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Alex Caruso Jersey Lakers

Phenomenal. Eye-Popping. Tenacious. These were just a few of the glowing adjectives used to describe Lakers guard Alex Caruso in his DraftExpress scouting report ahead of the 2016 NBA Draft. That may be surprising to some who didn’t see the unheralded, undrafted guard coming, but the praise is indicative of the on-court abilities that Caruso is still trying to hone and prove to this day.

After finishing four collegiate seasons and setting all-time records in assists and steals at native Texas A&M, the lanky guard set out to do what so many before him have attempted, and failed to achieve — play in the NBA.

On that anxious night of the draft in Brooklyn, Caruso would not be amongst the 60 players who had their dreams fulfilled by being selected. He would not walk that illustrious stage, he would not shake the commissioner’s hand, nor would he hear his name called.

But three years later, Caruso would sign a multi-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and in the process, see a phoenix-like mythology that was crafted in his honor by fans of the team become reality in front of his very own eyes.

But the cruel reality of expectations for an athlete is that once they are exceeded, there is no returning to the moment before they were birthed. A new standard has been set, and later tattooed in the form of a contract as a reminder of the benchmarks that should be met, if not hurdled over again. It’s a treacherous cycle that Caruso is on the precipice of.
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
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After wowing and stealing the hearts of the Lakers’ fanbase in his limited playing time over the past few seasons, the team committed two years and $5.5 million — actual NBA money and a non-two-way roster spot — to Caruso over the summer. It was a signal that a player who was intertwined with tongue-in-cheek hyperbole and countless memes and nicknames should now be taken seriously.

And although preseason basketball shouldn’t be overanalyzed, there have already been indications both on and off the court that suggest Caruso is beginning to feel the pressure to perform.

Caruso shot a mere 24% from the field (worst amongst Lakers who attempted at least ten shots) and coughed up a team-high 18 turnovers in his 118 minutes played during the exhibition stage. While the numbers alone should not be the central cause for concern, the visual manner in which Caruso pressed and was utilized was far more troubling.

Often slapping his hands in frustration after a bad pass, wildly bulldozing into traffic and routinely getting his shots stuffed from opposing guards and bigs alike, the overall viewing experience and the composure of the fan-favorite felt different. It very much had the appearance of a player trying to imitate someone or something else.

”I’ve just been focused on making the right reads and trying to be aggressive. I really don’t think I’ve been doing that well of a job personally”, Caruso told reporters last week. “I know it’s preseason, and I’m kind of getting back in the swing of things, but I want to be playing better, so hopefully I use these last two games to round into form for next Tuesday.”

It’s difficult to argue that Caruso has succeeded in accomplishing what he says he set out to do — and to be fair, it seems even he would make the opposite argument right now. He has dished out 25 assists (tied with LeBron James for team honors) but as his aforementioned high turnover rate and low efficiency numbers suggest, he’s also made misreads.

One potential variable that could be driving him to press besides living up to his new contract and the fanfare he’s received could be the raised stakes.

Caruso no longer has the benefits that come with playing freely on a mostly young and lax team. Nor does he have the “just go out and play” essence that comes with playing in garbage time and in games with no playoff implications.

That changes this season as the Lakers will have clear and legitimate championship aspirations when the ball gets tipped Tuesday night. Anyone who takes the floor will be expected to augment such expectations.
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
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There is reason to wonder how many minutes Caruso will see under new Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. Although he tallied the most minutes of any point guard on the roster this preseason, Caruso also received minimal run with the expected starters. More prominently, he get close to no exposure next to James and Anthony Davis. A potential red flag for those pining for the guard to start.

When asked about Caruso’s struggles, Vogel said Caruso shouldn’t beat himself up for his play too much, and seemed to understand the context of it.

“First of all, he hasn’t shot the ball well, but he’s played pretty well. Especially on the defensive end,” Vogel told reporters during a recent shootaround.

“And I’m not really measuring too much on the last two games in light of the difficult circumstances in China and the difficult circumstances with the trip back from China, and playing basically 48 hours later. I’ll reserve basically any real evaluations from those games, understanding that those are both difficult circumstance types of games. I’m not unhappy with his play.”

While obviously struggling on offense, Caruso has once again been one of the standouts on the team on the defensive end, and easily projects to be the best defensive option amongst the other point guards on the roster. Caruso’s absurd hustle and instincts will likely allow that to translate to when the games start to count.

