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Thread: Derek Jeter

  1. #1

    Default Derek Jeter

    For today's day-night doubleheader, or for how many games it takes, Yankee Universe will be centered on Derek Jeter as he picks up the few remaining hits to reach the mark of most hits by a Yankee, set by Lou Gehrig. The division race and post season thoughts will take a back seat.


    September 3, 2009

    Jeter Is Approaching Gehrig
    With a Sense of the Moment


    By TYLER KEPNER

    BALTIMORE — The records are piling up for Derek Jeter, and the more he hits, the quicker they come. Most hits at the original Yankee Stadium. Most hits by a shortstop. Most hits in the history of the Yankees.

    The last mark still belongs to Lou Gehrig, at least for a few more days. Gehrig had 2,721 hits. Jeter, who had a hit Wednesday against the Orioles, has 2,713. Individual records can be awkward for Jeter, who insists that winning is all that matters. But he said he would appreciate this one.

    “I was talking to my parents not too long ago, and they were telling me, ‘You’ve got to learn to enjoy some of these things as they’re happening — there’s nothing wrong with that,’ ” Jeter said. “So I’m sure it’s something that I’ll enjoy if it happens.”

    Barring injury, the question for Jeter is not if, but how soon. He had 46 hits in August, his most in a calendar month since August 1998. He is batting .369 since June 25, the day before his 35th birthday.

    “He’s got a lot more to go, he really does,” catcher Jorge Posada said. “He’s having probably the best season in his career. He’s doing a lot of things well, and he’s the guy we follow. He’s the guy we look up to.”

    Posada marveled at the names Jeter has passed on the hits list — Ruth and DiMaggio, Mantle and Berra, Mattingly and Williams — but said Jeter had never discussed it with him. Yet because it is a Yankees record, and not merely a round number signifying individual greatness, Jeter said it would have extra meaning.

    Jeter’s background is well known. Raised in Michigan, he spent summers with his grandmother in New Jersey, where he followed the Yankees on television, rooting for teams that never won the World Series.

    He was proud to be part of the group that changed that in 1996, when he was 22, and along the way he has absorbed more of the team’s history. The shadow of Gehrig is hard to miss.

    “I just know how he carried himself, how he was respected,” Jeter said. “He went out there, he played every day and he was consistent. Those are all the things that I think players strive to be.”

    Jeter is similarly revered around the game, which is why it was startling last month when the Hall of Famer Jim Rice told Little Leaguers that Jeter was a player who set a bad example. More typical was the comment in July from the umpire John Hirschbeck, who praised Jeter after Jeter questioned the call of another umpire.

    “In my 27 years in the big leagues, he is probably the classiest person I’ve been around,” Hirschbeck said.

    Of course, integrity does not have much to do with a hitter’s ability. The career hits leader, Pete Rose, is barred from the sport for life. More important is Jeter’s approach. He does not swing too hard, he has speed, and he has an extraordinary ability to wait on the ball.

    “The two things that make Jeter what he is are the ability to let the ball travel and to stay inside of it,” the hitting coach Kevin Long said. “He’s been able to do that and been real good at it for years and years and years. A ball on the inside part of the plate, most people can’t do what he does with that pitch, stay inside and hit it to right field. He’s got a unique ability to tuck his hands in near his core and rotate.”

    Jeter takes fewer swings than many players during early batting practice, Long said, usually 30 to 40, with another 10 or 15 later on the field. But he is always there, and when Long says piernas — the Spanish word for legs — Jeter knows he must concentrate more on the lower half of his body.

    Long has worked with Jeter on squaring his feet to the pitcher, giving him a more direct path to the ball. As for other suggestions, Jeter would rather not make them public.

    “I’ll tell him some things here and there, but he doesn’t want me to talk about those things,” Long said. “He’d just rather keep that between us, and that’s fine. He just wants it to be known that he goes about his business and comes ready to play every day.”

    That workaday ethos is part of the legacy of Gehrig, who played 2,130 consecutive games before A.L.S. ended his career. It is also important to Jeter, the major league leader in games played since 1996.

    Long said the Yankees assumed Jeter would not tell them when he is hurt, so they watch for signs in his performance. When his stolen bases decline and he is not driving the ball, they assume something is wrong.

    Jeter strained his left quadriceps last April and was hit on the hand in May. He finished at .300, but had only 39 extra-base hits, his fewest in any season besides 2003, when he missed six weeks with a dislocated shoulder. This year, especially in August, Jeter has been spry.

    “I was comfortable,” Jeter said. “Sometimes you can be comfortable and you’re lining out all the time. You’ve got to be lucky, too. I think it’s a combination of both; that’s what makes for a good month.”

