It is time to put aside our petty grievances, gimlet eyes, and jaded memories and honor great men. This post is not about SABRmetrics, (except one), advanced analysis, or anything other than counting. Counting is still what gets one into the Hall of Fame, and in the huge quantities shown below, are reasonably accurate summaries of a player’s impact on the game.
While we can quibble about scoring, shorter schedules, lack of night games, quality of equipment, none of that matters when one is taking the long view of accumulation of the numbers that people really remember. (Also, John Sterling will mention these stats every single time this season one of them is attained).
I give you Derek Jeter
and Alex Rodriguez
, selected stats and milestones that they will probably reach this year, whether you love them, hate them, or don’t give a rat’s ass about counting stats. I submit that in the end, they will matter. My source is baseballreference.com. The number before the player’s name is his all- time rank. All numbers given are career totals. Numbers in parentheses are the number of seasons played by the player amassing said totals. For comparison, Derek Jeter is credited with 18 seasons.
WAR- 12. Alex Rodriguez has accumulated 111.4 WAR. Next: Eddie Collins 118.5
ARod may take three years to pass Collins at the rate he is going.
54. Derek Jeter 69.3. Next: Larry Walker 69.7. Luke Appling is 49th at 69.9. Even a crummy season will put Derek Jeter in the top 50. Think about it.
GAMES 40. Derek Jeter 2585. If he plays his customary 155+ games this year, he will vault to #26, passing Mel Ott at 2730.
HBP 15. Alex Rodriguez 167. Next: Carlos Delgado
17. Derek Jeter 163. The plunk-a-thon is totally up for grabs.
HITS 11. Derek Jeter 3304. Here are the next half dozen with seasons played in parens.
10. Eddie Collins 3315 (25)
9. Paul Molitor (21)
8. Carl Yastrzemski 3419 (23)
7. Honus Wagner 3420 (21)
6. Cap Anson 3435 (27)
5. Tris Speaker 3514 (22)
Jeter, if he stays healthy, will finish this season at number 6, with Speaker in his sights for 2014.
Alex Rodriguez is 37th at 2901. If he can get on the field, he has an outside shot at 3,000 this year.
is 76th at 2606 in only 12 seasons.
RUNS 10. Alex Rodriguez 1898 Next: 9- Stan Musial, 1949. 8- Cap Anson 1949.
13. Derek Jeter 1868. Jeter and Arod will probably both pass Musial this year. Number one? Rickey Henderson at 2295.
GAMES AT SHORTSTOP 1. Omar Vizquel
2. Luis Aparicio 2581
3. Derek Jeter 2531
85. Alex Rodriguez 1272
Obviously, ARod won’t move up. Derek Jeter will become the all time leader in 2014. Despite the number of chances, Jeter is only 171st in errors with 241. Unsurprisingly, the people at the top of the list are not players you’ve probably heard of. They go way back to when there wasevidently more tolerance for miscues. And crappy gloves.
These numbers are why Derek Jeter will be a first ballot HOFer. He could retire now and make it. When he finally hangs up the gift basket, his election should be near unanimous. I have omitted Arod’s ridiculous homerun and extra base totals, because of the steroid issue. The numbers will not be relevant to his election. It will come down to voters’ feelings about the Roid era five years after Alex retires in 2017.