In terms of the other contextual facets Vogel mentioned, they likely too have also played a role, but the head coach also shares some blame, as he has not done his point guard any favors in terms of his deployment.

Amongst Caruso’s play-type frequency in the preseason, 41.5% of his offense has come as the pick and roll ball-handler, according to Synergy. Within those possessions, he has converted only two of his 12 field-goal attempts.

When combining his passes out of these chances as well, his pick-and-roll-derived offense has a cumulative 20.8% conversion rate from the field. That’s not great.

Even tracing back to last year, Caruso has performed much better as an off-ball threat rather than having to serve as the team’s primary creator, posting higher points per possession on nearly every other play-type besides pick and rolls. It’s another reason why he excelled playing beside James last season, and potentially why he has struggled thus far.

To make a brutal start to the year even worse, Caruso also suffered a “bone-contusion” in his pelvis during the team’s final preseason contest against the Warriors after suffering a rough landing on a lay-up attempt.

He is now day-to-day, and the injury only further emphasizes that this has been about as unfortunate of a beginning as possible to the 25-year-old’s year. Hopefully just a blip in what will be an otherwise successful campaign.
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers
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There is no question that Caruso’s path has been one of the most unique and successful routes in recent league memory when comparing it to the initial expectations for him. From going undrafted that night in Brooklyn, to playing with a game-seven-like intensity against De’Aaron Fox in Summer League and then serving up a seismic poster on Kevin Durant, it has all led him to this moment. It has all helped write the myth of CarusGAWD.

However, for as enjoyable the social-media campaign has been, and as popular he has become, it is has been on the back of his tireless hard-work. From chasing after loose balls to making winning play after winning play, Caruso has earned his spot in the league.

He has show he’s a capable and damn good NBA player when he plays his game. It will be up to his teammates, his coaching staff and ultimately himself to make sure he continues to do what has gotten him here.

Because the hardwood is his version of the Barclays Center stage he never got to walk, his teammates’ hands are the ones he now gets to shake after making a crucial play and the screaming fans are the ones that will make sure his name get’s called so he never forgets it.

Jermaine Eluemunor Jersey Patriots

The NFL season is starting to shape up as to who the playoff contenders are and which teams will be selecting early in the next draft.

This past weekend marked the 10th of the regular season and there were quite a few former Texas A&M players in action.

Though a number were also on their bye weeks, Christian Kirk had his biggest game as a pro as the second-round pick from a year ago is finally healthy this season.

Veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill received his fourth-straight start for Tennessee and led the team to yet another victory, this one coming via a last-minute touchdown drive led by the veteran.

Here is how all the Aggies in the NFL fared over the weekend.

-LB Otaro Alaka, Baltimore: The Ravens beat Cincinnati, 49-13. The undrafted rookie was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) earlier in the season with a hamstring injury. He is eligible to return to the active roster in Week 12.

-DE Michael Bennett, Dallas: Dallas lost to Minnesota on Sunday night, 28-24. In his second game with the team, Bennett finished with two solo tackles.

SEASON: 9 tackles (8 solo), 3.5 sacks, 1 PBU

-K Randy Bullock, Cincinnati: The Bengals fell to Baltimore, 49-13. Bullock hit both of his field goal attempts, connecting from 42 and 39 yards. He also hit his only extra-point try.

SEASON: 13-15 FG (Long 48); 14-14 PAT

-RB Tra Carson, Detroit: The Lions fell to Chicago, 20-13. Carson was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) two weeks ago with a hamstring injury, though.

SEASON: 18-46 rushing; 4-18 receiving

-OL Jermaine Eluemunor, New England: The Patriots were on their bye week.

-WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers beat Arizona, 30-27. Evans caught four passes for 82 yards in the win.

SEASON: 54-924, 7 TD receiving

-S Justin Evans, Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers beat Arizona, 30-27. Evans is on the Injured Reserve (IR) as he is still dealing with a turf toe injury from last season. He was eligible to return to the roster this week but is still not ready to go.

-S Deshazor Everett, Washington: The Redskins were on their bye week.

SEASON: 8 tackles (8 solo)

-DE Myles Garrett, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. The second-year pro finished with one solo tackle in the win.

SEASON: 28 tackles (19 solo), 10 sacks, 2 FF

-FB Cullen Gillaspia, Houston: The Texans were on a bye week.

SEASON: 3 tackles (1 solo)

-DE Daeshon Hall, Philadelphia: The Eagles were on their bye week.

