Current Total: 243 triples
Modern Day Record: 746 triples in 1972
Note: The 1981 season (659 triples) and 1994 season (702 triples) were strike-shortened seasons.
First and foremost, let's point out that 1972 was a 154-game season between 24 teams. If we extrapolate the number of triples per game to the current 162-game season for 30 teams, that number would actually be 981, so this is one of those silly records that shouldn't ever be broken.
Yet, we're just barely on pace to pass that non-extrapolated number with a current projection of 757 triples in 2013. To put that number into a different, more relevant context, there were 866 triples in 2010, 898 in 2011 and 927 last year.
How in the world did we go from a year-over-year increase to a projected 18 percent decrease this year?
Well, it's simple, really. The guys who were hitting triples aren't doing it anymore.
Over the past five seasons, the 12 most frequent triples hitters combined to average 99.2 triples per season. Through one-third of the 2013 season, those 12 guys are only on pace for 37 triples this year.
Age and injury have played a key role in that drop. Jose Reyes had 59 triples over the past five years, but he failed to manage one before suffering an ankle injury that still has him sidelined. Shane Victorino isn't as speedy as he used to be. Curtis Granderson had 42 triples, but he has played just eight games this season between trips to the disabled list with broken bones.
Also, the improvement of the Cubs' and Rockies' pitching staffs has contributed to the decline. Last season, those two teams combined to allow 96 triples. This year they're on pace for less than half of that.
Unless Mike Trout and Jean Segura can really shoulder the load, we could be headed for a historically futile season of three-baggers.