Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• For the first time since the inception of the award in 1983, the Manager of the Year in both leagues won the award in their first season at the helm of their team.
For Joe Girardi, the National League winner, it was his first season managing any big-league club, a feat accomplished previously by only Hal Lanier (1986 Astros) and Dusty Baker (1993 Giants). The Marlins finished 19 games behind the Mets in the NL East. Girardi is the only manager to win the award in a year in which his team didn't finish within 10 games of first place.
• Jim Leyland returned to the dugout in 2006 after an absence of six seasons. Leyland is only the second manager to take a hiatus of more than two years and then win the Manager of the Year award in the first season he returned Larry Bowa won it with the 2001 Phillies after a managerial gap of 12 seasons (since the 1988 Padres).
Leyland is the third man to win the award in his first season in one of the major leagues (either the AL or NL) after previously managing in the other league. Jim Frey took the honors in 1984 with the Cubs after his stint with the Royals; Joe Torre won the award for the 1996 Yankees (sharing honors with Johnny Oates) after tours of duty with the Mets, Braves and Cardinals.
• The Bobcats scored the last eight points of the fourth quarter before sealing a 95-92 overtime victory at San Antonio. The Spurs hadn't suffered an overtime loss in which they surrendered eight unanswered points at the end of regulation time since Nov. 13, 1997, when the Lakers beat them in that manner at San Antonio.
• The Cavaliers defeated the Trail Blazers in a game in which LeBron James didn't take his first shot from the floor until more than a minute into the second period. It was only the second game in LeBron's NBA career in which he failed to register a field-goal attempt during the first quarter. The only other time it happened was Nov. 28, 2003, in the 16th game of his rookie season.
• In the third game of his NBA career, Hilton Armstrong had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets in their victory at Detroit. Over the last 10 years, only one other rookie center posted those numbers in a road game against the Pistons. Toronto's Chris Bosh had 18 points and nine boards at Detroit on April 9, 2004.
• The Pacers blocked seven shots during the first quarter of their 114-88 loss at Boston. Over the last three seasons (since 2004-05), only two other teams blocked as many as seven field-goal attempts during the first period of a game, and it happened on consecutive days: Phoenix at Golden State (April 8, 2005) and Denver vs. Seattle (April 9, 2005).
• David Lee gathered 15 rebounds, 10 of them in the fourth quarter, in the Knicks' victory over the Wizards. Last season, Lee was one of only four players with at least 10 boards during the fourth quarter of a game, joining Kenyon Martin, Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points in Denver's loss at Orlando. It was Anthony's fifth straight 30-point game, the longest such streak for a Nuggets player since Michael Adams did it in five consecutive games in 1990-91. Anthony is one shy of the Denver franchise record held by Alex English, who scored at least 30 points in each of six straight games in 1982-83.
• With Wednesday's loss, the Grizzlies now have a 1-22 all-time record in road games against the Kings. They've lost 17 in a row at ARCO Arena since their lone victory there on April 19, 1998, when the Vancouver Grizzlies posted a 112-108 overtime win, led by Tony Massenburg's career-high 34 points (the only 30-point game of his career).
• Chucky Atkins scored 27 points, all in the second half, in a losing effort for Memphis. The last player to score as many points as Atkins in a game in which he didn't score a point during the first half was New York's Jamal Crawford, almost a year ago (Dec. 6, 2005, 31 points, all in the second half).
• Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray scored a pair of goals in Montreal's 3-1 victory over the Lightning. It was the third multiple-goal game of the season for Souray; no other defenseman has more than one such game. Souray became the first defenseman since Boston's Ray Bourque in 1983-84 to score at least two goals in a game three times this early in a season (Souray did it in Montreal's 17th game). Bourque registered his third multi-goal game that season in the Bruins' 16th game.
• Rod Brind'Amour's third-period goal was the difference in the Hurricanes' 2-1 win against the Rangers, but a more subtle contribution by Brind'Amour was his dominance in the faceoff circle, where he won 20 of 31 draws. It was the third straight game with at least 20 faceoff wins for Brind'Amour, the longest such streak for any player since he himself did it in January 2002. The last player with a longer streak of that kind was Mark Messier, who won 20-or-more faceoffs in each of four straight games for the Canucks in January 2000.
• Rick DiPietro made 35 saves in leading the Islanders to a 3-0 win over the Stars in Dallas. It was the seventh regular-season shutout of DiPietro's NHL career but the first in which he faced 30 or more shots (previous high: 29).
• The Senators rallied from a 2-1 third-period deficit for a 4-2 win at Buffalo. Before Wednesday's game, Ottawa hadn't earned a point in any game this season in which it trailed during the third period (0-10-0) and the Sabres had not dropped a point in any game in which they led during the third period (10-0-0).
• The Predators scored a pair of third-period goals to overtake the Blue Jackets and post a 5-4 win, spoiling the NHL head-coaching debut of Gary Agnew. The last head coach to lose his first NHL game by blowing a third-period lead was Dave King for Calgary in an overtime loss to the Kings on Oct. 6, 1992 (the winning coach in that game was Barry Melrose, who was also making his debut). In the interim, 75 coaches entered the league without any of them losing their first game in that fashion.
• The Flyers scored five goals in a 14:38 span during the first period in their 7-4 rout in Anaheim. Philadelphia hadn't scored as many as five goals in any previous game this season, let alone in one period! Before Wednesday's outburst, the shortest span this season in which the Flyers netted five tallies was 53:43 (spanning games of Nov. 9-11).
• The Avalanche blew a third-period lead in their 4-3 loss to the Sharks after dropping their three previous games by scores of 6-5, 1-0 and 2-1. It marks the first time in franchise history that Colorado lost four straight games, each by a one-goal margin.