In a wonderful post over It's Always Sunny In Detroit that was tipped off by another post over at Big League Stew, we got to hear about and see the replay of Jeff Francoeur throwing out a runner at first base on what appeared to be a single to right field. According to the post, it's only the fifth time this has happened in the American League since 1974. Why?
It happens more often in the National League because pitchers are often thrown out on such plays since the right fielder will often play so shallow against pitchers. It just seems to this observer that such a play should happen more often. This Fan watches a LOT of baseball on the television. And a batter busting down the line on a base hit doesn't happen very often. Robinson Cano hits a single and jogs to first. He's not alone. In this particular case, the runner was busting it down the line and still got thrown out, but this batter was not the norm.
So again, why doesn't it happen more often? Perhaps it is because outfielders often don't hustle any more than batters do. Perhaps the fielder doesn't want to show up an established player (would Francoeur have done that if Big Papi had hit the single?).
But it does seem like it should happen a lot more than it does. Not only do base runners not hustle, but many, like catchers and the Adam Dunns of the world, simply cannot run that fast. Hats off to Francoeur. It was a fun play and you don't see it happen very often.