Look, the answer to whether Paul Goldschmidt is going to get the triple crown this year is probably the same as the answer to whether anyone else in the history of baseball is going to get the triple crown.
No, probably not.
This is no knock on Goldschmidt, who’s having a great year, and who is actually really, really close.
But the triple crown is hard. Not like a little hard, it’s hard hard. It might just be one of the hardest feats in sports. Winning a batting title is hard enough, but doing that while leading the league in RBIs and Home Runs? Almost impossible. In fact, it’s so mindbogglingly difficult that no one has won one in the National League since 1937 when Joe “Ducky” Medwick led the league in all three categories. Think about how many years have passed since.
And sure, the American League has seen some more recent Triple Crown winners, most notably Miguel Cabrera in 2012, and names like Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams in the years since anyone won it in the National League, but that doesn’t actually make it easier for Goldschmidt. The weight of expectation is heavy, and the closer he gets to the end of the season, the more eyes will be on him.
Especially if he stays close to where is now – the leader in the NL in batting average and RBIs and second in home runs.
Of course, Goldschmidt is approaching it the right way, by outwardly acting like he thinks he has no chance, even though we’re almost at the end of August and he most definitely has a chance. But what else is he going to do, pretend like the really difficult thing he’s attempting to achieve is anything but that? The media is unlikely to let up, no matter what he says. With every day that passes with him close or leading in all three categories, it’ll get harder and harder to pretend this isn’t something he wants – and something he can achieve.
For fans, a Triple Crown is very exciting. Goldschmidt’s season has been very exciting. Total domination isn’t supposed to be fun, but seeing a player consistently firing on all cylinders is one of the best things about organized sports. Does that mean Goldschmidt is likely to get there? No, it doesn’t. But fans will be cheering him either way. Hopefully, he can also take time to enjoy it, no matter what happens.