SEASON: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack

-OL Germain Ifedi, Seattle: The Seahawks undefeated San Francisco on Monday night. Ifedi started at right tackle and.

-DT Kingsley Keke, Green Bay: The Packers defeated Carolina, 24-16. The fifth-round pick finished with one solo tackle in the win.

SEASON: 6 tackles (1 solo)

-WR Christian Kirk, Arizona: The Cardinals fell to Tampa Bay, 30-27. The second-year pro had the best game of his career so far as he caught six passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns (33, 69, 15).

SEASON: 38-467, 3 TD receiving; 4-45 rushing

-K Josh Lambo, Jacksonville: The Jaguars were on their bye week.

SEASON: 22-22 FG (Long 48); 12-13 PAT

-DT Daylon Mack, Baltimore: The Ravens beat Cincinnati, 49-13. The sixth-round pick was on the inactive list for Baltimore, though.

-OT Jake Matthews, Atlanta: The Falcons beat New Orleans, 26-9. Playing left tackle, Matthews helped Atlanta to 317 total yards – 174 passing and 143 rushing.

-C Erik McCoy, New Orleans: The Saints dropped a contest to Atlanta, 26-9. The rookie second-round pick started at center and helped New Orleans to finish with 310 total yards – 258 passing and 52 rushing.

-LB Von Miller, Denver: The Broncos were on a bye week.

SEASON: 29 tackles (20 solo), 4 sacks

-DS Don Muhlbach, Detroit: The Lions fell to Chicago, 20-13. Muhlbach is in his 16th season as the team’s deep snapper.

-OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Jacksonville: The Jaguars were on their bye week.

-WR Damion Ratley, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. Ratley was on the active roster for the first time in a few weeks but was not targeted in the passing game.

SEASON: 8-103 receiving

-WR Josh Reynolds, LA Rams: The Rams fell to Pittsburgh, 17-12. Reynolds caught three passes for 49 yards in the loss.

SEASON: 8-156, TD receiving

-TE Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland: The Browns defeated Buffalo, 19-16. Seals-Jones was inactive due to a slight knee injury.

SEASON: 9-155, 2 TD receiving

-TE Jace Sternberger, Green Bay: The Packers defeated Carolina, 24-16. In the second week of action for the third-round pick after coming off injured reserve, he served a blocker but was not targeted in the passing game. He had one solo tackle on special teams, though.

-OL Keaton Sutherland, Miami: Miami beat Indianapolis, 16-12. The undrafted rookie was on the active list for the first time last week but was on the inactive list this week.

-QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee: The Titans beat Kansas City, 35-32, as Tannehill moves to 3-1 as a starter. He finished 13-of-19 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns (9, 23) in helping engineer the winning touchdown drive in the final minute. He also ran for 37 yards on three carries.

SEASON: 97-136-4-1161, 8 TD passing; 17-85, TD rushing

-S Armani Watts, Kansas City: The Chiefs lost at Tennessee, 35-32. The second-year pro had two solo tackles in the defeat.

SEASON: 6 tackles (6 solo), 1 sack

-RB Trayveon Williams, Cincinnati: The Bengals fell to Baltimore, 49-13. The sixth-round pick was on the active roster but did not have a carry.

-S Donovan Wilson, Dallas: Dallas lost to Minnesota on Sunday night, 28-24. The sixth-round pick finished with one assisted tackle.

SEASON: 1 tackle (0 solo)

Mike Nugent Jersey Patriots

Colts working out ex-Patriots kicker Mike Nugent with Adam Vinatieri struggling

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It appears the Indianapolis Colts may decide to go from one ex-New England Patriots kicker to another this season.

With the 46-year-old Adam Vinatieri continuing to struggle, the Colts brought in four kickers for workouts on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

One of those kickers was Mike Nugent, who briefly filled in for the injured Stephen Gostkowski in New England before being replaced by Nick Folk.

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Vinatieri is 14-for-19 in field goal attempts this year and 14-for-20 in extra points. The former Pats hero missed a crucial PAT during the Colts’ loss to the lowly Dolphins on Sunday.

The 11 total missed kicks tie Vinatieri’s career high set way back in 1996, when he missed eight field goals and three PATs as a 23-year-old rookie.

As for Nugent, the 37-year-old went 5-of-8 for field goals and a nearly perfect 15-of-16 in extra points in four games with the Patriots.

