Derek Jeter, John Jaso

Derek Jeter’s 3,000 hits: breaking down the hits

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Some facts and figures on Jeter’s now 3,000 hits:

– Jeter has played in 2,362 major league games.  He’s collected five hits in two of them.  Here’s the breakdown:

Five hits: 2
Four hits: 35
Three hits: 217
Two hits: 628
One hit: 943
Zero hits: 537

– 2,972 of his hits have come as a shortstop. He has 27 as a designated hitter and one as a pinch-hitter.

– 2,662 of them have come as a No. 1 or No. 2 hitter, so, logically, he has more hits in the first inning than any other. He has 656 first-inning hits, compared to just 161 in the second inning. The third (440) and fifth (361) are his next favorite innings. He has 46 career hits in extras.

– Jeter has 237 homers, 62 triples and 480 doubles. To look at it another way, eight percent of his hits are homers, two percent triples, 16 percent doubles and 74 percent singles.

– One other way: he ranks 21st all-time in singles, 74th in doubles, 227th in homers and 479th in triples.

– 557 of his hits have come on the first pitch of his at-bat. He has just 12 career hits in 3-0 counts.

– 1,510 of hits have come at the Yankee Stadiums, compared to 1,490 elsewhere.

– He has 2,204 hits against right-handers, 796 versus left-handers.

– As I broke down previous days, his most hits against any pitcher is 32 off Tim Wakefield. Against a team, it’s 303 versus the Orioles.

– His first two career hits came off Seattle’s Tim Belcher on May 30, 1995. Both were singles. As was his third hit off Randy Johnson a day later.

– He’s had 121 hits leading off a game and six ending them. Five of his game-ending hits were singles, while he had his lone walkoff homer in 2005 against Keith Foulke and the Red Sox.

Edwin Encarnacion: “I think [the Blue Jays] got too hasty in making their decision.”

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.

Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’

Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ

Sammy Sosa
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I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.

The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.

Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.

Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:

It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.

I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .