The Yankees captain and shortstop has been on a tear since this past July 9, when he roared past the 3,000-hit mark. And it’s not a bit preposterous to believe that 4,000 hits is a real possibility, with that lofty plateau just 895 away.
“I wouldn’t put it [past] him,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said prior to Monday night’s rare 7-3 Minnesota win in New York. “He doesn’t look like he’s aged. His body is still in fantastic shape and he still moves just fine. I haven’t seen any missteps. I haven’t seen his swing go too bad. He’s the hottest hitter on their team right now.
“I don’t know, 4,000 hits is a lot of hits. How far is he away, 900? Good luck, Derek.”
...“Great players are professional players, and he’s right at the top on and off the field,” Gardenhire said about Jeter. “He’s been the ultimate professional when it comes to playing this game. You just have to admire the guy.”
This testament comes from a man who has every reason to despise Jeter, who is hitting .326 lifetime against the Twins, with 12 homers and 53 RBIs. Number 12 was the 26th leadoff shot of his career, which, of course, extended his own Yankees record. Jeter has 158 hits against the Twins.
“I know I heard last year that his range was [diminishing],” Gardenhire added. “Every time he plays we can’t get a ball past him. He never misses one. I don’t know whether he’s ever made an error against us. He’s a great hitter, a great player. Mr. Clutch. He’s the whole package, what a baseball player should be.”