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Colts working out ex-Patriots kicker Mike Nugent with Adam Vinatieri struggling originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Mohamed Sanu Sr. Jersey Patriots

Patriots’ Mohamed Sanu Sr. Says Tom Brady Offered Him No. 12 Jersey After Trade

HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 06: Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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Tom Brady got so excited about the addition of Mohamed Sanu Sr. that the New England Patriots quarterback was ready to give up his iconic No. 12.

Sanu told reporters Friday that Brady offered his jersey number when the Patriots acquired Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons:

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Mohamed Sanu said that Brady offered #12 to him. Sanu’s reaction was pretty good. #Patriots

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It’s perhaps a sign of how happy Brady is to have another solid receiver. The Patriots placed Josh Gordon on injured reserve Wednesday, taking away one of their best offensive playmakers.

Sanu, who has worn No. 12 for his eight-year NFL career, will switch to No. 14 in New England.

The six-time Super Bowl champion led all NFL players in officially licensed merchandise sales from March 1 through May 31.

Zarley Zalapski Jersey Penguins

Former Penguins defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at the age of 49, according to multiple reports Tuesday. No cause of death was known immediately.

Zalapski was a first-round Penguins draft pick in 1986. Despite playing only parts of four seasons with the team, he ranks 11th in franchise history in defenseman scoring with 33 goals and 135 points in 190 games.

Along with John Cullen and Jeff Parker, Zalapski was sent to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings in a blockbuster 1991 trade that paved the way for the Penguins’ first two Stanley Cup championships.

Zalapski played parts of eight seasons with Hartford, Calgary, Montreal and Philadelphia after leaving the Penguins. He retired in 2010 after playing five seasons in Europe.

“I loved (Pittsburgh),” Zalapski said in a 2011 interview with the Tribune-Review . “I really enjoyed the city, and the people were great. I made a lot of good friends there. That was the worst part about the whole thing, me having to move, was that I wouldn’t be able to spend time with the people I made friends with. And then I just really liked the area.

“Out of all the places that I’ve played, both in Europe and in the NHL, that’s still my favorite place.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

Troy Loney Jersey Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been on the winning side of many lopsided games in their history. Here is a look back at a few games when things didn’t go according to plan.
Any team like the Pittsburgh Penguins that has employed such talent as Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin is sure to have caused nightmares for opposing teams and their fans over the years.

But what happens when the tables turn is bound to leave players shaking in their skates with ice-cold blood and goaltenders with the echoing sound of a goal horn piercing their ears. Here is a look at five of the scariest games in Penguins history.

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Chi-town Beatdown (Oct. 05, 2018)
When the 0-1-1 Penguins and 0-1 Blackhawks faced-off in this early season contest, nobody could have predicted that the Penguins would have been handed one of the worst losses in franchise history.

Off-season acquisition and former Blackhawk Goaltender Antti Niemi made his first start with the Penguins and unfortunately, Chicago was not feeling hospitable towards their old ally.

Niemi allowed four goals on 13 shots, which set the precedent for his time with Pittsburgh. He was put on waivers two games later after he allowed 16 goals in three games. Matt Murray didn’t fare much better in the relief effort, as he allowed six goals on 31 shots.

By the time the horn sounded at the conclusion of the third period, Chicago had put 10 pucks in the back of the net and served the Stanley Cup Champions a large piece of humble pie.

Thunderstruck (Nov. 08, 2003)
When the 3-7-3 Penguins locked horns with 8-1-1-1 Tampa Bay Lightning, the end result was an abomination of a showing. The porous Pens defense hung goaltender Sebastien Caron out to dry, as he faced 37 shots and allowed eight goals by the mid-way mark of the third period.

Rookie Marc-Andre Fleury got to see some action after Penguins coach Ed Olczyk finally ended Caron’s bleeding near the midway mark of the final stanza. Fleury made four saves on five shots in his 11 minutes of work.

Along with the lopsided score, an air of physicality and ugliness developed over the course of the contest. The teams combined for 77 PIM, with Lightning forward Chris Dingman responsible for 27 of the team’s 36 penalty minutes and Martin Straka racking up 14 of the Penguins 41 penalty minutes.

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Battle lines Drawn (Oct. 20, 1977)
It did not take long for the Flyers to break the seal on the Penguins net in the is mid-Oct. massacre. The Flyers built up a solid 3-0 lead by the eight-minute mark of the first period and poured 21 shots on Pittsburgh goaltender Dunc Wilson by the end of the frame.

