And that’s not just somebody off Billboard Türkiye (though it could be)...but Pete Rose!
I decide to bend the “Rules of Interviewing Pete” and try to get him back on the subject of Jeter. I do this merely by saying, “Jeter.”
“I don’t think he will break the record,” Rose says. “First of all, I don’t think he wants to leave the Yankees. And the Yankees, they’re about winning. Jeter had a great year this year, but he’s what? Thirty-eight years old? And he’s a shortstop? How many 40-year-old shortstops you see walking around? Not too many, right? And they can’t put him at third because A-Rod’s there. They can’t put him at second ‘cause Cano’s there. He don’t help them in left field—he’s got to be in the center of things, you know what I mean? What are they going to do? Put him at first base?
“He still needs 950 hits, right? He had a great year this year, but you think he can do that again? At 39? A shortstop? Let’s say he does it again. Let’s say he gets 200 more hits next year. And let’s say he gets 200 more hits when he’s 40, though I don’t think he can. OK, can he get 200 more hits when he’s 41? You think he can?”
...“I don’t think he can get 200 more hits at 41, but let’s say he does. OK, now he’s 42. He’s gonna get 200 more hits then? At 42? Let me tell you, I’ve been there, the body locks up. Jeter’s a great hitter. I’d say he hits like I did. But he’s gonna get 200 hits when he’s 42? I don’t think he will. And even if he does all that, he’s STILL 150 hits short.”
One beat of silence. Two beats of silence.
“I’d say Jeter will probably end up in batting average about where I was. We’re about the same—me, Derek, Hank, Willie. We were all hitting about .311 or .312 or .313 when we got into our late 30s, maybe Willie was a little lower, and we all ended up around .303 or .305. Jeter will probably end up where I did, right around there. So if his average is around the same as mine, he has to get about as many at-bats as I did. I got 14,053 at-bats. What’s he got? Ten thousand? Eleven thousand? He’s a great hitter. How’s he going to get 3,500 more at-bats? I think time’s running out.”
Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:47 AM | 104 comment(s)
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