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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Posnanski: Holding Court with the Hit King

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.”

Repoz Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:47 AM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Toothless Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:26 AM (#4261452)
I love it that Joe wrote "There is no need to double-check Pete Rose's statistics, by the way. He usually hits them on the number," which I read just after taking a break to look up Pete's statistics. Which were correct, of course.
   2. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:58 AM (#4261462)
How’s he going to get 3,500 more at-bats?
Player-manager.
   3. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4261469)
Player-manager

...for the 2014-18 New Jersey Rays!
   4. VoodooR Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4261471)
And the Yankees, they’re about winning.


As opposed to the mid-80s Reds, Pete?
   5. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4261472)
I think I'd actually root for Jeter to break the hit record just to help get rid of Rose. I'm no fan of Jeter or of Yankee fans who would crow about Jeter forever if he gets the hit record but they are all still a better option than having Rose around. Granted I would then immediately start rooting for someone else to take the hit record away from Jeter.
   6. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:18 AM (#4261473)
As opposed to the mid-80s Reds, Pete?

They were all about covering the spread.
   7. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4261475)
Pete Rose may be an #######, but he's smarter than your average bear.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4261479)
Is there a single person who's ever seriously argued that Jeter has even a remote chance of breaking Rose's hit record? Anyone?
   9. shoewizard Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4261480)
Only Joe Posnanski could make me enjoy a Pete Rose article.
   10. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4261483)
Heh... next up, Joe's exclusive weekend with the Menendez brothers!

Just kidding, Joe...

And I'm with McCoy, however much the clutch god might annoy me -- I would be more than happy to see Jeter decide to stick around for another 6 years and bump Rose.

As for the "200 hits at 40+" stuff... Pete's last 200 hit season was his age 38 year and his last good season was 1981 at age 40. He got another 5 seasons of nearly 2500 PA's to get the last 559 hits (while posting a 261 BA with an 86 OPS+). Just looking at Pete's post age 38 season, he got about another 3700 PAs, 889 hits with a slash line of 274/354/33 (OPS+ 92). Give Jeter that same post-age 38 career and it gets him to 4193 - I have zero doubt that someone, even if it weren't the Yankees, would let him flail away for as long as it took to get the last 64 hits he'd need.

He's right that Jeter simply isn't going to be able to do that at SS -- and perhaps not next year, perhaps not the year after -- but a good 500 or so of those hits would probably need to come at a point where Jeter is going to be playing somewhere (LF/1B/DH) that he'll be subpar offensively.

I think a lot depends on next season -- if re-posts, say, his 2010 -- then forget it... However, anything like an otherwise age-adjusted typical Jeter year? All bets are off.

It might very well come down to whether the Yankees will - and from the perspective of winning -- can afford to be sinking 500 PAs a year into Jeter 3-4 years from now. Or - whether Jeter would want the record bad enough to play somewhere else for a team that needs a sideshow.
   11. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4261485)
Is there a single person who's ever seriously argued that Jeter has even a remote chance of breaking Rose's hit record? Anyone?


He's pretty darn close to where Rose was following his age 38 season... He can't/won't do it as a SS and as noted above, I'm not sure the Yankees in particular would be willing to toss him 500 PAs for another 6-7 seasons.

But - he'll get a full season for certain next year. For the sake of argument, let's say he gets to 3500.... he'd certainly get the option picked up for 2014. If he logs another 150 hits in 2014 -- now he's at 3650... 600 hits to go? I think it probably gets tempting.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4261492)
Much as I'd love to see it, zonk, I have to go with Rose here. I can't see anything he's saying that doesn't make perfect sense.
   13. Repoz Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4261494)
He's pretty darn close to where Rose was following his age 38 season

Jeter had 40 infield (umpire/score keeping) hits this season...wonder how many Rose had at age 38.
   14. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4261498)
They were all about covering the spread

I know this wasn't the point of your comment, but baseball bets usually do not have a spread.
When does Texeira's contract run out? I could see Jeter as a relatively light hitting 1B because his field presence of mind would aid infield defense, much as Rose did. I could see him being excellent at holding runners on and still getting to fielding position quickly. It's still very tough to play to age 45.
   15. BDC Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4261503)
zonk has a good point. Till this year, one wouldn't have thought Rose was vaguely catchable, but then Jeter got 216 hits, and it's no longer looking impossible. Rose, after all, played till he was 45. To catch him, an outstanding average hitter is going to have to plan to play till he's at least 45. The conditions are insanely demanding, but Jeter's healthy and playing great at 38, so he's still standing, as it were. It's very long odds that Jeter will make it, of course, but he has established a toehold of a chance at 4000+ hits that nobody else since Rose has established.

It's interesting to compare that toehold chance to the chance Miguel Cabrera, for instance, has at 4,000. Cabrera came up very young, is a great hitter with a very high BA, and he has 1,802 hits at age 29, which is a lot of hits. But he'd still have to collect 200 hits for the next eleven straight years, through age 40, to get to 4,000 (still well short of Rose, of course). And he's had 200 hits precisely once in his career, in 2012.
   16. asinwreck Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4261504)
Teixeira is signed through 2016 and Rodriguez through 2017. Chances are pretty good that those two will occupy the 1B/DH portion of the lineup in 2015 if they aren't on the disabled list.
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4261507)
But - he'll get a full season for certain next year. For the sake of argument, let's say he gets to 3500.... he'd certainly get the option picked up for 2014. If he logs another 150 hits in 2014 -- now he's at 3650... 600 hits to go? I think it probably gets tempting.