The Flyers offense continued their siege on the Penguins net and pulverized their way through the hapless Pittsburgh defense the next two periods and ended up with hefty 12-0 victory. Philadelphia spread the offense pretty evenly scoring four goals in the first and third periods and three in the second.

Wilson did the best he could with the barrage of rubber that came his way, he made 42 saves on 54 shots. Perhaps this is when the bad blood between clubs developed.

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Revenge is Best Served Cold (Nov. 25, 1992)
It’s a good thing dead arenas tell no tales because Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena certainly bared witness to its fair share of ghastly games, including this 1992 Division Final rematch vs. The New York Rangers.

Pittsburgh got off to a fast start as Mario Lemieux buried his 26th goal of the season just 14 seconds into the first period, but it wasn’t long before the Rangers began their assault on the Penguins goaltenders.

The Rangers entered the third period with a 5-3 lead and capitalized on their power-play opportunities afforded to them by three consecutive Rick Tocchet infractions. New York capitalized by scoring three goals on five chances in the frame, and added three additional even-strength goals to claim an 11-3 victory.

Getting Torched (Mar. 9, 1989)
When the Pens and Calgary Flames met in this late-season contest, Pittsburgh ran headfirst into a team on the cusp of capturing their first Stanley Cup Championship. Bob Errey got the Penguins on the board early in the first, but the Flames responded by scoring nine unanswered goals, amassing a 9-1 lead by the midway mark of the third period.

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Despite the insurmountable goal deficit, Pittsburgh scored two goals late in the frame (Kevin Stevens, Troy Loney) to put a somewhat more positive spin on this early March. dousing Penguins goalie Wendell Young was on the clock for 9 of 10 Flames goals and faced 40 shots before Tom Barrasso made his way into the game.

What are some of your scariest games in Pens history? Did we forget any? Feel free to tell us in the comments!

Rod Buskas Jersey Penguins

Eyes were fixated on Feb. 19, 1988, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers entered the game tied with Gordie Howe for the league record in assists (1,049) and looked to the game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins to surpass his hero.

Given the perceived rivalry between Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky and Mario “Le Magnifique” Lemieux, breaking the assist record in front of an Edmonton crowd and “adversary” at the same time would be a nice addition to capturing the record.

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On the other side of the ice, Mario Lemieux was having a career year and looked to widen the point gap between him and Gretzky in the NHL’s scoring race.

It appeared that Lemieux was going to dethrone the reigning seven-season champion. Lemieux held a 15-point lead heading into the game and used a 12 game stretch where Gretzky was on the shelf with a sprained knee, to bolster his lead in the standings.

Lemieux, who was not immune to injuries, hoped an annual bout with bronchitis didn’t derail his attempt to win the title. He had faced the illness the previous two seasons (1986 and 1987) but quit smoking in the summer of 1987 and hoped it would increase his chances of keeping himself healthy.

Paul Coffey was facing his old team for the first time since he was traded to Pittsburgh in a seven-player deal on Nov. 24, 1987. Coffey won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers and was a key figure in helping Gretzky maintain his vice-like grip to the scoring title. The Penguins looked to the future hall of fame Defenceman to lead them to the postseason and provide Lemieux with more opportunities to create offensive output.

With all the makings of a classic contest, what was the eventual outcome of the game?

The Results
The Penguins lost the game 7-3 and both Lemieux and Gretzky left game in the 1st period with injuries.

Gretzky took an errant Rod Buskas stick to the face, which caused a scratch to his left eye and some bleeding to develop behind the eye.

Lemieux took a puck to the face from a shot that deflected off Oilers goaltender Grant Fuhr’s stick and cut his nose. Unlike Gretzky, Lemieux did not miss any games and managed to register an assist in the game.

Coffey failed to earn any points but managed to take 8 PIM (holding, tripping, high-sticking, cross-checking) and registered two shots on goal.

The Conclusion
The injury delayed Gretzky’s capture of the Howe record for 13 days. He broke the record on March 1, 1988, in a game versus the Los Angeles Kings. It took Howe 1,767 games to set the record and Gretzky (in his ninth season) just 678 games to tie the record and 680 games to break it. Gretzky also achieved the feat in 17 fewer seasons then it took Howe to set the record.

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Lemieux claimed his first of six Art Ross Trophies with 168 points (70 goals and 98 assists) in 77 games played and finished 19 points ahead of Gretzky and his 149 points (40 goals and 109 assists) in 64 games played. Lemieux also added his first Hart Trophy and earned his second All-Star Game MVP of his career.

