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Yankees are running out of single-digit numbers

Torre's No. 6 will be retired in August, Jeter's No. 2 will likely follow next year @TracyRingolsby

Joe Torre's hiring as manager of the Yankees wasn't well received. The New York tabloids labeled him "Clueless Joe."

Oh, how things have changed.

Joe Torre's hiring as manager of the Yankees wasn't well received. The New York tabloids labeled him "Clueless Joe."

Oh, how things have changed.

Torre managed the Yankees from 1996-2007. The Yanks won four World Series championships and six American League pennants in those 12 years. And Torre won over the fans in the Bronx.

And so 18 years after his Yankees managerial debut, Torre not only will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, but the Yanks will make his No. 6 the 17th uniform number the franchise has retired. With Derek Jeter retiring after this season, it's only a matter of time before his No. 2 also is retired.

When that happens, there will no longer be a single-digit number available for a Yankees player. From No. 1 (Billy Martin) though No. 9 (Roger Maris), each one will have been honored by the Yanks, including No. 8, which was retired in honor of both Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra.

With 17 numbers retired, the Yankees have the most in baseball, and that doesn't include the No. 42, which every team retired in honor of Jackie Robinson. The Yanks, however, have retired their own No. 42 in honor of closer Mariano Rivera, who finished his career last season.

There are only two other teams that have retired the No. 42 in addition to baseball's retirement of the number universally in honor of Robinson in 1997. The Dodgers retired Robinson's number on their own in '72, and St. Louis retired No. 42 in honor of Bruce Sutter in 2004.

While the Yankees expand their record of retired numbers to 17 with Torre, the Cardinals are No. 2 on the list with 12, followed by the Giants (11), the Dodgers (10) and the Braves (10).

There are four people honored with retired numbers who played before players wore numbers -- Christy Mathewson and John McGraw by the Giants in 1988, and Grover Cleveland Alexander and Chuck Klein by the Phillies in 2001.

When the Rockies retire No. 17 in honor of Todd Helton on Aug. 17, it will leave the Marlins, Nationals and Mariners as the only teams without at least one retired number, other than the mandatory No. 42.

The Nationals, as opposed to other teams that have relocated over the years, did not embrace the five players whose numbers were retired by their predecessor, the Montreal Expos -- Gary Cater, No. 8, Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub, who both wore 10, and Tim Raines, who wore No. 30.

Of the 182 numbers that have been retired -- including the Yanks' No. 8 twice, for Berra and Dickey -- only 39 were retired in honor of individuals who are not in the Hall of Fame, including eight of the nine numbers retired by Houston.

The Astros did retire No. 34 for Nolan Ryan, whose number also was retired by the Rangers and Angels. The other eight belong to Jim Umbricht (No. 32), Don Wilson (No. 40), Jose Cruz (No. 25), Mike Scott (No. 33), Larry Dierker (No. 49), Jim Wynn (No. 24), Jeff Bagwell (No. 5) and Craig Biggio (No. 7). Biggio is expected to eventually be inducted into Cooperstown.

Nolan Arenado set a Rockies record when he ran his hitting streak to 28 games -- one more than Michael Cuddyer a year ago. Arenado, however, had the streak stopped on Friday night. He went 0-for-3 and drew a ninth-inning walk, allowing him to eventually score a game-tying run in Colorado's 4-3 loss at Cincinnati.

That leaves the Rockies as one of nine big league teams to have never had a player with a hitting streak of at least 30 games.

The list includes six teams of the expansion era: the Rockies, Angels (Garrett Anderson, 28 games, 1998), Mariners (Ichiro Suzuki, 27 games, 2009), Tampa Bay (Jason Bartlett, 19 games, '09), Texas (Gabe Kapler, 28 games, 2000) and Toronto (Shaun Green, 28 games, 1999).

The original franchises who haven't had a player with at least a 30-game hitting streak are the White Sox (Carlos Lee, 28 games, 2004), the A's (Bill Lamar, 29 games, 1925) and Pirates (Jimmy Williams, 27 games, 1899).

Attitude at altitude
All four teams in the Pacific Southern Division of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League have home parks at altitudes greater than 2,000 feet above sea level, as stats guru Bill Arnold points out.

The Albuquerque Isotopes' Isotopes Park is at 5,352 feet, the Salt Lake Bees' Smith's Ballpark is at 4,210 feet, the El Paso Chihuahuas' Southwest University Park is at 3,958 feet, and the Las Vegas 51s' Cashman Field is at 2,181.

The rotation
• The Dodgers are 3-6 in extra innings games. No other team has played more than six extra-inning games. Four have played six: the Giants (5-1), Brewers (4-2), A's (4-2) and the Mets (2-4).

• The Yankees have won their first three Interleague games this season. They were 9-11 last year -- the first losing record for them since they were 5-10 in the inaugural season of Interleague Play in 1997. The Yanks are 182-123 vs. National League teams -- the best Interleague record of any team.

• Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija is 0-3 despite a 1.62 ERA -- the lowest of any pitcher with at least four starts and a losing record. Jon Lester is 3-4 with a 2.59 ERA, Josh Beckett, despite making six starts, is 0-1 with a 2.80 ERA, and Michael Wacha is 2-3 with a 2.85 ERA

• The Tigers will play 16 of 20 games on the road beginning on Monday. The only home games will be four against Texas from May 22-25. Detroit, which will have played 21 of its first 33 games at home, has gone 8-4 on the road.

• Ten of the Astros' 11 wins have come against teams with winning records. The lone exception was a victory vs. the Blue Jays on April 10. Toronto entered Saturday with a .500 record but lost to the Angels.

Baseball historian Jim Charlton notes that Arenado hit his first career grand slam last year on the same day as the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby (Saturday, May 4), and hit his second career slam on Saturday, May 3 -- the same day as the running of the 140th Derby.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for