MLB Stat of the Week
800 The winning percentage (.800) for the Tampa Bay Rays after posting a 12-3 record during their first 15 spring games in the Grapefruit League. Most experts agree the Rays record has less to do with the efforts of manager Joe Maddon or the play of outfielder Johnny Gomes than it does with the front office decision to get rid of the "Devil" from the team name - which was the club's big off-season move.
1 The number of hits (1) for Ichiro Suzuki during his first 25 spring training at bats. Ichiro began 0 for 21 before legging out an infield single last Thursday, and he is batting .040 after eight spring games in the Cactus League. John McLaren, the Mariners manager, later joked, "We can all sleep tonight - Ichiro got a hit."
320 The distance in feet (320) from home plate to both the left and right field foul poles at the new Chinese Olympic field where the Dodgers and Padres wrapped up a two-game exhibition series this past week. The first ball used in game one of the set is headed for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown - reportedly without an asterisk.
333 The winning percentage (.333) for the Chicago Cubs after posting a 6-12 record during their first 18 spring games in the Cactus League. Hey, it's only spring training - after a century of waiting, this could finally be the year Cubs' fans have been waiting for (as the Sundance Kid famously said, "You just keep thinking, Butch, that's what you're good at").
559 The batting average (.559) for Seattle outfielder Mike Morse through 16 spring training games. Morse is the leading hitter so far this spring after starting off 19 for 34, including two homeruns. In 102 big league games during parts of the last three seasons, Morse hit a total of three homeruns.
610 The weight (6 lbs, 10 ounces) of the baby boy born to Daisuke and Tomoyo Matsuzaka on March 15. The Red Sox star pitcher will now be able to travel to his native Japan for the club's season opener on March 25 against Oakland. Tim Wakefield, commenting on both Dice-K and Red Sox reliever Hideki Okajima, also from Japan, said, "I'm sure they have rock star status over there, and it will be interesting to see how the fans react to those guys." I've been to Japan and seen baseball played over there - rock star status doesn't even come close to the reaction those guys will get.