This has the potential to be quite interesting. I think if the Yankees give him a 2-3 year deal after 2014 he's going to get to a point where, like Ripken and the streak, it's going to overwhelm everything. As tough as the decision to part ways with Jeter is going to be whenever it happens trying to do it if Jeter is at 4,074 hits is going to be quite difficult.
   18. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4261513)
Teixeira is signed through 2016 and Rodriguez through 2017.

At least one of these is going to be eaten, no? I mean the contract, not the player.
   19. Belfry Bob Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4261518)
At least one of these is going to be eaten, no? I mean the contract, not the player.


If only the Yanks had signed Prince Fielder...
   20. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4261519)
Teixeira is signed through 2016 and Rodriguez through 2017.


At least one of these is going to be eaten, no? I mean the contract, not the player.


Well, if Sabathia sticks around -- he could solve the root problem without worrying about the contracts!
   21. GregD Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4261524)
1) I mildly dislike Jeter but would be glad to see him pass Rose. On the other hand, I can easily imagine that to pass the record, Jeter would have to become just as exasperatingly bad and selfish as late-career Rose, making me sad to see the record passed. Pete's record is a farce; I would love to see someone pass it while still productive and useful. But I can't imagine anyone getting enough hits while still being productive and useful.

2) This is just a great piece. I love the anecdote about folding the shirts.
   22. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4261532)
It was a great article, Poz didn't even have to do much other than be a transcriptionist. I personally don't think Jeter will stick around long enough to break the record, even if he has the opportunity to stay on the field. I know about the gift baskets and such, but at some level Jeter does seem to have a sense of humility, whereas Rose unequivocally has none.
   23. Greg K Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4261543)
At least one of these is going to be eaten, no? I mean the contract, not the player.

Out of curiosity what happens to a contract if a player is eaten (whether by an alligator or a team-mate). It becomes null and void? Goes to the widow?
   24. rconn23 Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4261545)
If Jeter breaks the hits record, Pete Rose will be a broken man.
   25. GregD Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4261548)
Is it humility or arrogance? In one way, I can see Jeter retiring because he doesn't *need* the record. He knows he's great. There's something strange about Rose's *need* for the record. Lots of players stick around playing because they like the money or can't face life after baseball or because they like playing, and lots of pretty good players hang around to get impressive counting stats to pad their HOF chances. But how many truly great players have been so focused on a record? Most truly great players don't need external referents to prove their greatness to themselves. They are--perhaps not admirably!--pretty certain of that on their own.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4261550)
i suspect jeter would respond to the dh role just like paul molitor who excelled as a dh and kept smacking line drives and stealing a base every so often well into his late 30's/early 40's.

   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4261552)
“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?


Etc, etc. Actually, Rose's comments on Jeter's chances are pretty reasonable.

----

Andy:

Is there a single person who's ever seriously argued that Jeter has even a remote chance of breaking Rose's hit record? Anyone?


I don't think Jeter will do it, and I don't think he has a _good_ chance, but I'm happy to seriously argue that he has a remote chance - and I think it's better than that, actually. 15%? 20%? (What does the Favorite Toy say?)

If we replayed Jeter's career a million times from this point forward, how many times does he break Rose's record? Can Diamond-Mind do this?

Dan, if you're lurking -- Can you run a projection for him?

It seems clear that he can get another, say, 500 hits. And then he's only 450 away and if he's still playing well, all bets are off.
   28. TomH Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4261554)
Pete Rose is many things. Obsessed with numbers is one of them. In case you didn;'t know it already, it's pretty obvious here, ain't it?
   29. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4261557)
Regarding humility: when giving interviews as a player, Rose routinely showed proper respect to opponents. He was a bit out of line when Gene Garber stopped his consecutive games hitting streak, however. Rose does not have empathy for others and probably hasn't for his adulthood. He's sorry he broke the rules because he got caught. He probably even understands why the gambling rules are in place. Just that they shouldn't apply to him.
   30. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4261560)
Pete Rose is the worst human being who's ever lived and history's worst monster.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4261561)
pete rose has been a gambler for over 50 years and by all accounts not a bad one. if so then it makes sense he knows the numbers. a gambler knows the numbers.

speaking as a gambler myself. and someone who used to see rose at the horsetrack all.......the........time

and yes, i understand why he made baseball nervous because nobody hung out with more seedy, sorry characters than pete rose.
   32. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4261567)
I would love to see Jeter break the record. I'd love to see Jeter get to 4000. And I'm not a particular fan of Jeter and I'm certainly not a fan of the Yankees.


By the way, the Yankees ran out Eduardo Nunez as DH the other night. While they can most likely do better on the open market, I don't see Jeter as a step down from that, even at 41 or 42. Or they could move ARod to DH, Jeter to third. Or Tex to DH, Jeter to 1st. I bet Jeter could handle 3B and 1B equally, they could rotate the three of them through the three positions, saving some wear on all of them. Which, honestly, they're going to need.

