Taking a break from the MVP series today, but will continue it tomorrow. In the meantime, here are ten statistics you probably didn't know.
1. Manny Ramirez has slugged 555 career dingers and knocked in 1,831 runs, but he's only led the league once for each category. This is mind-boggling to me, but then again ManRam never played more than 154 games and usually missed a good chunk of the season. He also walked a lot.
2. Derek Jeter, proud owner of a career .313 batting average and nearly 3,100 hits, has never won a batting title. Or an MVP, for that matter, but he does have three top-three finishes. Similarly, MannyBManny has a career .312 average and managed just one batting title (after hitting .349 for Boston in 2002), but like DJ he has never been named Most Valuable Player.
3. Mark Teixeira has been named an All-Star just twice in his career, even though he's been a 30 homer 100 RBI guy every year beginning in 2004. Just goes to show how deep first base is, and also that Tex's slow starts tend to cost him when it comes time to vote for the Midsummer Classic.
4. Boston's pitching staff tossed exactly one shutout, courtesy of Josh Beckett, in 2011. What's scary is that only three American League teams finished with more.
5. The Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) were the only team in the division with a record that equaled their Pythagorean W-L.
6. Starting in 1996, Johnny Damon has played at least 141 games every year. No one would blame him if he pulled a Ron Artest/Metta World Peace and changed his middle name to "Durable."
7. Despite fielding a loaded lineup that featured regulars such as Matt Wieters, Derrek Lee, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Vladimir Guerrero, the Orioles finished no higher than fourth in any offensive category. Nobody hit .300 or scored/drove in more than 86 runs.
8. Although Adrian Gonzalez set career highs across the board in his debut with the Red Sox, his 27 home runs were his fewest since he swatted 24 in his first full season back in 2006. The slight power dip didn't stop him from winning his first Silver Slugger, though
9. For all of A.J. Burnett and John Lackey's pitching woes, the media's favorite whipping boys avoided losing records.
10. Blue Jays starter Kyle Drabek, son of Doug Drabek, walked more batters than he whiffed in 2011. Not surprisingly, he was demoted in the middle of June and didn't return to the bigs until September roster expansions.