Statistically speaking, some numbers talk with greater impact than others. The Chicago Cubs’ 25-47 record says rather forcefully the team is not good. Of course, depending on one’s definition. Let’s put it this way. The Cubs are on pace to win about 55 games this season. Meaning they would lose about 107. Also meaning they would have to go 39-52 (a .429 winning percentage) to avoid losing 100 games. Fairly sure that qualifies at best as not good.
* Former White Sox slugger Jim Thome hit the 13th walk-off home run of his career Saturday in defeating Tampa Bay. It was his first as a pinch hitter and his first playing in his 40s. He had been tied for most game-winning homers in big-league history. The players with 12 are all Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth. Though not what most would consider a spectacular talent, Thome does have 609 career homers to tie Sammy Sosa for No. 7 on the all-time list. Even having played in baseball’s steroid era (are you sure we’re out of it?), Thome would seem a likely possibility for the Hall of Fame. Certainly far more likely than the guy with whom he is temporarily tied at 609.
* Speaking of White Sox sluggers, designated hitter Adam Dunn continues to have a comfortable (or uncomfortable, depending on your comfort level) lead for most strikeouts by a big-league batter. He has 114, including three in the Sox victory Saturday. He also had one walk for an American League-best 57. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto leads the major leagues with 58. Dunn does have 54 hits in 247 at-bats. Which calculates (if the elliottharris.com abacus is working properly) to a .406 batting average when he does put the ball in play.
* Speaking of league leaders, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is tied for the big-league lead in caught stealing (8). He does have 16 stolen bases. Team leader Tony Campana (24 stolen hases) has been caught three times. Not to say Castro isn’t up to speed in his success rate (.667), but slow-footed St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has seven stolen bases in eight attempts (.875).
* Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox is batting .174 (8-for-6) with no homers and 10 strikeouts in June. And there’s talk of the White Sox trading for him. Yep, that sounds pretty much like upgrade for them.
* As long as we’re talking about things adding up (or not), a report that former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson might be interested in becoming coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder if the team and coach Scott Brooks fail to reach a contract agreement is interesting. The Thunder does have the superstar player in Kevin Durant that Jackson teams have featured. Durant has to provide appeal to any incoming coach. For Jackson, it might be even better. After all, Durant is partial to a backpack as a fashion accessory — one that is quite suitable for any books that Jackson would provide him to read.
Congratulations to the Dempster Family Foundation, which is among the Midwest Region nominees for a Classy Award. Winners will be announced Sept. 22 at the fourth annual Classy Awards ceremony in San Diego. To view the Dempster Family Foundation’s submission and video, you can click here. Voting, which is to end July 26, will help determine the winners. Information on the Classy Awards is available here.
Actor Bill Muray in a sports hall of fame? Well, he was in the golf-themed “Caddyshack,” which is a classic. So maybe a golf hall might give him a call? Not at all. The Chicago native was inducted June 19 to a baseball hall of fame. Not the one located in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The South Atlantic League Hall of Fame called, and Murray answered as an inductee and major attraction at ceremonies in Charleston, S.C. Also inducted at the 53rd annual midseason festivities before the league’s all-start game were Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and Asheville Tourist executive Carolyn McKee. New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was keynote speaker.
“I’ve been lucky to be involved in this baseball business,” Murray said said of his relationship with Mike Veeck and Marv Goldklang. “I got involved because I was invited and I’ve made many friends in this business.”
Actually, his speech was much more entertaining than that, so here it is:
Speaking of figures (as we were earlier in today’s effort), here are some of another variety. Hey, it’s video from the Miss Hooters International Pageant:
For those with a lot of time on their hands, here are the 100 finalists in the Hooters competition:
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