Last season the Atlanta Braves were one of six teams to finish in last place in their division. What makes this all the more interesting is that it was their first year in last place since 1990, a span of 26 years!
The other five teams that finished in last place were Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oakland, San Diego and Tampa Bay. For Oakland and Cincinnati, they also finished in last place in 2015. The Twins last season as a cellar-dweller was in 2014; the Padres last time was in 2011; and the Rays last finished in last place in their division in 2007.
Over the last three seasons, 13 of the 30 MLB teams finished in last place in their division in at least one season. But it’s interesting to note that five MLB teams have not finished in last place in their division this century (since 2000) and two of those five (the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals) have not finished in last place since 1990.
Following is a look at the last season each of the 30 MLB teams finished in last place in their division.
1990: New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals
1992: Los Angeles Dodgers
1999: Los Angeles Angels
2003: New York Mets
2007: San Francisco
2010: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Washington
2013: Chicago White Sox, Houston, Miami, Toronto
2014: Arizona, Chicago Cubs, Texas
2015: Boston, Colorado, Detroit, Philadelphia
2016: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Oakland, San Diego, Tampa Bay
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Here’s a couple of NBA stats that I hope you will find interesting…
Forty-something scorers. It goes without saying that the NBA is a league of “young” talent. There was, however, a game this week that went largely unnoticed that showcased a 40-something player reliving his heyday.
Memphis Grizzlies player Vince Carter on March 13 scored 24 points in 30 minutes. Big deal, right? Well, at age 40 years and 46 days, Carter became the sixth player 40 years of age or older since the 1963-64 NBA season to score 20 or more points in an NBA regular season game. Carter did it against the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to Carter’s game, the last time a player 40 years of age or older had 20 or more points in a regular season game was on April 1, 2004 when Karl Malone had 20 points for the L.A. Lakers in a contest versus the Houston Rockets.
There have been 56 games since the ’63-’64 season that a 40-something player tallied 20 or more points in a contest (teams were 36-20 in those games, if it matters to you). Michael Jordan tops the list with 20 of those games. Here’s a look at the six players who at age 40 (or older) had 20 or more points in an NBA regular season game since 1963-64.
20: Michael Jordan
16: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
9: John Stockton
6: Robert Parrish
4: Karl Malone
1: Vince Carter
The most points by a player in his 40’s (since 1963-64) was 43 by Jordan on February 21, 2003. In fact, Jordan has the four highest point games for a 40-year-old since ’63-’64, and is the only player to score 30 or more at age 40+. The oldest player to score 20 or more in an NBA game is Jabbar; he had 21 points in a game at age 41 years, 331 days.
Most NBA games without scoring a point. Imagine getting into an NBA game and not scoring. You’d be a little frustrated that your name didn’t appear with a point or two in the box score. Now image playing over 200 games in your NBA career where you didn’t score a point… yes, 200 or more games where you didn’t get in the scoring column.
Twelve players have played in 200 or more regular season games where they did not score a point. Two players, DeSagana Diop and Charles Jones both had 259 games in their NBA careers where they did not score a point. Following are those 12 players; also listed in parenthesis is their last year in the league.
Most career NBA regular season games with no points
259: DeSagana Diop (2013) and Charles Jones (1998)
256: Jud Buechler (2002) and Greg Kite (1995)
235: Tree Rollins (1995)
220: Manute Bol (1995)
207: Ryan Bower (2009)
206: Jason Collins (2014)
204: Mark Madsen (2009)
203: Greg Dreiling (1997)
200: Chris Dudley (2003) and Scott Hastings (1993)
There are another 16 players who have 170 or more career games with no points scored. Three of those players were active in the 2017 season: Joel Anthony (195 games), James Jones (183 games) and Steve Novak (170 games).
Of the players in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Dikembe Mutumbo tops the list with 84 career games with no points. He is followed by Robert Parrish with 65 and Dennis Rodman with 62.
For you Bucks fans out there, Dan Gadzuric tops the team’s list of players with the most games as a Buck with no points with 106. He is followed by Dick Cunningham (98 games), Ervin Johnson (94 games), Harvey Catchings (91 games) and Paul Mokeski (91 games).
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The NFL off-season is in full swing… the free agent signing period over the last week has brought about a lot of action as players are finding new teams (and teams are finding new players), and although the NFL Draft is a month away, Mock Drafts are a major topic on NFL, and individual team, websites.
The NFL Draft is one way that teams can change their fortunes in a quick way. Let’s look at one element of the drafting process: Which position players are most often chosen within the first 10 picks of the draft? Is it quarterbacks, the high-profile glamour position that certainly gets a lot of attention? Or, is there another position that is the target of those selecting one of the first 10 college players in the first round?
Well, if you said that QBs are the most frequent position chosen in the Top 10 picks of the NFL Draft, you are wrong! QB’s ranked second, but the most frequent position player chosen in the top 10 picks of the NFL Draft over the past seven years are offensive tackles. In the last seven drafts (2010 to 2016) there were 13 offensive tackles chosen with the top 10 picks in the draft.