It wouldn't be ideal. But since they're stuck with Tex and A-Rod anyway, it might be an optimal use of what they have.
   33. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4261568)
I don't understand gambling, I can't even bring myself to do it. Poker or something that involves a skill component I can see, but just betting for the thrill of it, or playing the lottery, I don't get at all.
   34. RJ in TO Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4261576)
pete rose has been a gambler for over 50 years and by all accounts not a bad one. if so then it makes sense he knows the numbers. a gambler knows the numbers.

speaking as a gambler myself. and someone who used to see rose at the horsetrack all.......the........time

and yes, i understand why he made baseball nervous because nobody hung out with more seedy, sorry characters than pete rose.


I'm not sure how good a gambler he is. A local sports radio guy used to live in Las Vegas. He would occasionally mention how all the casinos absolutely loved Pete Rose, as they could pay him to do a signing or a show, pocket all the money from people paying for autographs and the like, and then get all the appearance money back when Pete headed right to the tables after the event. Basically, from their point of view, he was working for free.
   35. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4261578)
Of the players in the top 1000 on the hits leaderboard, these are the five I see who have at least remote chances to catch Rose. Age is 2013 age.

Jetter - 3304 - age 39
ARod - 2901 - age 37
Pujols - 2246 - age 33
Beltre - 2227 - age 34
Cabrera- 1802 - age 30

I can't see which young players who broke in very early and now have a few hundred career hits are in position to make a run with a great career. Anyone?

(Side note: How in the hell does Mark Kotsay have 1754 hits? That is the most surprising stat I've seen in a while.)
   36. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4261579)
deleted
   37. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4261580)
rj

rose is good at the horsetrack which was my frame of reference. he must stink at blackjack, etc

not uncommon. gambling skills are not necessarily transferrable between gambling activities
   38. RJ in TO Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4261584)
(Side note: How in the hell does Mark Kotsay have 1754 hits? That is the most surprising stat I've seen in a while.)

It's hard to remember, as it ended a long time ago, but he did have a decade as a regular starter.

Like you, I would have guessed it was a lot less than that, assuming I even remembered he was still active.
   39. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4261585)
Winning bets on ball games certainly takes some skill. I know myself well enough to know I don't have that skill. The lotteries make sense when there is sufficient money carried over for several weeks so that the payout * probability of winning > price of ticket.
Pete Rose is the worst human being who's ever lived and history's worst monster.

Thanks, SBB. We had this discussion a week or so ago. I think Rose is a narcissist and, deep down, unrepentant, but I also think that MLB should set the wheels in motion to lift the ban on him.
   40. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4261588)
ARod - 2901 - age 37


Speaking of records, is ARod even going to come close to the HR record? Kind of crazy that it's even in doubt, considering where he was just a few years ago.
   41. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4261591)


I don't think favorite toy would help at all here -- projecting to something like 4200 hits and playing to age 45 is probably outside the bounds of what any normalization routine could tell us... anyone that gets to 4257 is likely to be a freak of nature one way or another (either heretofore unseen production that 'breaks' things, or, someone who just sticks around longer than projection system could reasonably account for).

Personally, I'd peg the odds at 5-10%... slim, but statistically significant. If his 2013 is anything approaching his 2012, then I might be tempted to go over 10%.

I think I'd have to agree that the question isn't really 4257 -- it's probably, say, 3800... does he have to Biggio-level drag himself to that number, or, does he get there while being an empty, but relatively non-awful singles hitter posting some fairly empty 270/330/350 lines?

I think he needs one more 'good' year - one more year where you could say his performance is legitimately worthy of 6-700 PAs on a good team. Then, he probably just needs a couple 2010s -- relatively hollow but counting stat important ~160 hit years.

Just assuming Jeter either has or ends up developing a thirst for the record, health is obviously critical, too... He absolutely cannot afford any significant downtime to injury. Even missing a month or so before he hits that 3800 threshold probably pushes things back too far.
   42. RJ in TO Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4261592)
Winning bets on ball games certainly takes some skill. I know myself well enough to know I don't have that skill.

You also don't have the inside information that Rose did. It makes winning a bit easier.
   43. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4261596)
I don't understand gambling, I can't even bring myself to do it. Poker or something that involves a skill component I can see, but just betting for the thrill of it, or playing the lottery, I don't get at all.

I don't gamble much. Partially because I'm not all that good at it (though, given the money that casinos rake in, I expect very few are actually "good" at it in the sense of regularly turning a profit), and partially because -- as you point out -- there's not much skill. It's more like guessing. Also, I know I have something of an addictive personality, and financial ruin would really screw things up for me.

Poker or something, as you say, is a different story, but as I'm not very good at poker I don't gamble on that either (except in very small quantities when playing with friends).

My once-a-year exception is March Madness, and only because a friend has been running a "suicide" pool for many years. For those unaware, it works like this:

* For each day of the main tourney (play-in games don't count), you have to pick one winner. No spreads, just a winner. If your team wins, you're alive to play again.

* Once you use a team, you can't use it again that year.

* Everybody pays $10 at the start.

* Whoever is the last one standing takes the pot.

