Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
• The Yankees are in sole possession of first place, a position they've held for only one day since the first week of the season. The Yankees have had a share of first place (either alone or tied) for eight days this season (April 3-9 and July 18). New York has never won a league or division title in a season in which it spent fewer than 23 days in first place. The Yankees were in first place (including tied) for 23 days in 1978.
• Amid reports that Lou Piniella will not return as the Devil Rays manager next season, Tampa Bay avoided its 90th loss of the season with an eighth-inning rally against the Red Sox.
If Piniella sees out the season, he will likely become only the second manager in major-league history to have three consecutive 90-loss seasons on the heels of three straight 90-win seasons (which he did his last three years with the Mariners).
As of now, the only manger to do that is Connie Mack, whose Philadelphia Athletics had six straight 90-win seasons from 1909 to 1914, followed by three straight 90-loss seasons, from 1915 to 1917. After losing the 1914 World Series to the "Miracle [Boston] Braves" Mack, who was also the A's owner, sold off or traded several of his high-priced star players and the club did not have another winning season until 1925.