An Honest
Day’s Word

By Joe Edwards

Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Stats make Gaetti
look Hall-acious

THIS and that to chew on over lunch:

Lies. Damn lies and statistics.

Where would we be without the stats? It's almost Opening Day in baseball, the sport that, more than any other, is driven by stats.

Each year Major League Baseball sends out a stats package a week before the season starts. It's an eclectic mix of numbers both important and obscure.

These really caught my eye however and they all deal with one player, Cubs third baseman Gary Gaetti.

Here's a guy who has had a nice career, but he's not a Hall of Famer by any stretch. Yet consider these tidbits:

Bullet He needs to play just 12 games this season to reach 2,400 and pass Mickey Mantle for 60th on the all-time list. He needs 111 games to pass Carlton Fisk for 40th.

Bullet He needs seven doubles to reach 441 and pass Luke Appling, Roberto Clemente and Steve Garvey for 69th all-time.

Bullet He needs 40 RBIs to reach 1,334 and pass Duke Snider for 60th.

Bullet He needs 27 homers to reach 378 and pass Norm Cash for 40th.

That's fast company. When you throw in four Gold Gloves, a World Series ring and the MVP award in the 1987 American League Championship Series, he stacks up nicely.

I was talking with a "baseball purist" the other day who made the argument that those kinds of numbers might get Gaetti in the Hall.

I'm not sure about that. After all, G-Man played the first half of his career for the Minnesota Twins and darn near disappeared when he signed as a free agent with the Angels in 1991.

But that just goes to show you, stick around long enough and you can run up numbers that make you look darn near immortal.


Connecticut forward Richard Hamilton was the outstanding player of the Final Four, but the most valuable person on the UConn team had to be coach Jim Calhoun. His game plan was perfect and his decision to double down on Duke's Elton Brand with post players instead of with a post player and a guard was a masterstroke.

Is it just me, or does UConn guard Khalid El-Amin remind you of former Rainbow point man Troy Bowe?

Similar body. Similar game.


Looking for the ultimate sports news Web site? Check out

It has links to virtually every big-city newspaper in the country as well as to the leagues and teams.

Click on Major League Baseball, for instance, and you'll get links to all the official team sites, the league site and the newspapers that cover the team.

Like columnists? There's a link to virtually everyone who is anyone who waxes opinionated in the American sports press.

It's a great site, but be careful, you might not ever get back to work.


Looks like Rainbow pitcher Rich Snider has earned himself a regular spot in the rotation -- and not a moment too soon.

The Rainbows have 22 games left, 18 of them in the Western Athletic Conference where they are tied for seventh place.

This week's three-game set against UNLV is another key one for Les Murakami's team.

They already have eight losses in the WAC. They can't afford to drop more than about six more or they'll miss the playoffs.

Joe Edwards is sports editor of the Star-Bulletin.

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