Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fun With Numbers

Here are some of the more interesting statistics and numbers I've seen (or experienced) recently ...


Shaq Thompson, a linebacker from the University of Washington who last week was the Carolina Panthers' No. 1 draft pick, also once was enough of a baseball prospect to have been selected by the Red Sox in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB draft.

In his very brief professional baseball career, however, Thompson arguably put up the ugliest statistical line in the sport's history.

In 13 Gulf Coast (Rookie) League games, Thompson went hitless in 39 at-bats -- with an incredible 37 strikeouts. He did draw 8 walks ... so in 47 plate appearances, he put the ball in play in fair territory exactly twice. Twice!

No wonder he's now an ex-baseball player. Michael Jordan was Babe Ruth compared to this guy.



That's the record of the mighty Sons of Pitches so far this season.

I'm not hitting squat (although I've got more hits than Shaq Thompson had), and I'll blame my bum shoulder for that (gotta have an excuse, right?), but I'm still having a blast being part of this talented and fun group of fellow 50-and-overs.

Maybe we'll do what Kentucky couldn't!



In his first game at Davidson College, Stephen Curry committed 13 turnovers. Folks had to be wondering if Wildcats coach Bob McKillop had lost his mind offering the skinny son of Dell Curry a scholarship. Winthrop had been Steph's only other Division I suitor.

I guess McKillop's decision ended up working out all right for Davidson, for Curry and for the Golden State Warriors. Steph was just named NBA MVP.

Here's what I wrote shortly before the 2009 draft:

NBA teams are in love with the potential of Spanish teen Ricky Rubio, who is expected to be either the second or third player drafted Thursday. 
Well, he might be the goods. Or he might not be. Nobody really knows.
Give me Stephen Curry. He can handle the ball, he's an excellent passer and he'll be a big-time 3-point shooter.
A stiff breeze could carry Curry into the next county, true, but we know he has a lot of game.
Can anybody really say as much about Ricky Rubio?

When healthy, Rubio has been a pretty good NBA point guard. Much to the chagrin of the Timberwolves and their fans, however, he hasn't been Steph Curry -- truly one of the great shooters ever to lace up a pair of sneakers.

Hey, even I get one right every now and then.



The amount of money I'm very proud to say I didn't spend to watch Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao paw at each other for 36 minutes.

For one thing, I wasn't going to give a serial woman-beater and reprehensible human being like Mayweather one dime of my money.

For another, I used to love boxing years ago but I can't get into such barbarism now. I guess I've gone soft, and not just in my belly.



That was Blake Griffin's box-score line in the Clippers' Game 1 playoff victory at Houston.

L.A. needed its all-star forward to come through big-time with Chris Paul being unable to play due to a hamstring injury, and he delivered as the Clips stole home-court advantage from the Rockets

Will this be the year Griffin and the talented Clippers finally realize their potential? I am rooting for them -- and my old Marquette friend, Glenn Rivers (we didn't call him Doc back then). I hope Paul gets back in the lineup soon.

Those who say they "hate" the NBA for whatever reason, and therefore refuse to watch it, recently missed an instant sports classic: Game 7 from the Clippers-Spurs series.

Playing on one leg, Paul was incredible. He scored 27 points, including a last-second circus shot to win the game (and the series) in a performance every bit as impressive as Jordan's "food poisoning game."

Yes, your average January NBA regular-season game can be a bore, but playoff basketball is often sensational. These guys very well might be the best athletes in the world. Add in the motivation of a possible championship, and it's pretty special stuff.



Thanks to good initial readership, and then to links imbedded in subsequent articles, my Dec. 17 piece for the investing Web site Seeking Alpha just passed the 60,000 page-view mark.

I used to reach hundreds of thousands of readers back in my sportswriting days, so I'm not getting overly excited about this milestone. Still, 60K is a pretty big number for a single article on most financial sites. It's almost twice as many as any other article I've written has received.

I get paid per page-view, and the money I'll get from that article will help fund the new siding I just found out our house needs.

It's hard to beat that for a fun way to spend one's money! But hey, at least I didn't give any of it to Floyd Mayweather.



The number of declared presidential candidates for whom I want to vote.

If these men and women are supposed to be our best and brightest, that's pretty effin' depressing.


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