Here’s a look at how many players were chosen (by position) with the first 10 picks in the last seven NFL drafts.
Offensive Tackles, 13
Defensive Backs, 10
Wide Receivers, 8
Defensive Ends, 7
Running Backs, 4
Defensive Tackles, 4
Offensive Guards, 2
Tight Ends, 1
Based on the Top 10 picks in the NFL Draft since 2010 (a total of 70 selections), there have been 40 offensive players and 30 defensive players.
Note: At least one offensive tackle has been chosen within the first 10 picks in 11 straight drafts, the longest streak of any of the positions. Linebackers are next; there has been at least one linebacker chosen in the first 10 picks in nine straight drafts.
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On March 7, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook tallied 58 points in a 126-121 loss to the Portland Trailblazers. It was the 10th time this season that a player scored 50 or more points in a game; it was Westbrook’s second time this season and third in his career.
With his third career 50-point game, Westbrook became the 29th player since 1963-64 to have three or more career 50-point games. Here’s a look at the Top 10 for most career 50-point games since 1963.
Michael Jordan, 31
Wilt Chamberlain, 30
Kobe Bryant, 25
Rick Barry, 14
Allen Iverson, 11
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 10
LeBron James, 10
Bernard King, 8
Dominique Wilkins, 7
Adrian Dantley, 6
Pete Maravich, 6
With the Thunder losing the game where Westbrook scored 58, it was the second time in his career that Westbrook’s team lost when he scored 50+. He became the 14th player since 1963 to score 50 or more points in two or more games where his team lost. Jordan tops this list with eight games where his team lost when he scored 50 or more points. Others who saw their teams lose two or more games when they scored 50+ points: Kobe and Wilt (7), Iverson (5), Bernard King (4), Bob McAdoo and Dominique Wilkins (3), and Jabbar, Tiny Archibald, Adrian Dantley, LeBron, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Redd and Westbrook, each with two.
Since the 1964 playoffs, teams that had a player score 50 or more points in a game have won 22 games and lost 5. Of those 27 games, Jordan, again, tops the list. He had eight 50-point games in the playoffs. Iverson is second with three playoff games, followed by Jerry West with two. Of the five losses, Jordan had two of them, with Ray Allen, Kobe and Billy Cunningham each scoring 50 or more points in a playoff games were their team lost.
If you are a Brewers fan, you already know that Jonathan Villar led the majors last season with 62 stolen bases and that Chris Carter tied for the National League home run title with 41 homers. But what you may not know is that these (now-former) Brewers teammates in 2016 became the fifth set of MLB teammates to have a 60-40 season… one player with 60 or more steals and a teammate with 40 or more HRs.
Here’s a look at the five sets of teammates who had a 60-40 season in the same year:
Milwaukee Brewers, 2016: Chris Carter, 41 HRs, Jonathan Villar, 62 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 2006: Carlos Beltran, 41 HRs, Jose Reyes, 64 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 1999: Mike Piazza, 40 HRs, Roger Cedeno, 66 stolen bases.
Cleveland Indians, 1996: Albert Belle, 48 HRs, Kenny Lofton, 75 stolen bases.
New York Yankees, 1931: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, 46 HRs each, Ben Chapman, 61 stolen bases.
The combined stats of HRs and stolen bases has always been a way to evaluate those players who have that rare, much-desired combination of speed and power. The most common stat has been the “30-30” players, those who get 30 or more HRs and 30 or more steals in the same season. The Brewers franchise has had two 30-30 players in its history: Ryan Braun has done it twice (in 2011 and 2012), and Tommy Harper did it in 1970. In fact, Braun and Mike Trout are the last two players to have a 30-30 season, both accomplishing this feat in 2012. Braun is one of 13 MLB players in history to have two or more 30-30 seasons… father and son Barry and Bobby Bonds top this list, each with five 30-30 seasons in their careers.
In addition to Braun’s two 30-30 seasons and Harper’s lone 30-30 campaign, the Brewers team has had nine other seasons where teammates accomplished a 30-30 season… one player with 30 or more HRs and a teammate with 30 or more stolen bases. Here’s a look at those seasons:
2016: HRs-Chris Carter (41) and Ryan Braun (30)/Stolen Bases-Jonathan Villar (62) and Hernan Perez (34)
2012: HRs-Corey Hart (30) and Ryan Braun (41)/Stolen Bases-Nori Aoki (30), Carlos Gomez (37) and Ryan Braun (30)
2011: HRs-Prince Fielder (38) and Ryan Braun (33)/Stolen Bases-Ryan Braun (33)
2003: HRs-Richie Sexson (45)/Stolen Bases-Scott Podsednik (43)
1983: HRs-Cecil Cooper (30)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1982: HRs-Ben Oglivie (34) and Gorman Thomas (39)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1980: HRs-Ben Oglivie (41) and Gorman Thomas (38)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (34)
1979: HRs-Gorman Thomas (45)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (33)
1978:HRs-Gorman Thomas (32) and Larry Hisle (34)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (30)
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