    The torrid month has put him close to a record Jeter will cherish, if he takes his parents’ advice. Posada, his close friend, considered their wisdom and laughed.

    “It doesn’t come twice, so he could take a step back and look,” Posada said. “That’s a good way to put it, but I don’t think he will.”


    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company



    Update: Jeter picked up 5 hits in Toronto, and now stands at 2718. He's also 2nd among active players, behind Ken Griffey, for total career hits.

    Baseball Reference - career hits

  2. #2
    King Omega XVI OmegaNYC's Avatar
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    Though, I may be a Mets fan, and I HATE the Yankees and Jeter, with all my guts, Jeter is a class act, and one of the best players to ever play the game. What a record to break!

  3. #3

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    Going to the game tonight.

    Rats. It seemed that everything was in alignment to see a little history. But three hits will be tough.

  4. #4
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Getting 3 hits isn't as strange as going 0-8 in a doubleheader where everyone else hit - hope you get to see it!

  5. #5
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Alas!

    (though a walk-off homer doesn't suck)

  6. #6
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Yea Jeter just needs to relax. His mechanics we're completely off last night. It'll happen.

    I've been a Jeter fan since the age of 9, in 95 when he came up towards the end of the season. I was just starting Little League and I just became a fan of his. It's amazing to see him accomplish so much.

  7. #7

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    Walk-offs are a great consolation. We watched the last two innings while walking around the concourse. The open stands are the best improvement over the old stadium, where the concourse was isolated from the field.

  8. #8
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Derek Jeter has tied Lou Gehrig in the bottom of 7th with a single down the right field line. Also down 2-0 in the bottom of the 8th with runners at 1st and 3rd Posada hits a 3R HR to the short porch in right field to put the Yanks ahead 4-2. How sweet it is!

  9. #9
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Ballgame over; Yankees win! TTHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIN!!!!

    Yankees are 91-50!!!

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    After the game tonight DJ was completely cool and humble about matching Gehrig's record.

    He's a class act all the way.

  11. #11

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    A connection to fans unchanged for a career. Nothing phony here.

  12. #12
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Gotta get that framed; the first iconic image at the new Yankee Stadium.

  13. #13

  14. #14

    Default May 25, 2011

    So I need my baseball fix. It's true, I am obsessed. I'll go to any game, any where, any time, although my preference is for the pinstriped variety.

    I just guesstimated that Derek Jeter will get his 3,000th hit on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. My crystal ball actually reads "May 26, 2011," but that is a Thursday, so I moved it back a day. I had added a fudge factor of a few games he'd probably miss sitting out for rest, and merely subtracted one.

    TV here has broadcast the playoffs and the World Series again, with Game 6 just shown Wednesday evening. Taiwan is pretty much a one-sport society (we miss Wang), although the kids all seem to be playing basketball in recent years. By the way, baseball dates back to the colonial Japanese-era (1895-1945), but how many of you knew that Japan had its first baseball leagues in the 1870s? Isn't that cool?

    I am curious to see how close my prediction will turn out to be. Jeter has to stay healthy and consistent. Health hasn't ever been a problem. Except for one separated shoulder in Toronto early in the 2003 season which had him on the bench for weeks, he's never missed more than a few games at a time, but he is getting older. Captain Clutch is also Mr. Consistency. He's average just over 200 hits per year over the last five years.

    I am not good at predictions or at evaluating those of others, however. (I scoffed at a London friend in 1998 who said he thought George W. Bush would be the next US president. Him? No way.) There's also the matter of Jeter's pending free agency following 2010. Not much chance the Yankees will let him go or that he'd want to leave, so my crystal ball assumes he will get 3000 in a Yankee uniform.

    Chances he'll do it with the Hanshin Tigers: Crystal ball says < 0.0003%, +/- 0%.

    Crystal ball is mum on whether he'll get the hit in home pinstripes or road grays. A clean single is predicted, not an extra-base hit, but that's an easy guess.

    May 25, 2011. Circle it on your your calendar -- when you get a 2011 calendar, that is.

    Cheers --
    hb,
    WNY's Baseball Desk
    Last edited by hbcat; December 4th, 2009 at 10:29 PM.

  15. #15

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    July 9, 2011

    Jeter Reaches Fabled 3,000, and It’s a Blast


    By TYLER KEPNER

    The Yankees have won 27 championships with a diverse collection of baseball’s greatest players. From the groundbreaking power of Babe Ruth to the unmatched hitting streak of Joe DiMaggio to a trio of perfect-game pitchers, the Yankees’ starry constellation outshines all others.

    But one thing the Yankees never had, until now, was a player with 3,000 hits. A few have passed through on their way to the milestone, but only one has collected 3,000 as a Yankee. He is Derek Jeter, the team captain, who got there in a most improbable way on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

    He hit a home run.