Nick Swisher Jersey Yankees

If you look up the Yankees’ career leader in any sort of counting stat, you’re bound to find that whoever sits atop the list makes sense. The Yankees’ home run leader is Babe Ruth; their hits leader is Derek Jeter; Andy Pettitte has the most strikeouts.

Rate stats, however, get a little weird, especially if you don’t set a minimum for playing time. Consider batting average for an example. There are six players who had a career 1.000 batting average with the Yankees. They are Heinie Odom, Mickey Wittek, Larry Gowell, Chris Latham, Branden Pinder, and Erik Kratz. Not shockingly, none of them got more than two at-bats.

If you then look at the highest OPS in Yankees’ history, the list is headed by two of those six. Gowell and Pinder top everyone in that category, as both went 1-for-1 in their careers, with that one hit being a double, meaning they’re the Yankees’ all-time leaders at 3.000. Here’s also a thing about them: they’re both pitchers.

Pinder you may remember, as he pitched for the Yankees from 2015-16. He was allowed to bat in the late innings of a 2015 game in Atlanta against the Braves as the Yankees were up double-digit runs. Not only did he double, but he drove home a run.

Meanwhile, Gowell’s lone season in the majors came back in 1972. He got the start in the final game of the season, which would be the final game the Yankees played before the institution of the designated hitter. He led off the third with a double, and when he was next due to come up, a pinch hitter took his place. Unfortunately, one of the Yankees’ relievers in the game was allowed to step to the plate, so sadly the final pitcher to hit before the DH did not record an extra-base hit.

On the pitching side of things, there are 34 people to have pitched for the Yankees and never allowed a run, therefore finishing with a 0.00 ERA. Among those are some position players like Nick Swisher and Mike Ford. There’s also Rocky Colavito, a position player who also finished as the winning pitcher in the one game he appeared in.

Hall of Famer Lee Smith is one of those 34, having pitched eight scoreless inning in New York in 1993. Another was Steve Blateric, who just so happens to be the relief pitcher who was allowed to hit in the aforementioned Gowell game. The only one of the 34 who threw more than 10 scoreless innings was Matt Smith. He tossed 12 in 2006 before being included in the Bobby Abreu trade.

Another way to measure pitchers is FIP, which takes into account the things the pitchers are almost solely responsible for, i.e. home runs, strikeouts, walks. It’s a number that is supposed to be comparable to a pitcher’s ERA. The way it’s calculated, however, can lead to a pitcher having a negative FIP, such as the Yankees’ very random all-time leader.

Walter Bernhardt played his one and only game on July 16, 1918. He faced two batters, struck one out, finishing off the top of the ninth in a 12-1 Yankees’ loss. He would never pitch again, and years later when FIP was created, his came out to be -0.77. Having a career strikeout rats of 50% will do that.

All stats courtesy of the Baseball Reference Play Index

Jackie Robinson Jersey Yankees

The annual struggle to define what makes a baseball manager great played out this year in a delicious jumble of a vote, culminating in victories by Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins and Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals for manager of the year honors in the American League and National League, respectively — despite neither winning a majority or even an outright plurality of first-place votes.

Each was in his first full season as manager, and both had strong cases for the award — Baldelli for guiding the Twins to a 101-win season and an AL Central title in his rookie season on the bench, Shildt for taking the Cardinals from below .500 as late as July 12 all the way to the NL Central title — but neither was considered a clear favorite.

With their victories, both Baldelli, 38, and Shildt, 51, made history — the former as the youngest winner ever and the latter as the first to have never played professionally.

Both races were decided by just a handful of votes. In the AL, both Baldelli and Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees received 13 first-place votes out of 30 cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The difference: the 13 second-place votes Baldelli received compared with nine for Boone. Four voters left Boone out of their top three, while only two left Baldelli off. Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash received three first-place votes and finished third in balloting.

In the NL, Shildt’s victory came despite the fact he received fewer first-place votes (10) than runner-up Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers (13). Shildt received 14 second-place votes to six for Counsell, and only three voters kept Shildt out of their top three compared with six who omitted Counsell.

Washington Manager Dave Martinez was a distant fifth in the NL, behind Atlanta’s Brian Snitker and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, receiving three ­second-place votes and six third-place votes. Voting was completed before the postseason, so Martinez’s World Series title with the Nationals was not a factor.

