After Jeter hit the home run, I really didn't care what drivel Joe Morgan was selling. However, once again, old Joe did stray from his teleprompter.
He mentioned that Derek Jeter is approaching 3,000 hits. Instead of just simply expounding on the merits of this feat, he proceeded to express surprise that there weren’t more Yankees in the 3,000 hit club. At first, I thought his comment was insightful but I knew better. Analyze the facts (which never get in the way of Joe). Of the 27 members of this elite group, only 9 played on one club which will unequivocally associate them with a team. The remaining 22 played on a range of 2 to 9 teams, that included some Yankee representation. Of the 5 active players that are approaching the 3,000 number, 4 of them played for an average of 5 teams while the remaining 1(Derek Jeter) has played for only one team.
The above points out Morgan affectation: to make sweeping generalizations while ignoring the particular. Consider the mostly-Yankees one might consider good enough to reach 3,000 hits. Babe Ruth spent four years as a full-time pitcher, costing him something like 1,500 at-bats. Lou Gehrig is renowned for his longevity, but that is mostly due to his consecutive-games streak; his actual career was only two-thirds as long as Ty Cobb's. Joe DiMaggio missed three seasons to the war (another 1,500 at-bats) and spent the last three of his 13 seasons as a part-time player. Mickey Mantle, blessed with Ty Cobb's speed and Babe Ruth's power, might have had the best shot, but he suffered a freak football accident in high school and that ghastly torn knee in the 1951 World Series. By 32 he was finished as a premier player, except in spurts; by 37 he was retired.
Place 3,000 hits in context: 150 hits per year for 20 years. Just about everything has to go right: ability, health, longevity, and sustained excellence. That Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle--the Yankees' Mount Rushmore--failed to get there is not only not a shame, it's not even a bit surprising.
Oh, and this from Robbie-Boy:
My favorite Joe Morganism when it comes to anything Yankee, is when ESPN shows a punch-out on the "K Zone" for a Yankee pitcher, he stops mid-word and states, "well that was off the plate a bit." If it is an opposing pitcher, he talks through the "K-Zone" replay, continuing on about his days as a Red, and what is was like to be the greatest second basemen of all time.
The greatest? Rogers Hornsby, call your libel lawyer.