It's simple, it's cheap, and there's some definite strategy involved. The first year or two I tried to be clever and avoid using really high seeds at first, thinking I'd need them later in the tourney. As half the folks wash out after the first two days, I later learned that it was more important to focus on surviving. I got to the final four once with no teams left I could use, but I still tied for first (and split the pot). Out of fifteen years I've won it all three times and tied for first two more, so I'm definitely in the black. (We have 20-25 people playing, so the pot is usually a nice little chunk of change.)

Also, I've learned that the Big Ten will break your heart every single time.
   44. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4261600)
I don't understand gambling, I can't even bring myself to do it. Poker or something that involves a skill component I can see, but just betting for the thrill of it, or playing the lottery, I don't get at all.


What do you consider 'skill'?

Playing the lottery or dumping money in slots, I would agree - dreamcasting, nothing more... However, I don't know that blackjack really requires any extraordinary skill - the most important skill, once you learn the easy and basic math concerning when to split, doubledown, etc - is knowing when to get up from the table.

That, or even craps, for that matter - don't really involve skill - just basic competence about placing bets...

I'm heading to Vegas this weekend with some buddies... this thread is now enhancing my anticipation!
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4261601)

I can't see which young players who broke in very early and now have a few hundred career hits are in position to make a run with a great career. Anyone?


I found a few guys who might be in a position to hang around awhile and are off to good starts. My gut says that if I had to pick one of these guys it would be Andrus. He's obviously not a superstar hitter but he should play regularly for an awfully long time and with his glove could hang around Omar Vizquel style.

Justin Upton - 739 hits through age 24 (Rose had 518 at same age)
Elvis Andrus - 628 hits through age 23 (Rose 309)
Starlin Castro - 529 hits through age 22 (Rose 170)
   46. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4261603)
Gambling in casinos outside of say poker is all about minimizing your losses while realizing your gains though this also applies to poker.

View gambling at a casino as entertainment, set a budget, and stick to it and you'll never "lose" money and occasionally you'll go home with a few extra dollars in your pocket.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4261605)
Thanks, Jose. I like Upton best amongst the three. I think you need an outstanding hitter to break this record, not a Johnny Damon- like one, and Upton's offense has further to fall than the others.
   48. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4261606)
View gambling at a casino as entertainment, set a budget, and stick to it and you'll never "lose" money and occasionally you'll go home with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

This is exactly how I approach it (on those few times I've gone casino gambling). The "stick to it" part is, I think, where some folks run into trouble, of course.
   49. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4261611)

I found a few guys who might be in a position to hang around awhile and are off to good starts. My gut says that if I had to pick one of these guys it would be Andrus. He's obviously not a superstar hitter but he should play regularly for an awfully long time and with his glove could hang around Omar Vizquel style.

Justin Upton - 739 hits through age 24 (Rose had 518 at same age)
Elvis Andrus - 628 hits through age 23 (Rose 309)
Starlin Castro - 529 hits through age 22 (Rose 170)


I think I'd take Castro before Andrus -- if only because when it comes to just piling up hits, you probably don't want to waste many PAs on walks (something Rose actually 'did' relatively well - he had more than 1500 career BBs and his career OBP of 370 is damn fine). You've got to be a perennial .300 hitter.

The problem with someone like Castro is that eventually and inevitably, he loses just a fraction of bat speed and he could fall off the cliff pretty rapidly.

The ideal 4257 candidate, I think, should be someone who comes up really early -- doesn't walk much while he's got the skills to just spray the ball all over, but is smart enough/adaptable enough to transition his game into a different, but still valuable type of hitter when he gets into this thirties.

That's an awfully tall order.
   50. RJ in TO Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4261614)
The ideal 4257 candidate, I think, should be someone who comes up really early -- doesn't walk much while he's got the skills to just spray the ball all over, but is smart enough/adaptable enough to transition his game into a different, but still valuable type of hitter when he gets into this thirties.

Basically, a version of Tony Gwynn who comes up a year or two earlier, and who doesn't enter into an unquenchable love affair with double cheeseburgers.
   51. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4261616)
It seems clear that he can get another, say, 500 hits. And then he's only 450 away and if he's still playing well, all bets are off.


Isn't this the opposite of your refrain about Ichiro, Ray?
   52. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4261618)
The "stick to it" part is, I think, where some folks run into trouble, of course.

Most definitely. About 95% of the time I stick to it and generally when I don't it is when I'm up.

If I win I go back. If I lose I generally won't go back for months at a time.
   53. Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4261626)
When looking at all this, its clear that Cobb could have put up 5000 hits if he'd wanted to. I realize his personally precluded him playing past a point where he was an offensive drag, but give him another 3000 PAs in the easy-to-hit-for-average 1929-35 period and he'd have done it.
   54. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4261628)
This is great:

There is no need to double-check Pete Rose's statistics, by the way. He usually hits them on the number. He's not perfect, of course, he'll miss a year or be off by a couple hundredths of a point every now and again. But, among any athlete I’ve ever dealt with, he comes closest to remembering statistics precisely, particularly (though not exclusively) his own. He did indeed hit .365 over the last six weeks of the 1984 season, and he did get two hits in his first game back, then three and then three more. Put it this way, the conversation happened one day after the 2012 regular season ended. And when Derek Jeter's name came up -- there are those who think that Jeter might have a shot at breaking Rose's hit record -- Rose pauses.

