Rose told sportswriter Joe Posnanski he doesn’t think that Derek Jeter will be able to break his career mark of 4,256 hits because of the way the Yankees are built.
“I don’t think he will break the record,” Rose said. “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?”
Jeter, whose 3,304 hits are good for 10th on the all-time list, led the majors with 216 hits in 2012. It was the eighth time in Jeter’s 17-year career that he eclipsed the 200-hit mark, but Rose doesn’t think too many of those seasons are still ahead of the Yankee captain.
“[Jeter] had a great year this year, but you think he can do that again?” Rose asked. “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?”
The rough projections by Rose would put Jeter at 3,904 hits at age 41 — 352 short of Rose’s number, which stopped growing when he retired at age 45.
Even less likely than breaking his record, according to Rose, is that the Yankees may shift Jeter away from shortstop as he gets older, citing Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano as obstacles to keeping Jeter in the mix.
“And they can’t put him at third because A-Rod’s there,” Rose said. “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?”
In an era where athletes are able to stay in physically better shape than they may have in the past, it is entirely possible — despite what Rose thinks — that Jeter could surpass Rose before his playing days are over. Jeter is under contract through 2013 with an incentive-laden option year in 2014.