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Did you know that 49.2% of all statistics are misleading? It's true. Take, for instance, Seattle Mariners leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki and his quest to break the 84year-old record of 257 hits in a season, set by George Sisler.
As Ichiro dramatically chases the hallowed mark with the games dwindling to a precious few, please join me in standing and saying, in unison, "What a load of Bushido!!!"
As of last Saturday the Mariners had played 154 games, the schedule Sisler had in 1920, and Ichiro was still seven hits short of breaking the record. End of story. Sorry. Enjoy the fishing season in Kobe. See you at spring training.
Al Simmons, Lefty O'Doul and Bill Terry came within a cross-eyed official scorer of Sisler's holy grail but ran out of games. So Ichiro gets eight free extra games? What's he, our millionth customer? Is he your kid sister and gets four strikes, too?
But do the TV stat boys tell you that? No. Do they mention that Ichiro has collected more singles than a skycap (44 more than Sisler at week's end)? No, because these guys are not into style points. They are gigageeks, grown males who love stats. In other words, they have not had sex since Kirstie Alley was a size 6.
We need a new stat notation: SS (Stupid Stat). Whenever a player gets a record that is misleading, corrupt and/or downright immoral, we simply add an ss to it. For instance:
John Salley is the only player in NBA history to win world championship rings with three different teams-- Detroit, Chicago and L.A. ss Then, in four-point type, the footnote would read, SS--For the last two, Salley was on the floor less than the guy with the T-shirt bazooka.
Bernie Williams of the New York Yankees passed Mickey Mantle for alltime postseason home runs.ss (Please. In Mantle's day there was only one playoff round--the World Series. Williams has played 39 more postseason games than Mantle did. Get that stat outta here!)
Bruce Smith is the NFL's alltime sack leader.ss (No, Bruce Smith is the all-post-1982 sack leader, because that's the year the league started keeping track of the damn things. My favorite NFL player ever, Deacon Jones, used to get four or five sacks in a quarter--it's just that nobody was counting.)
The six biggest home run years in major league history have come in the last six years.ss (The balls, players and stadiums are all juiced.)