"What does he have now?" he asks. "What, 3,303 hits?"

Derek Jeter had 3,304 hits. He had gone 1-for-4 a few hours earlier. Rose had not checked the box score yet.
   55. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4261639)
Another name that is modestly interesting is Billy Butler. He's at 956 hits through age 26 (Rose was at 899) and what popped him out for me is the number of at bats he gets. He's durable, he rarely walks and of course he is a very good hitter.

He is a slow runner and as a guy without a position he is all bat so unlike say Andrus or Upton he can't be expected to stay in the lineup if his bat declines at all. I think the criteria zonk laid out in #49 was pretty good and Butler seems to meet them.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4261655)
the biggest key is an early start and that fits both mike trout and bryce harper

   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4261657)
Jose, while you're here: Do you remember the outfielder who played in the Red Sox chain for forever in the '80s, mainly for Pawtucket, without ever getting a shot in the big leagues? I think he set the minor league record for home runs or something, at the time. When I saw that the Nationals have a player named Steve Lombardozzi I thought that might be the name as it sounds similar (and thus the current Lombardozzi his son), but I was misremembering as Lombardozzi Sr. played for the Twins in the 80s.

Any ideas? Lefty hitter, IIRC.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4261660)
Rick Lancelotti wasn't it?
   59. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4261670)
SABR bio on Lancelotti. Quick scan I don't find a mention of a career HR record though I have the same recollection you do. It coincided timing-wise with "Bull Durham" and generated some attention for the comparison with Crash Davis. Maybe he just got close but never set it?
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4261674)
You got it. Yes, Lancelotti. Thanks.

And I guess 'Lancelotti' is similar enough to 'Lombardozzi' that I wasn't totally off base.

I've been wondering whether Lancelotti deserved a shot at some point. I always wondered as a kid why they never called him up. Will look him up.
   61. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4261688)
Jeter going for the record is a long shot. To me, the most interesting and realistic thing he can reach for is Hank's 3771 hits as a right hander, and #3 all time. Jeter needs 467 to tie him.

Also, if I was in Vegas, I'd absolutely have to go see Rose. I'm not sure why, but I'd have to go.
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4261698)
Checking b-r... (Lancellotti has 3 Ls), looks like he didn't play for as long with the Sox as I'd remembered. And he did get three cups of coffee with various teams. 276 minor league home runs, plus whatever he did in Japan at ages 30 and 31.
   63. BDC Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4261739)
The only time I gamble is at the racetrack. Casino games are almost entirely mechanical (including blackjack, where the skill to win is near-impossible to develop and proscribed at the tables). Poker is a game of skill, and I'm a pretty fair penny/nickel-ante poker player, but I know I would dissolve in confusion and irresoluteness at a casino poker table.

I like horse races because I like predicting sporting events (and because I love horses). Betting forces me to put my money where my brain is. I frequently come out ahead on the day, though since I'm a $2 bettor, "ahead" might be $1.20 more than I started with. If I were gambling thousands at that rate, trying to make hundreds, my confusion and irresoluteness would kick in, so I never even consider it.

As with poker, the house takes a cut at the track, and you have to be better than merely good to stay ahead of both the other bettors and the house's percentage. The key thing, as several have said, is entertainment. If the track (or the slot machine, for that matter) is fun, do it; do it every day or to the limits of your fun budget. But if it obsesses and unnerves and compels you, seek help.
   64. jacjacatk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4261747)
If Jeter matches Rose in ABs and plays until he's 45, he has to hit .238 over the next six seasons to get to 4256. That'd be at about 660 ABs/season, and I can't imagine anyone paying him to hit .238 for that long, but clearly it's not impossible from a talent standpoint.

If he's healthy (and that's going to obviously be a huge factor from here on out), there's probably no reason right now to think he doesn't finish out his current contract at ~3650 hits. If he does that without hitting the wall, is there any reason to think the Yankees don't give him at least a 2/3 year deal to get him to 4000? And if he gets to 4000 and wants to break the record, there's pretty much no way he isn't given the opportunity to Vizquel (252/305/307, 279 for 1107 over his last 5 seasons) his way to the finish line. At that point the deciding factor might be whether he's willing to play somewhere other than NY and/or whether the Yankees are willing to let him hang around earning substantially more than he's worth on the field (though he might be enough of a draw for that not to be a big issue).
   65. BDC Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4261749)
Speaking of Yankee milestones, AROD gets to 3,000 hits next year, right? Good for him.
   66. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4261754)
Sometime in September, Bob. :)
   67. Kurt Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4261766)
“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.


Does Rose have the self-awareness to realize how damning this is of himself (and to a lesser extent the Reds)?
   68. Sean Forman Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4261776)
Ichiro is obviously the ideal player to break this record and if he'd come straight to the states he almost certainly would have. He's at 2606 now and played in the Japanese majors from ages 18-26. I have to think he gets around 1400 or more hits in that time.
   69. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4261786)
Lancelotti hit 58 home runs in two seasons in Japan, but washed out because he hit just .207. In 1987 he set a Japanese record by leading the Central League in home runs with 39, while hitting .218, which was the lowest batting average of any player who qualified for the batting championship.
   70. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4261796)
Ichiro is obviously the ideal player to break this record and if he'd come straight to the states he almost certainly would have. He's at 2606 now and played in the Japanese majors from ages 18-26. I have to think he gets around 1400 or more hits in that time.


