Today and tomorrow mark the only two days out of the whole year when the four major pro sports in North America are idle.
No baseball. No football. No basketball. No hockey.
It’s a time for sports fans to rest their eyes and reflect the year that was. ESPYs were handed out as LeBron James won male athlete of the year.
All that’s nice and everything, but it’s time to focus on the second half of the baseball season. And just because there weren’t any games, it didn’t mean that the NHL and NBA didn’t heat up with rampant free agency rumors and signings.
Here are some interesting stats and information from today’s quiet day in sports, starting with the most obvious figure:
- 2 – The number of days out of the 2012 calendar year where the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB are idle. Today happens to be one of those days.
- Steve Nash will become the ninth Laker ever to wear the No. 10. Others who wore the No. 10 were Herm Schaefer, Corky Calhoun, Norm Nixon, Larry Drew, Tyronn Lue, Lindsey Hunter, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Trey Johnson.
- According to ESPN’s RPI Rankings, five of the top seven teams with the most difficult strength of schedule are from the AL East, with the Baltimore Orioles leading the way with an opponents’ winning percentage of .522.
- Currently, three MLB playoff contenders have negative run differentials. These teams are the Cleveland Indians (minus-29), Baltimore Orioles (minus-36), and San Francisco Giants (minus-8). Only three teams since the wild card was established have made the playoffs with a negative run differential. These were the 1997 Giants, 2005 Padres, and 2007 Diamondbacks. None of them went to the World Series.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in two decades. They’re currently first in the NL Central and they have a friendly second half schedule. Pirates’ opponents in the second half have a winning percentage of just .459. They have one 10-game road trip but two -thirds of the series are against the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.
- The first place Chicago White Sox also have an easy remaining schedule. In fact, their schedule is the easiest one in the AL. White Sox opponents’ have a winning percentage of just .497 the rest of the way. They’ll have a healthy dose of Cleveland, Kansas City, and Minnesota the rest of the way.
- 66 days until the NHL CBA expires.