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Derek Jeter has marks to shoot for in final season


Not that he ever seemed particularly motivated by personal milestones, but any dream of 4,000 hits and a run at Pete Rose died for Derek Jeter when he suffered a fractured ankle in the 2012 postseason. Never healthy in 2013, he played in just 17 games due to a quad injury and continued soreness in the ankle. Now he says his age-40 season will be his last, and just how much he’ll be able to play in 2014 remains unclear. The hope is that he’ll be an effective regular while playing shortstop and DHing on occasion. But that remains to be seen.

While Jeter will be gunning for a sixth World Series ring and not any round numbers this year, his career totals are coming into focus. The future Hall of Famer currently ranks 10th all-time in hits, 13th in runs scored and 29th in total bases. Let’s see how much higher he can go:

1. Pete Rose – 4,256
2. Ty Cobb – 4,189
3. Hank Aaron – 3,771
4. Stan Musial – 3,630
5. Tris Speaker – 3,514
6. Cap Anson – 3,435
7. Honus Wagner – 3,420
8. Carl Yastrzemski – 3,419
9. Paul Molitor – 3,319
10. Derek Jeter – 3,316

Before the ankle injury, Jeter seemed like a good bet to end up third on the career list. Now, he’s probably going to finish sixth with a relatively healthy season. He’s 120 hits away from moving past Anson at 3,435. At his career rate, Jeter averages 120 hits in 95 games played. Of course, he’s probably not the same .312 hitter now that he’s been over the course of his career, but as long as he plays in 110 games or so, he should top Anson.

Fifth place isn’t completely out of reach, but it would require quite a last hurrah, as he needs 199 hits to pass Speaker. He did have 216 hits just two years ago in 2012. However, it’s hard to imagine him starting the 150 or so games he’d need to have any chance of collecting 200 hits this season.

Runs scored
7. Willie Mays – 2,062
8. Cap Anson – 1,999
9. Stan Musial – 1,949
10. Alex Rodriguez – 1,919
11. Lou Gehrig – 1,888
12. Tris Speaker – 1,882
13. Derek Jeter – 1,876

Jeter needs just 44 runs scored to finish this season in the top 10, but to stay there, he’ll also likely have to pass Musial by scoring 74 runs. That’s because the suspended Rodriguez still figures to add to his total before he’s done.

Total bases
19. Mel Ott – 5,041
20. Jimmie Foxx – 4,956
21. Ted Williams – 4,884
22. Honus Wagner – 4,870
23. Paul Molitor – 4,854
24. Al Kaline – 4,852
25. Reggie Jackson – 4,834
26. Manny Ramirez – 4,826
27. Andre Dawson – 4,787
28. Chipper Jones – 4,755
29. Derek Jeter – 4,739

Jeter needs 261 total bases to become the 20th player all-time with 5,000, but that’s going to be a tough one. He’s averaged 1.82 total bases per game over the course of his career, so 261 amounts to 143 games worth of production from him. And, again, he’s probably not going to be quite the player he used to be. Jeter should at least pass Wagner to become the  No. 2 shortstop on the list. Cal Ripken Jr. is at 5,168. A-Rod, at 5,480, could still be considered a shortstop, too, but he’s one season away from having played more games at third base than his original position.

One other thing Jeter figures to do this season is pass Luis Aparicio for second place on the games played list at shortstop. Omar Vizquel is the all-time leader at 2,709, following by Aparicio at 2,581 and Jeter at 2,544. He’s already the leader for hits by a shortstop.

Nationals fire reigning Manager of the Year Matt Williams

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.

Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.

Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.

His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.

Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.

Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.

Dan Haren plans to retire after the playoffs are over

Dan Haren
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Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.

At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.

However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:

That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.

Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.