Ichiro had 1,278 hits in Japan. He split time between the Japanese majors and minors his first two seasons, playing a total of 83 games for Orix in that span, and hitting only .226. He didn't become Ichiro! until his third season, his first full season, when he hit .385.
   71. Sean Forman Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4261812)

Ichiro had 1,278 hits in Japan. He split time between the Japanese majors and minors his first two seasons, playing a total of 83 games for Orix in that span, and hitting only .226. He didn't become Ichiro! until his third season, his first full season, when he hit .385.


Yes, but in 81% as many games. Prorating to 162 games gets you 1,577. Also run scoring is higher in the States and he's average 4.57 PA/Game vs. 4.27 in Japan, so add on another 7% to get him to 1,687 before you start take some of the air out of the numbers. His USA BA is .322 vs. .353 in Japan, so knocking it down you get 1548 + 2606 = 4155. I think you can make a reasonable case that Ichiro is making a run at Rose next year (at age 39) if he had been playing in the US from the get go, and a strong case that he would pass him by age 41.
   72. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4261828)
I think Ichiro would have put up a similar number of total hits in MLB as he did in Japan. The higher number of games is balanced by the increased level of play. So that'd put him at 3884 right now, and a struggle to catch Rose.


   73. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4261854)
It's the Times On Base record that I think is even more extraordinary... Bonds retired 330 short of Rose's record of 5929 (rest of top 10 is Cobb 5532, Rickey 5343, then Yaz Musial Hank Speaker Ruth Collins). Jeter is at 4506 so he is similarly six years shy. Pujols at 3355 is now over ten years away given his new performance level.
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4261856)
Ichiro is obviously the ideal player to break this record and if he'd come straight to the states he almost certainly would have. He's at 2606 now and played in the Japanese majors from ages 18-26. I have to think he gets around 1400 or more hits in that time.


Please don't get me started on the ridiculousness of presuming that a slap-hitting 3B would have been in the majors at 18.
   75. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4261862)
Yeah, I started to make a case for Trout - he has 209 hits at age 20. I then had him average 210 hits through his age 30 season, putting him at 2300 or so hits. So, he's a little less than 2000 hits shy at age 30. Cripes. I mean, that's a lot of hits.

IIf you change that to averaging 225 hits through age 30, he's at 2460 which is still 1800 or so hits from Rose. To do tthat by age 40, he'd then have to average 180 hits.


It's just a fuch of a lot of hits. You have to start early, get a metric butt-ton of hits and age almost flawlessly.


Or get a gig as a player-manager for a completely insane owner.


EDIT: Looking at it, Trout had 212 hits per 162 games this season, so maybe he should be bumped up a bit. But he also had a season for the ages; can he maintain that level? Will he keep walking at an 80 walk per year pace? You'd obviously like him to, from a leadoff production standpoint, but that is probably giving away too many PAs to make a run at Rose.
   76. rconn23 Posted: October 10, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4261875)
There's so many variables at play as far as Jeter having a chance at breaking the record.

First, who knows how much longer he wants to play? And, is Jeter obsessed with his own numbers as much as Rose was? I doubt it. He's too willing to lay down a bunt, even when it's an incredibly stupid move.

I think the only real chance is if - and granted, it's highly unlikely - he's able to replicate this past season two more times. If Jeter has two more 200 hit seasons in him, you might as well kiss that record goodbye, Pete.

Because then the Yankees are going to feel increasing pressure to give him a deal that would allow him to hit 4,000. And if he hits 4,000, I think it's pretty much a foregone conclusion he'll stick around to break the record.

The other thing is, how willing would Jeter be to play for another team. If he is, you don't think some sad sack franchise would back up a truck full of cash to fill seats for a season. Maybe two?

All this being said, the chances are very remote Jeter breaks the record.
   77. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4262026)
When thinking about how many years Jeter has left, is it worth considering how many more games he's played in the post season? NFL running backs take a beating and are out of the game pretty early. QB's can last until about 38. Baseball is nowhere near the physical sport that football is, but the season is a grind. How many post season games has Jeter played in? How does that compare to Rose at the same age?
   78. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4262051)
Ray, you never answered my question about why you're optimistic about Jeter in a way you weren't for Ichiro. You wrote repeatedly about how foolish people were for expecting Ichiro to maintain his numbers as he approached 40, but you sound positively sanguine about Jeter, who's actually older (I think).
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4262083)
It seems clear that he can get another, say, 500 hits. And then he's only 450 away and if he's still playing well, all bets are off.

Isn't this the opposite of your refrain about Ichiro, Ray?


No. See below.

Ray, you never answered my question about why you're optimistic about Jeter in a way you weren't for Ichiro. You wrote repeatedly about how foolish people were for expecting Ichiro to maintain his numbers as he approached 40, but you sound positively sanguine about Jeter, who's actually older (I think).