    Jeter, who had singled in the first inning, connected in the third off David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, driving an off-speed pitch with a full count deep into the seats above the left-field wall. It was only the third home run of the season for Jeter, and his first over the fence in the Bronx since last June 12. Including the postseason, Jeter had homered in just one of his last 108 games.

    Jeter became the 28th player in history to reach 3,000 hits, but only the second to do so with a home run; the other was Wade Boggs for Tampa Bay in 1999. Only Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Robin Yount joined the club at a younger age than Jeter, who turned 37 on June 26.

    That puts Jeter ahead of the pace set by Pete Rose, the career hits leader, who retired at age 45 with 4,256. Jeter is signed for two more years, with a player option for 2014, but he said Thursday that Rose was not on his radar.

    “You have to play another five years and get 200 hits to get that extra thousand,” Jeter said. “You’re talking about a long, long time. You never say never, but it’s not something that’s on my mind.”

    Jeter’s recent performance offers few hints of Rose’s staying power. This has been Jeter’s most trying season, with a career-low .257 average through Friday. He spent almost three weeks on the disabled list with a strained calf muscle, and has hit a higher percentage of ground balls (65.3 percent through Friday) than any other player in the majors.

    Naturally, some of the erosion in Jeter’s skills can be traced to age, and, perhaps, to the extra wear and tear from roughly a season’s worth of games — 147 — across 30 postseason series. He has also played no defensive position besides shortstop, the most demanding spot on the field besides catcher.

    Only one other player, Honus Wagner, reached 3,000 hits while still a regular shortstop. Wagner did it in 1914.

    “Physically, you have a responsibility that can be difficult, and mentally as well, you have to be in every pitch, every game,” Jeter said, referring to shortstop. “So there’s probably a reason why there’s not too many guys that have played the position that have had that amount of hits. I take pride in it. This is my job. This is the only thing I’ve done.”

    Jeter was a high school shortstop in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1992, when the Yankees chose him sixth over all in the draft. He was in the majors within three years, and by 1996 he was there to stay. Jeter never wanted a day off, he said, for fear that George Steinbrenner, the impatient principal owner, would replace him.

    There has never been real danger of that, even after last season, when Jeter’s average dipped to .270 just as his contract expired. The Yankees gave him a deal worth at least $51 million over three years, but they did so grudgingly, publicly citing Jeter’s declining performance and challenging him to explore free agency.

    Jeter has said he was angered; he had tried to make it clear he only wanted to play for the Yankees. Meanwhile, he worked to improve in the off-season and spring training, eliminating his stride in hopes of having more time to react to each pitch. But Jeter abandoned the adjustment soon after the season started and reverted to his old mechanics — without his old results.

    That is hardly unprecedented. Others have reached 3,000 at similarly diminished levels of production — Cal Ripken hit .256 the season he got there, Al Kaline hit .262, Yount hit .264. Jeter, a career .312 hitter, will be known most for relentless consistency, for churning out hits at a rate few have ever matched.

    Jeter has seven 200-hit seasons, and 10 with at least 190. Only Rose and Cobb, who rank first and second on the career list, have more 190-hit seasons.

    “I take a lot of pride in going out there every single day and to trying to be as consistent as possible,” Jeter said. “I think that’s probably the most difficult thing to do in our sport. Playing well gets you here, consistency keeps you here. That’s the thing that I’ve always tried to focus on.”

    After a game in Cleveland last week, Jeter acknowledged that the scrutiny of his struggles had taken some fun from his chase. He has little experience with bad press; few athletes in his era have received such overwhelmingly positive coverage in their careers.

    But Jeter has seemed more at ease since returning to Yankee Stadium on Thursday, perhaps sensing that his pursuit was nearing an end. His family and friends have been here, including the former teammates Tino Martinez and Gerald Williams. The scout who signed Jeter, Dick Groch, has been at the ballpark, as has Don Zimmer, an honorary coach for the Rays and Joe Torre’s bench coach in Jeter’s early years.

    “I didn’t realize that there was no Yankee that ever got 3,000 hits,” said Zimmer, who has been in baseball 63 years. “And here’s Derek Jeter, the only Yankee that’s going to get 3,000 hits. That’s the thing that blew my mind.”

    Jeter’s first hit came at the Seattle Kingdome, a concrete dungeon that was razed years ago. It was only appropriate that his 3,000th come in the Bronx, where Jeter passed Lou Gehrig in 2009 for the franchise record in hits, with 2,722.

    That was a stirring moment, even if it had little resonance outside Yankee Stadium. With 3,000 hits, Jeter has matched a revered number in the game’s history, leaving an indelible mark in style.

    © 2011 The New York Times Company

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