You guys remember sports? Man, sports were good. Not even just the big three, either. I can think of at least a dozen sports I've enjoyed over the years. And with those sports come statistical anomalies that are so beyond the realm of comprehension that they put me in hysterics whenever I'm confronted with them. Tony Gwynn stats are always a good time. Barry Bonds once got on base more times than he registered at bats in a single season. I didn't make a typo there, that's how fucking nuts that previous sentence is. Wayne Gretzky's stats are so gaudy I genuinely don't know how they didn't shut down the sport the day he retired. Like it's insulting anyone else ever claims to have played the same sport as that guy, because they didn't. But I'm not here to talk about those guys today. As quarantine rages on I'll wade out into the internet with my statistician net and come back with an assortment of gems to share with my internet pals, which is you fine folks on the other side of the screen. So, without further ado, here is the first stat that came across my desk today which kicked off this most recent mania in my deteriorating brain.
Greg Maddux is basically pitcher Tony Gwynn when it comes to stats that don't make any goddamn sense. You know how I know that? Because when this un-watermarked graphic was deposited in my mentions today I didn't once consider it might NOT be true. And, after the briefest amount of research, this stat is only *kinda* true. Pitch count data isn't available for the entirety of Maddux's career. Yet another example of people from the past being fucking idiots, but I digress. What is true is he issued 177 intentional walks. That's just a fact. Which leads me to believe the 310 3-0 counts is a real number, just not the *whole* number. Which means we have a solid base in which to work from. And we know the pitcher, GREG MADDUX, wasn't exactly dishing out free passes left and right. This was a man who has a specific type of complete game named after him. A stat like this, real or not, is a testament to his control on the mound. And, by the way, the fact that we only have pitch count data for the LATTER HALF of his career when he wasn't as good as the first half leads me to believe that number probably isn't terribly far off. It's not as if he harness his control after 12 years of whipping it to the backstop every other pitch. That's enough for this man.
Larry Fitzgerald - a wide receiver mind you - has racked up more tackles than he's dropped passes thrown in his general direction. This would be noteworthy for Deebo Samuel or any of the other rookies from last season. For a man who has played 16 years, at a minimum of 13 games a pop for each of those 16, is hard to compute. Drops happen, it's part of the game. Sometimes your quarterback throws an interception and you're forced to make a play despite that not being what you get paid millions of dollars for. It is what it is. For him to be cleaning up others' mistakes more often than you're making less costly errors should be the first sentence on his Hall of Fame plaque.
Much like the Maddux stat, this little tidbit is close but not 100% accurate. Vin Scully's broadcasting career began in 1950. Connie Mack's last year managing was 1950. They were ships passing in the night, but Scully never actually called a game in which Mack was managing. Which, and I can't make this point much clearer, I don't care about that minor discrepancy. Not a single care. Connie Mack was born during the CIVIL WAR. The president when he was born was ABRHAM LINCOLN. I don't give a shit if Scully called a Mack game. From 1886 until October of 2016 at least one of Mack or Scully was involved with Major League Baseball.
My grandparents were all born in the 1920s. All four of them. The Titanic was long sunk before my great grandparents decided to knock boots or whatever they were wearing for shoes back then. 100 years ago, nothing crazy. John Tyler was born in SEVENTEEN NINETY. There have been thirty five presidents since he was president. That's a shit ton of presidents. Like the vast majority of presidents have come since Johnny T was in office. And this motherfucker's GRANDKIDS are still alive! Lyon Gardiner Tyler and Harrison Ruffin Tyler are both in their 90s. This family's genes need to be studied and used to create secret elixirs to keep us all alive for hundreds of years.
I'm told these stats are impressive. I'll take el mundo de futbol's word on the matter. I don't watch nearly enough to know exactly *how* impressive they are. Never allowing someone to dribble past you feels pretty dominant, I can't lie. Going a whole year without committing a foul feels like you didn't want it bad enough, IMO. So, since I can't appreciate these as much as the rest of the world I'd like to end with one of my favorite ongoing stats in the game.
KAWHI LEONARD HAS MORE CAREER STEALS THAN FOULS COMMITTED
I had to double check to make sure this was still active and it sure fucking is. 921 steals. 891 personal fouls. 5x All Defense, 2x DPOY, typically guarding the other team's best player for long stretches of games in a League known for calling a shit ton of fouls. This isn't someone playing weak side help defense just cherrypicking cross court passes. This man is going heads up with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden and everyone else who gets to the free throw line frequently and, instead of fouling them, simply taking the ball from them at a higher rate. Silly.