Baldelli, the youngest manager in the majors, took over a Twins team that won just 78 games in 2018, leading to the dismissal of Paul Molitor, and guided them to 101 wins and the AL Central title. He became just the eighth manager to win the award after his first full season on the job — and the first since Arizona’s Torey Lovullo in 2017 — as well as the eighth manager to win following a 100-win season, the last being Seattle’s Lou Piniella in 2001.

“Nobody takes on a job like this for personal accolades,” Baldelli told MLB Network following the announcement. “You take these kinds of roles because you want to do everything you can for your players, your staff and your organization.”

Shildt took a Cardinals team that was 44-44 at the all-star break and guided it to a 47-27 record in the second half to hold off the Brewers and Chicago Cubs for the Central title, the Cardinals’ first since 2015. He ascended to the manager’s job on an interim basis in July 2018 following Mike Matheny’s firing and was given the full-time position at the end of that season.

Shildt, whose mother, Lib, died last week, choked up after the announcement that he had won and said: “I set my sights on being the best coach I could be. The journey has led me here. I’m grateful for it.”

The AL race, in particular, offered a perfect case study in how to define a manager’s greatness, with the three finalists offering vastly different attributes and résumés. While Baldelli could claim the biggest single-season turnaround, Cash did the most with the least, taking the Rays to 96 wins and an AL wild-card berth despite having the majors’ smallest Opening Day payroll.

Boone, meanwhile, nearly overcame voters’ traditional bias against high-payroll teams. His case was built around the Yankees’ 103 wins in a season in which the team placed a major league-record 30 different players on the injured list, with some of the team’s best players lost for large chunks of time.

On the surface, those three seasons were almost impossible to compare on a head-to-head-to-head basis — and the same was true, for that matter, in the NL. And absent any better system for judging managerial greatness, that is precisely why these votes played out with such a chaotic lack of consensus.

Baseball’s awards week continues with the announcements for the Cy Young awards on Wednesday and the MVP awards on Thursday.

Yordan Alvarez, Pete Alonso win rookie of the year
The historic rookie campaigns of Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Álvarez and New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso were validated Monday with landslide victories for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year awards. Álvarez won unanimously in the American League, and Alonso was a near-unanimous pick in the National League.

Álvarez, 22, became the first unanimous winner since Aaron Judge (AL) and Cody Bellinger (NL) swept the first-place votes in 2017. Alonso, 24, missed being a unanimous winner by just one vote. Voting was conducted by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and was completed before the start of the postseason.

The honors for Álvarez and Alonso came following remarkable, history-making debut seasons. The former amassed the highest on-base-plus-slugging percentage in history for a rookie with a minimum of 350 plate appearances — 1.067 — and the latter slugged 53 homers for the Mets, breaking Judge’s major league rookie record.

Asked for his reaction following the announcement, Alonso, on the live MLB Network telecast, answered, “Holy expletive.”

Baltimore Orioles left-hander John Means — who went 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA for a pitching staff that ranked among the worst in modern history — was the runner-up in the AL, followed by Tampa Bay Rays and former University of Maryland infielder Brandon Lowe. Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka received the one first-place vote that didn’t go to Alonso and was the runner-up in the NL.

The AL rookie of the year race was never the same after June 9, the date Álvarez was promoted to the majors. Though he would amass only 369 plate appearances — not enough to qualify for the batting title — Álvarez’s OPS from that point was topped by only Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, top contenders for MVP honors in their respective leagues, and he hit 27 homers, drove in 78 runs and batted .313.

Álvarez’s 87 games played are the fewest for a position player named AL rookie of the year, and only Willie McCovey, who played 52 games for the 1959 San Francisco Giants, played fewer among NL winners of the award.

The NL award could have been more of an actual race had San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. not suffered a back injury in mid-August that cost him the rest of the season. At the time, Tatís, 20, had a .317 batting average, a .379 on-base percentage and a .590 slugging percentage — for an OPS of .969, 56 points higher than Alonso’s on the same date — with 22 homers and 53 RBI in only 372 plate appearances.

Soroka, 22, had the kind of rookie campaign that might have won the award in any other, non-Alonso season. He went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA — the latter mark topped by only four other qualified pitchers in the majors — and emerged as the ace of the NL East champion Braves’ staff. Though it didn’t factor into the voting, Soroka also won his only start of the postseason in dominant fashion, limiting the St. Louis Cardinals to two hits and one run over seven innings in Game 3 of the division series.

