San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson (1) rounds second after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
San Diego Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson has four triples and zero doubles, and it's Friday afternoon, so we're going to talk about Orlando Hudson.
Orlando Hudson is a regular major-league baseball player, and he's been around for a pretty long time. In his debut with the Blue Jays, he batted against Travis Driskill, and the Blue Jays' starter was Chris Carpenter. Hudson's essentially been an everyday player since July 2002. But even though he's an everyday player, and there are only so many of those, Hudson isn't a guy you think about very much. He's not unlike, say, Adam Kennedy, or Ramon Hernandez. Kennedy and Hernandez have played an awful lot. How often have you thought about them?
The first time I think I thought about Orlando Hudson this year was about a week ago, when I read this article about how the Padres could release him. I didn't care about the news, but I processed and remembered the news.
The second time I thought about Orlando Hudson this year was this morning, when I saw this picture from Thursday night:
Thursday night, the Padres beat the Nationals, and Orlando Hudson did that. My first instinct was to make a joke about Orlando Hudson over-celebrating because the Padres lose so much. My second instinct was to not make that joke because Orlando Hudson probably does that after every win. In this paragraph I have compromised by alluding to such a joke without actually making it.
The third time I thought about Orlando Hudson this year was a little after the second time I thought about Orlando Hudson this year. Maybe they count as the same time? I spend a lot of time on Fridays cruising through Baseball-Reference, and when I went to the Padres' team page for some reason I saw that Hudson has zero doubles and four triples. "That's weird!" I thought to myself. Then I committed to writing about it because I'm a moron.
Hudson isn't so special. Teammate Cameron Maybin has zero doubles and three triples. But Hudson has four triples, which is 33 percent more triples than Maybin has, so Hudson's numbers are 33 percent weirder. Triples are far more rare than doubles, and this isn't going to keep up, but
the a neat thing about baseball is that it isn't continuous. Right now, no baseball is being played and Orlando Hudson has zero doubles and four triples, so this article is a snapshot. This article will stand as proof that this time existed.
What I'm going to do now is show you all four of Hudson's triples. If I'm going to have any material here it's probably going to come from the video. He tripled on April 10, April 21, April 22, and April 26. Only two of the triple highlights are embeddable.
All four of Orlando Hudson's triples have been hit at home at Petco Park. This isn't completely shocking, for two reasons. One, the Padres have played 14 games at home, and six games on the road. The 6-14 Padres have played 14 games at home, and six games on the road. Two, Hudson is a switch-hitter, and all four triples were hit batting lefty. As much as Petco Park is an offensive death trap, a massive, intimidating offensive death trap, it actually surrenders more triples to lefties than the average stadium does. It's not enough consolation, but it's some consolation, like a parent not buying his kid any Christmas presents, but giving his kid a bowl of Froot Loops.
Something to note: Orlando Hudson has hit four triples at Petco Park, and he's hit them wearing three different uniforms.
When Hudson tripled in the camouflage uniform, the third-base umpire didn't signal "safe," because he couldn't even see there was a baserunner. True story!
When I got to watching Hudson's triples, I didn't really know what I was looking for, but I think I was curious how many were doubles that Hudson stretched with his legs. Something incredible about these four triples is that only one of them resulted in a close play. Only one of them so much as drew a throw. The other three, Hudson beat out by a significant margin. I don't have a breakdown in front of me of how many triples on average are close, and how many triples on average are not close. I suspect the majority of them are close, because triples are hard to hit. Three of Orlando Hudson's triples have been no-doubters.
Something else of note: Hudson got some help. On April 10, Chris Young took a bad angle and let Hudson's gapper get by him. On April 22, two Phillies outfielders momentarily paused, as neither knew which should pick up the baseball from the warning track. On April 26, Jayson Werth played Hudson's drive poorly off the wall. There are such things as natural triples, and Hudson hit one, on April 22. Yet many triples are doubles with a defensive mistake that isn't enough of a mistake to be ruled an error.
I think my favorite part of all of this happens at 0:21 in the clip from April 21:
The Padres are playing the Phillies, and beating the Phillies. Here's a Padres fan, high-fiving a Braves fan, who doesn't care so much if the Braves are good so long as the Phillies are bad. He just goes around to games that don't have the Braves in them, high-fiving when the Phillies screw up. This guy is to the Phillies as Phillies fans are to J.D. Drew.
Anyhow, Orlando Hudson has zero doubles and four triples. All four of the triples were legitimate, in that none of the four triples probably should've been doubles. A year ago, Hudson had 15 doubles and three triples. The all-time biggest gap between a player's doubles and triples is 17, but that was set back in 1912 so it hardly means anything today. The contemporary record for the biggest gap between a player's doubles and triples is eight, set by Deion Sanders in 1992. That year, Sanders had six doubles and 14 triples. Over the rest of his career, he smacked 66 doubles and 29 triples. Orlando Hudson probably isn't on his way to establishing a new contemporary record, especially if the Padres release him soon. But he has made it this far, and what he's done is odd enough. Orlando Hudson has a .623 season OPS built on some unusual component numbers. You know that about him, now.