Derek Jeter may be closing in on Pete Rose's all-time career record of 4,256 hits, but the former Cincinnati Reds great isn't laying favorable odds that the New York Yankees shortstop will ever pass him.
The 71-year-old Rose, currently serving a lifetime ban for betting on Major League baseball games while he was manager of the Reds, downplayed the 38-year-old Jeter's chances of getting hit No. 4,257 because of The Captain's age and desire to finish his career with the Yankees.
"He's a great hitter," Rose told writer Joe Posnanski in a Las Vegas interview for the website Sports on Earth. "But how's he going to get 3,500 more at-bats? I think time's running out."
Charlie Hustle added the Yankees' philosophy of winning at all costs will handicap Jeter — who currently stands at 3,304 hits. Rose said:
"What does he have now? What, 3,303 hits?" Rose says, according to the story. "I don't think he will break the record. 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?"
Rose, who signs autographs at memorabilia shows as "The Hit King," put down his Sharpie long enough to do something he now does best — lay out some numbers:
"He still needs 950 (952 to tie Rose) 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."