Here are the finalists for each award and our predictions.

Rookies of the year
Announced Monday. The Post’s predicted winners are marked with an asterisk (*). Actual winners are in italics.

NL finalists:

Pete Alonso, New York Mets *
Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves
Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres
AL finalists:

Yordan Álvarez, Houston Astros *
Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays
John Means, Baltimore Orioles
Managers of the year
Announced Tuesday at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. The Post’s predicted winners are marked with an asterisk (*). Actual winners are in italics.

NL finalists:

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers *
Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
AL finalists:

Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota Twins
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees *
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
Cy Young awards
Announced Wednesday at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. The Post’s predicted winners are marked with an asterisk (*).

NL finalists:

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets *
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
AL finalists:

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros *
Announced Thursday at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. The Post’s predicted winners are marked with an asterisk (*).

NL finalists:

Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers *
Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
AL finalists:

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels *

Rob Brown Jersey Penguins

Throughout the 2019-20 NHL season will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers around the NHL. Today we look at Connor McDavid‘s incredible start for the Edmonton Oilers.

Connor McDavid single handedly destroyed the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, tallying five points in the Oilers’ 6-3 win to continue their surprising start, improving their record to 6-1-0.

It is one of the best starts in franchise history and, to the surprise of exactly no one, is being almost completely driven by the team’s two-headed monster of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Both players are great, but McDavid is the one we are going to focus on here because, well, he just continues to be a real life cheat code on the ice when it comes to producing offense.

Just seven games into the season he is already well on his way to a fourth consecutive 100-point season, something that only 13 players in the history of the league have done. No one has done it since 1993, and the majority of the instances came during the 1980s. McDavid, truly, is a player from another time.

With his five points on Wednesday (in only 18 minutes of ice time!) he is already up to 17 points in the Oilers’ first seven games of the season. The only player in the league within two points of him is Draisaitl as the two continue to dunk all over their opponents.

Let’s put this start into some perspective with some stunning numbers.

[Related: Another 100-point season would put McDavid in exclusive club]

• He is the first player since Mario Lemieux during the 1995-96 season to record at least 17 points in the first seven games of a season. Before that, you have to go back to Wayne Gretzky during the 1993-94 season. The only players to do it dating back to the 1979-80 season are McDavid, Lemieux, Gretzky, Bernie Nicholls (while playing alongside Gretzky), Kevin Stevens, Rob Brown (the latter two while playing next to Lemieux), Peter Stastny, Marcel Dionne, Brent Sutter, and Mike Bossy.

To add to that, just look at how this start compares to some of Gretzky’s best seasons in Edmonton…

Sportsnet Stats

Most Points in #LetsGoOilers History Through First 7 Games of a Season:

Gretzky (1984-85) – 21
Gretzky (1986-87) – 21
Gretzky (1983-84) – 20
McDavid (2019-20) – 17
Gretzky (1982-83) – 17
Gretzky (1987-88) – 17

12:37 AM – Oct 18, 2019
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When you are doing something in 2019 that Gretzky used to do in the 80s you are doing something truly spectacular.

• McDavid has 17 points. The Oilers have 29 goals. That means McDavid has scored or assisted on 59 percent of the team’s goals, an absurd number even for McDavid (who is usually around 50 percent for the Oilers throughout his career). He has also been on the ice for 21 of the team’s goals (72 percent!) while the Oilers have only surrendered seven (all situations). When he is NOT on the ice the Oilers have been outscored 12-8 by their opponents. The only game he did not record a point in so far this season was the Oilers’ only loss (3-1 in against Chicago on Tuesday night).

• Just for reference, here is how McDavid has started each season in his career through seven games.

2015-16: 6 points — finished with 48 points in 45 games
2016-17: 12 points — finished with 100 points in 82 games
2017-18: 8 points — finished with 108 points in 82 games
2018-19: 13 points — finished with 116 points in 78 games

• He is currently on a 199-point pace for the season, a mark that only Gretzky and Lemieux and have ever reached in NHL history. Let’s be honest, he is not going to maintain that pace over a full season, simply because this isn’t 1985 anymore and the NHL just isn’t built for those sort of numbers. But with 17 points in seven games, if he simply maintained a 1.32 point per game average over the remaining 75 games that would still put him at 116 points again. If he scored at the 1.48 pace he played at a year ago that would put him at 128 points this season. Assuming he stays healthy, somewhere in the neighborhood of 116 and 128 points seems like a realistic possibility.