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Give us a new season -- stat!

BILL SHAIKIN / ON BASEBALL

In a sport fixated on statistics, here are some numerical milestones and oddities to look for this season.

March 27, 2011|Bill Shaikin

The split-screen image could be jarring. Barry Bonds, perhaps the greatest hitter of his generation, could walk out of a San Francisco courtroom Thursday afternoon, out of another day of his perjury trial, about the same time the San Francisco Giants open the defense of their World Series championship at Dodger Stadium. The Giants won their first World Series in 56 years not with Bonds, their star attraction for a decade and a half, but with an ace nicknamed "The Freak," a closer with an alter ego of "The Machine," a phenom who answers to Buster and a first baseman whose contribution to baseball lore was a rally thong. Bonds still has the numbers -- 73, his single-season home run record, and 762, his career home run record. In the sport where numbers matter most, we welcome the new season with a parade of numbers:

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, April 10, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 2 inches; 76 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball in 2011: The On Baseball column in the March 27 Sports section, previewing the major league season by the numbers, said three players from the Angels' 2002 World Series championship team were still active major leaguers. In addition to Francisco Rodriguez of the New York Mets and Chone Figgins and Adam Kennedy of the Seattle Mariners, John Lackey is a member of the Boston Red Sox and Jose Molina is with the Toronto Blue Jays.

11 Years since a major league team won back-to-back World Series championships (New York Yankees, starring Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams).

35 Years since a National League team won back-to-back World Series championships (Cincinnati Reds, starring Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose).

89 Years since the Giants won back-to-back World Series championships (in New York, starring Frankie Frisch and George "High Pockets" Kelly).

20 Victories shy of 1,000 for Angels Manager Mike Scioscia. He ranks fifth among active managers, behind Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy.

4 Bobblehead giveaways for the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres this season, combined.

0 Bobblehead giveaways for the A's and Padres that feature active players. The A's are handing out bobblehead dolls of Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, team broadcaster and former catcher Ray Fosse and rapper and former A's batboy MC Hammer. The Padres are giving out bobblehead dolls of Manager Bud Black.

92 Millions of dollars CC Sabathia would forfeit if he opts out of his Yankees contract at the end of the season, when he will be 31. The Yankees offered Cliff Lee a reported $148 million last winter, when he was 32. The best pitchers on the market next winter could be Mark Buehrle, Joel Pineiro and C.J. Wilson, so the Yankees might very well tear up Sabathia's big contract and replace it with a bigger one.

3 Seasons in which new Angels outfielder Vernon Wells has hit at least 30 home runs. Wells hit 31 last season.

3 Seasons in which anyone else in the Angels' projected opening-day lineup has hit at least 30 home runs, none within the past four years. Bobby Abreu hit 31 in 2001 and 30 in '04; Torii Hunter hit 31 in '06.

1 Season in which anyone in the Dodgers' projected opening-day lineup has hit at least 30 home runs. Andre Ethier hit 31 in 2009.

52 Millions of dollars coming off the Chicago Cubs' payroll after this season, as the contracts of Kosuke Fukudome, Carlos Pena, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva expire. That could make the Cubs big players in the Albert Pujols sweepstakes next winter -- and the rivalry between the Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals is every bit as bitter as the one between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox, just less hyped.

631 Consecutive sellouts for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The last game that failed to sell out: May 14, 2003, against the Texas Rangers, with Alex Rodriguez playing shortstop and Mark Teixeira in left field.

12 Years since Jorge Posada has not been the Yankees' catcher on opening day. Joe Girardi, now the Yankees' manager, was their opening-day catcher in 1999. Russell Martin is expected to be the Yankees' starting catcher this year, with Posada the designated hitter.

5 Years since Martin has not been the Dodgers' catcher on opening day. Sandy Alomar Jr. was their opening-day catcher in 2006. Rod Barajas is expected to be the Dodgers' starting catcher this year.

168 Millions of dollars on the Philadelphia Phillies' payroll, the largest in National League history.

0 Innings played this spring by injured Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, an All-Star five years running. One possible replacement: Wilson Valdez, who started fewer games at second base than Tony Abreu or Ramon Martinez for the 2007 Dodgers.

1 Players under 30 expected to be in the Phillies' opening-day lineup.

20 Millions of dollars listed as the salary paid by the Dodgers to Manny Ramirez last year.

10 Millions of dollars actually paid by the Dodgers to Ramirez last year.

8.3 Millions of dollars the Dodgers will pay Ramirez this year, in deferred salaries.

2 Millions of dollars the Tampa Bay Rays will pay Ramirez this year. Ramirez signed with the Rays as a free agent.

7 Most-valuable-player awards won by Bonds, the most of any player. Bonds is currently on trial, charged with lying under oath when he denied using steroids.

7 Cy Young awards won by Roger Clemens, the most of any player. Clemens is scheduled to go to trial in July, charged with lying under oath when he denied using steroids.

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