Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:07 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 10:39 pm
NEW YORK -- Among the things that will now happen before Derek Jeter gets to 3,000 hits: Jeter's 37th birthday.
And that means Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount are safe as the only three players to reach 3,000 hits before turning 37. Aaron and Yount both did it while they were 36, while Cobb was just 34.
Jeter, who turns 37 on June 26, could still become the fourth youngest player to reach 3,000, if he comes off the disabled list on June 29 or sometime soon after and quickly collects the six hits he needs. Pete Rose and Tris Speaker each got to 3,000 about a month after turning 37, and Stan Musial did it six months after his 37th birthday.
Jeter could still become the first player ever to get his 3,000th hit in New York, either at Yankee Stadium on June 29 or 30, or during the Yankees' July 1-3 series against the Mets at Citi Field. Or, he could become the third player to get to 3,000 in Cleveland (the Yankees go there after playing the Mets), joining Speaker and Nap Lajoie.
No player has ever gotten his 3,000th hit against the Brewers, the team the Yankees play when Jeter could come off the DL. Roberto Clemente is the only player to get to 3,000 against the Mets, while Yount and Wade Boggs both did it against the Indians.
If Jeter gets to 3,000 against the Mets, he would be the second Yankee to reach a significant milestone at Citi Field. Mariano Rivera recorded his 500th save in 2009 against the Mets.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 8:06 pm
NEW YORK -- Alan Trammell was 35 when Sparky Anderson first moved him off shortstop.
He was 38 when he became a utility man, in what would be his final big-league season.
He understands as well as anyone what happens when shortstops get old. He understands why only one player ever got to 3,000 hits while still playing shortstop, even if he wasn't aware that it was Honus Wagner, 97 years ago.
"What it tells you is yes, it is that demanding a position," said Trammell, now the Diamondbacks bench coach. "You put your heart and soul into it. At shortstop, you've got to be on your p's and q's every pitch.
"At that position, when guys start to lose it, it gets exposed fast."
The question comes up because Derek Jeter has 2,940 hits, turns 37 in June . . . and is still playing shortstop.
Jeter isn't the oldest shortstop in baseball -- Miguel Tejada of the Giants turns 37 in May -- but he is the one guy who will almost certainly do what only Wagner did before him: Reach 3,000 hits while still playing short.
Cal Ripken Jr. was in his third year as a full-time third baseman by the time he got to 3,000 (at age 39). Robin Yount? He was a 36-year-old center fielder.
Omar Vizquel is still playing at 43 (he turns 44 on Sunday), and he was still a full-time shortstop at 40. He still needs 193 hits for 3,000, and in any case, he's no longer a regular shortstop.
Others, like Trammell (2,365) and Ozzie Smith (2,460) fell short of 3,000, although in Smith's case, it wasn't because he retired early. He played until he was 41, and played shortstop right to the end.
Smith, in fact, was the Cardinals shortstop for three of the seven games of the 1996 National League Championship Series. At 41, he's the oldest player ever to start at short in a postseason game.
Worth noting, since both Jeter and Tejada will be 37 by October, is that only five other teams have used a shortstop 37 or older in a postseason game: The 1955-56 Dodgers, with Pee Wee Reese at age 37 and then 38; the 1955 Yankees, with Phil Rizzuto at 38; the 1984 Cubs, with Larry Bowa at 38; and the 2001 Mariners, with Mark McLemore at 37.
"The unfortunate thing for any player," Trammell said, "is that if he doesn't make a play, they'll immediately say it's because he's older."
Posted on: October 3, 2008 5:03 pm
The question that is getting asked about the Brewers is a simple one:
Was it worth it?
Was it worth going for it all this year, when there's a real chance now that all they'll get out of it is one home playoff game at Miller Park? Was it worth it, with the very real likelihood that both CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets are headed out the door via free agency the moment this postseason ends (which could be Saturday night)?
Was it worth it? Robin Yount says absolutely, it was.
"Hey, it's been a long time since this organization has been able to feel anything like this," said Yount, who returned to the organization as bench coach when Dale Sveum replaced Ned Yost as manager. "You can see the excitement all around town. Everywhere you go in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, that's what they're talking about again. And it's great to see, because these people here have such a passion for this stuff. To get them this far, they feel like, 'Hey, we've done something!' "
Yount isn't giving up on this series with the Phillies, even though the Brewers trail two games to none and need two wins just to give Sabathia another chance. But Yount also believes that Brewers fans will appreciate this team, even if the postseason run doesn't end well.
"Hey, we didn't win the World Series (in 1982), and you would have thought we did when we came home (from St. Louis)," he said. "We were treated like we were world champions, even though we didn't win. I don't think there's too many places that would have accepted the team back in quite that manner. I'm telling you, this place has got something going for it."
Yes, Yount did hit against Jamie Moyer, the 45-year-old who starts Game 3 for the Phillies. He went 3-for-11, with four walks. Sveum also faced Moyer; he struck out once and was hit by a pitch in his other plate appearance.
In Chicago, they're wondering if Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are reliving last year's playoffs. Neither one drove in a run last October, as the Cubs were swept out of the playoffs by the Diamondbacks. Neither had an RBI as the Cubs lost the first two games to the Dodgers this week.
But if you think the big guys have to hit for a team to win, you haven't seen the Phillies. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley combined for just one hitt and two RBIs in the first two games against the Brewers, but the Phillies won both games.
"We had other guys step up," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's kind of what a team is about."
Utley and Howard were a combined 5-for-23 with one RBI last October, when the Phillies were swept by the Rockies.