The problem is that your characterization of my Jeter comments is completely backwards. I did not sound "optimistic" about his chances and I did not "expect" Jeter to maintain his numbers, and I was not "positively sanguine" about that prospect.

I said in post 27:

1. I don't think Jeter will do it.
2. And I don't think he has a good chance.
3. But I think he has a remote chance or better - 15% or 20%.
4. I also said that he can probably get another 500 hits, at which point if he's only 450 away then "all bets are off."

In what world are these things "optimistic" about his chances? I'd have given Ichiro (before 2011) the same 15-20% chance of collecting hits into his 40s.

And before 2011 I'd have been happy to give Ichiro "clearly" another 500 hits, after which point "all bets would be off."

My post 27 verbatim, in relevant part:

I don't think Jeter will do it, and I don't think he has a _good_ chance, but I'm happy to seriously argue that he has a remote chance - and I think it's better than that, actually. 15%? 20%? (What does the Favorite Toy say?)

...

It seems clear that he can get another, say, 500 hits. And then he's only 450 away and if he's still playing well, all bets are off.


There's no gotcha here, Teddy. The application is completely consistent for both players.
   80. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4262092)
I didn't mean it to be a gotcha, Ms. Palin. I was just questioning this:

It seems clear that he can get another, say, 500 hits. And then he's only 450 away and if he's still playing well, all bets are off.


Specifically the "if he's still playing well" part. I was trying to point out that you laughed at the notion that someone of that age could still be playing well when Ichiro's name came up, but not with Jeter. I wondered if you somehow saw the latter as aging better than the former.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4262099)
Specifically the "if he's still playing well" part. I was trying to point out that you laughed at the notion that someone of that age could still be playing well when Ichiro's name came up, but not with Jeter.


No, I didn't. I laughed at the notion that Ichiro could be assumed to still be playing well at that age.
   82. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4262124)
But he also had a season for the ages; can he maintain that level?

If he establishes himself as a perennial 10 WAR player, who is going to care about the hits?
   83. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4262131)
Jeter has always hit - regular season, postseason, All-Star games, WBC, spring training - he's always hit. In 2012, he broke Rose's record for most hits in an age-38 season. Due to work stoppages, declining performance and reduced playing time, Rose's hit totals declined considerably, averaging just 126 hits per season, from his age-39 season to the end of his career. If Jeter can defy Father Time a little longer, he'll start making up ground and have a shot. He needs to do something like ~ 200/195/190 over the next 3 seasons to make it more than a long shot.

Jeter takes the game pretty seriously. He lives in Tampa in the off-season, working out regularly at the Yankee facilities. He doesn't look like he's gained a pound since his mid 20s. He has a better chance at holding off the effects of aging than most players, even if it isn't a great chance. However, I do think Jeter will pass Musial & Aaron to, at least end up #3 on the career hit list, and will probably break Cobb's record for most hits with one team (3900). He may also set a record for most hits in MLB sanctioned competition (regular season, postseason, All-Star & WBC games). Pretty darn good.
   84. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4262145)
However, I do think Jeter will pass Musial & Aaron to, at least end up #3 on the career hit list, and will probably break Cobb's record for most hits with one team (3900). He may also set a record for most hits in MLB sanctioned competition (regular season, postseason, All-Star & WBC games). Pretty darn good.

Those are reachable goals, and that in itself is an amazing thing.
   85. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4262154)
Jeter takes the game pretty seriously. He lives in Tampa in the off-season, working out regularly at the Yankee facilities. He doesn't look like he's gained a pound since his mid 20s. He has a better chance at holding off the effects of aging than most players, even if it isn't a great chance.


And yet, his offense cratered not too long ago - and for some time - before rebounding. And he still can't really hit righties much anymore. I'd like his chances more if not for this.
   86. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4262173)
This season is a dead cat bounce for Jeter. Unless he's roiding, which is eminently possible.
   87. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4262183)
If he establishes himself as a perennial 10 WAR player, who is going to care about the hits?

A lot of people. Me included. I wouldn't consider it the top most achievement, but if really is a 10 WAR guy, year in year out, and he gets 4300 hits, I'm going to think 4300 hits is pretty cool.

I wouldn't think it is the most important thing he did, but I'd care.
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4262212)
This season is a dead cat bounce for Jeter. Unless he's roiding, which is eminently possible.


I actually agree that, if the anti-steroids crusaders are correct that steroids can significantly impact performance, Jeter would be a prime candidate for suspicion.
   89. Swedish Chef Posted: October 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4262277)
This season is a dead cat bounce for Jeter.

That would be a remarkably elastic bounce for a dead cat.
   90. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 10, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4262397)
. . . he still can't really hit righties much anymore.

Jeter hit .294 against righties this season. The power isn't there like against left-handers, but that isn't especially relevant to a discussion of hit totals. Singles will do the trick.
   91. Moeball Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4262422)
Pete Rose is the worst human being who's ever lived and history's worst monster.


SBB - Barry Bonds says you need to take that back!

However, I don't know that blackjack really requires any extraordinary skill - the most important skill, once you learn the easy and basic math concerning when to split, doubledown, etc - is knowing when to get up from the table.


