Elias Says ...

7/10/2006 - MLB

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:



• With Ryan Howard's victory on Monday night, nine of the last 11 Home Run Derby winners have been left-handed batters. Miguel Tejada (2004) and Sammy Sosa (2000) are the only non-lefties to win the Derby since 1996.

• David Ortiz participated in the Home Run Derby for the third straight year. Five other players have done that: Sammy Sosa (four straight, 1999-2002), Mark McGwire (four, 1996-1999), Ken Griffey, Jr. (four, 1997-2000 and three, 1992-1994), Albert Belle (three, 1993-1995) and Jason Giambi (three, 2001-2003).

• Miguel Cabrera was the second Marlins player to compete in the Home Run Derby. Gary Sheffield was in the 1996 competition. Only two teams have had fewer Derby participants than Florida: the Devil Rays (none) and Diamondbacks (one, Luis Gonzalez in 2001).


• Miguel Tejada hasn't homered in his last 27 regular-season at-bats. That's the longest current home run drought for any of the eight players in Monday's competition.

• Last season, Bobby Abreu hit 18 homers before the All-Star break (one every 17.9 at-bats), but he hit only six homers during the second half of the season (one every 44.2 at-bats after winning the Home Run Derby).

• The Chicago White Sox (Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko) and New York Mets (Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and David Wright) are the only teams in the majors with a trio of players each with at least 20 homers this season. Since 1933 (the year of the first All-Star Game), only 12 other teams have had three players hit at least 20 homers in a season before the All-Star break.

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• The Texas Rangers are the only team in the majors that had at least one starting player in each of the last 14 All-Star Games (1992-2005). Kevin Brown, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano and Mark Teixeira all contributed to that streak. But neither of the two Rangers selected to this year's squad is slated to start (Michael Young and Gary Matthews Jr.).

• Do you think that this season's eventual AL and NL MVP Award winners will be on display at PNC Park on Tuesday? There's never been a year in which neither league's MVP was selected to the All-Star roster. Over the past 14 seasons (1992-2005) only Juan Gonzalez (1996 Rangers) and Chipper Jones (1999 Braves) were named MVP in a year in which they were All-Star "snubs."