A half-dozen quick stats that caught our attention recently ...
♦ Marlon Byrd’s home run Tuesday was the 600th hit in the history of the Daily News Home Run Payoff Contest and moved the payout over that time to over $800,000. The contest started in 1973, but took a five-year hiatus (1989-93).
♦ The Padres enter Wednesday game at Citizens Bank Park with a .276 team on-base percentage. That would be the lowest for a major-league team since the White Sox had a .275 OBA in in 1910.
♦ So the Union fired their head coach/manager Tuesday. They are (... It is? ... ) currently eighth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, despite having scored the most goals in the conference (22). Sounds like they should have fired their defensive coordinator instead ... and promoted the offensive line coach. (Still too soon?)
♦ Six different countries have won the last seven World Cups, which gets underway Thursday. Brazil (winners in 1994 and 2002 and the 2014 host) is the only repeater. The others are Argentina (1986), West Germany (1990), France (1998), Italy (2006) and Spain (2010).
♦ By the way, you can wager on which continent will produce the World Cup titlist. According to Vegas Vic, South America and Europe are both even-money. We’re just gonna wait until we find someone laying odds on which planet will produce the World Cup winner. The odds will be terrible, but it will be the surest bet since Rosalie “Hotsie” Totsie on “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
♦ The U.S. Open also gets underway Thursday. Seven of the last 10 winners have hailed from outside the United States, which we believe is what the “U.S.” stands for.