this shot on Randy Kinder woke up everyone within 100 miles. Perhaps you liked Stony Clark against OU or Tony Brackens on the fake punt against Tech; add them and any others to the stew as we refine our definition and rekindle the blood-thirsty barbarian within us. Civilization is a very thin veneer anyway and defensive football only pretends to be civilized to satisfy the faint of heart and the happy picnickers.
Our only problem is the wait until that first moment appears before us.
Ladies and gentlemen - and even beerguts and 84s, too - it's time for a little speculation and prediction.
Will it be someone from the DL or the LBs or the DBs. I favor Muck myself, but Rak is a great second choice just growling for the moment. But it's not just the shoulders of truth administering justice, there also needs to be the proper framing of time and place.
I'd love to see it happen at Dallas, but frankly I don't want to wait that long. Maybe CU and their option up in Boulder. Maybe in the desert in El Paso, rocketing someone into another country. Maybe at home and knocking the mustache clean off Schnellenberger's face. And it must be an important moment in the game, a defining moment where the game hangs in the balance.
Of course, we seldom get the drama we want, but as long as we're predicting we can choose what we please.
Of course, it is summer and there's a decided lean toward nuance and inanity at the same moment, so in the barbarian sensibility noted, I only expect minimum defensive civility. And to clear the mental palate, no matter where you may be, just jump right up right now and scream Boom Motherf*cker at the top of your voice, pumping your fists as you land in a head down aggressive posture. See how good that feels. Call PB or HB if you need bail posted.