With just a few more days left in 2005, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the numbers that shaped the 2005 season. From a spring steroid scandal to a team in the nation’s capital to a second Sox team shedding decades of bad luck, 2005 proved to be yet another unique season for ages.
The 2005 Playoffs: One for the Number
0: Number of home runs White Sox lead-off hitter Scott Podsednik hit during the 2005 season.
1: Number of home runs White Sox lead-off hitter Scott Podsednik hit during the 2005
postseason World Series. Podsednik won game 2 of the World Series with a walk-off shot against Astros closer Brad Lidge. Edit: Thanks to Jon for pointing out my mistake here. Podsednik did indeed homer off the Sox in the ALDS.
4: Number of complete-game victories the White Sox starting rotation threw during the American League Championship Series. The four starters became the first pitchers to accomplish this feat since the 1956 World Series.
88: Number of years it took the White Sox to win another World Series. Their last title was in 1917, one year before the Red Sox won their last title for 86 years.
97: Number of years since the Chicago Cubs last captured a World Series championship.
412: Number of feet that Albert Pujol’s monstrous three-run home run in game 5 of the NLCS traveled. While the Cardinals would fall in six games to the Astros, Pujols’ blast will leave a lasting impression in the minds of Brad Lidge and baseball fans everywhere.
Papi, A-Rod MVP race incites debate
10: Number of games David Ortiz appeared in the field. He saw just 78 innings of action at first base this year.
10: Number of runs Yankees third baseman drove in on April 26. The Yankees beat the Angels 12-4 that night.
15: Number of at-bats David Ortiz had with the bases loaded.
20: Number of runs Ortiz drove in with the bases loaded.
24: Number of points by which Alex Rodriguez captured the AL MVP over Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz. The award with a final voting tally of 331-307 was one of the more hotly contested MVPs in recent history, and the debate on the Internet raged for weeks.
‘He’s going the distance.’
5: Number of complete games thrown by Roy Halliday in just 19 starts this season. He was on pace for 8 complete games before injuries derailed his season.
4: Number of shut-outs thrown by NL Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter.
5: Number of shut-outs thrown by Marlins’ ace Dontrelle Willis.
7: Complete games hurled by both Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis. The duo led the NL in that category.
Blue Jay hurlers rake in the dough
42: Number of career saves for B.J. Ryan. The lefty has just one season of closer experience under his belt.
47: Number, in millions of dollars, Ryan will earn closing for the Blue Jays over the next five years.
49: Number of career wins for A.J. Burnett.
50: Number of career losses for A.J. Burnett
55: Number, in millions of dollars, Burnett will earn starting for the Blue Jays over the next five years.
Griffey, Giambi among comeback stars
0: Number of times Yankees slugger Jason Giambi mentioned the word “steroids” in his apology in March. People are still wondering what it was Giambi apologized for.
35: Home runs Ken Griffey, Jr., launched this year. This marks the first year since 2000 that Griffey cracked the 30-home run barrier.
108: Walks by Jason Giambi. After a .208/.342/.379 2004 season marred by, well, everything, Giambi apologized for something and then rebounded to hit .271 with a league-leading .440 OBP and a .535 slugging percentage.
Baseball celebrates progress in combatting steroids
0: Number of times Rafael Palmeiro has taken the blame for his steroid suspension that came just a few months after he told Congress he “never” used performance-enhancing drugs.
1: Number of teammates Palmeiro threw under the bus. He fingered Miguel Tejada as the supplier of a tainted B12 vitamin shot. Tejada has since expressed his displeasure with the Orioles franchise.
12: Players suspended 10 days for violating baseball’s new drug policy.
17: Number of days after become the latest member of the 3000-hit club that Rafael Palmeiro was suspended for violating the drug policy.
26: At-bats for Palmeiro after he returned from his suspension. Palmeiro, who in March testified before Congress against steroid use, was asked to leave the team before the start of September.
50: Days a first-time drug offender will be suspended starting in 2006.
Nationals, Red Sox, Yankees see large crowds
226: Consecutive sell-outs at Fenway Park. The 35,000-capacity stadium has become the New England sports destination.
33,651: Fans per game cheering on the Washington Nationals at RFK Stadium. The 2004 Expos suffered through an average of just 9,356 fans per home game.
4,090,440: Fans who passed through the turnstiles at Yankee Stadium this year. The 2005 Yankees became just the third team in Major League history to crack the 4-million mark.
But who’s counting?
51: Days until pitchers and catchers start reporting for Spring Training.
97: Days until Opening Day 2006