Actually, the most important skill is recognizing which tables have the little old ladies hitting on 18 and staying far away from them!
   92. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4262680)
wrong thread
   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4262819)
Jeter hit .294 against righties this season. The power isn't there like against left-handers, but that isn't especially relevant to a discussion of hit totals. Singles will do the trick.


True, but it's relevant to whether he'll be offered a job, if he's hitting an empty .300 vs righties.
   94. LargeBill Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:57 PM (#4263002)
Jeter takes great care of his body and seems to be fighting the effects of aging pretty well. However, for hitting the eyes are as important as the rest of the body. We all age differently physically and our eyes are no different. For majority of people with decent eye sight reading glasses become necessary in early 40's. A very few need 'em earlier and some maintain good unadjusted vision much longer. I don't expect Jeter to ever put up another 216 hit season, but if he can have decent April's to avoid bench time, . . . . 160 to 180 hits a year for a couple more years is possible. A complete collapse is equally possible each year you age past 35. I hope he makes this an interesting question again at the end of the next couple seasons. I imagine Jeter fans would hate to hear this, but their are personality similarities between Rose and Jeter. All great athletes have to be driven to be the best. The very greats fight harder for it. Jeter's refusal to move from SS when his team acquired a better SS showed that he knew his legacy was tied to being best at that position. Bouncing to CF, 3B, DH etc would detract from his story.
   95. shoewizard Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4263027)
Billy Butler, career .300 hitter, 956 hits. Averaged 676 PA's the last 4 years and not crazy high walk rate, (62 Walks) so averaging 604 AB's, 184 hits, and .306 avg last 4.

He he does that for the next 18 straight years he'll be there. ;)

Ryan Braun has 1089 hits and a .313 avg.averaging a 182 hits in 582 AB's. Do that for 17.4 more seasons, and Rose's Record is over.

As for Jeter, all he has to do is reach his average of the last 3 seasons (.294, 186 for 631) for the next 5.2 seasons, no dropoff, no injuries, (into April or May of his age 44 season) and he's there.

Yeah.....that hit record isn't falling any time soon.





   96. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4263238)
However, I don't know that blackjack really requires any extraordinary skill - the most important skill, once you learn the easy and basic math concerning when to split, doubledown, etc - is knowing when to get up from the table.



Actually, the most important skill is recognizing which tables have the little old ladies hitting on 18 and staying far away from them!


Heh - I have a mathematically inclined friend who did some extensive whiteboarding long ago to prove to me that this is incorrect... but I still don't believe him.

Ironically, it was my own little old lady - my grandmother - who taught me this rule... She gets absolutely irate when people at her table don't play right, to the extent that she'll ask them to find a different table. I learned to play BJ sitting next to her and I'm pretty sure I still have bruises on my shin from the few times during my apprenticeship when I would hit against a dealer 5 or 6.
   97. just plain joe Posted: October 11, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4263249)
How many post season games has Jeter played in? How does that compare to Rose at the same age?


So far it looks like Jeter has played in 155 post-season games, while Rose had played in 46 thru his age 38 season. Rose then played in another 21 post-season games in the remainder of his career, so Jeter has played in many more games. Obviously part of the difference is the expansion of the post-season since Rose's day but even if you remove 30-35% of Jeter's games, he is still ahead of Rose.
   98. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4263713)

Ironically, it was my own little old lady - my grandmother - who taught me this rule... She gets absolutely irate when people at her table don't play right, to the extent that she'll ask them to find a different table. I learned to play BJ sitting next to her and I'm pretty sure I still have bruises on my shin from the few times during my apprenticeship when I would hit against a dealer 5 or 6.


The ironic thing is that some of the people she thinks aren't "playing right" actually know far more about the game as her and are far better than her (*) at it: if you're counting cards, you will most certainly be making moves that don't align with traditional mathematical strategy and so to a less sophisticated player you like like you don't know what you're doing - but that is not the case and you are increasing your odds of winning anyway.

(*) I certainly don't mean this as an insult to your grandmother; my skills at blackjack are likely the same as hers. I can't count cards and so I rely on traditional strategy. But while MOST of the players doing things that are against the book truly don't know what they're doing, there ARE the few players that are actually counting. Granted they are probably not sitting at $10 tables. But they could well be at $25 tables or higher.
   99. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4263728)
Heh - I have a mathematically inclined friend who did some extensive whiteboarding long ago to prove to me that this is incorrect... but I still don't believe him.

Ironically, it was my own little old lady - my grandmother - who taught me this rule... She gets absolutely irate when people at her table don't play right, to the extent that she'll ask them to find a different table. I learned to play BJ sitting next to her and I'm pretty sure I still have bruises on my shin from the few times during my apprenticeship when I would hit against a dealer 5 or 6.


The thing about not being at a table with people making bad decisions at blackjack is just a superstition thing, right? I wouldn't think that it would hurt/help you over the long run.
   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4263733)
The thing about not being at a table with people making bad decisions at blackjack is just a superstition thing, right? I wouldn't think that it would hurt/help you over the long run.


I don't think it does hurt you. The constant b!tching about this at the tables is silly. It's the result of the person reacting to what he just saw - that you hit when you weren't supposed to and had you not done that the dealer would have busted and now everyone loses. But no similar cataloging is done when the "idiot" player takes the card that would have made 20 for the dealer. It's selective memory/bias.
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