Jeter trying to appreciate march to 3,000 hits
Those queries are all premature at this point, as Jeter still needs 74 hits to become the first Yankee to enjoy entry into that exclusive club, but he talked about it anyway a couple of hours before the Bombers took the field to begin 2011.
Barring injury, you can plan on June being the month in which the hoopla really begins – as I mentioned in a Jeter story this week, he notched his 74th hit last season on June 6, 56 games in. In 2009, it came on June 12, 58 games in, and in 2008, it was June 19, 67 games in.
(What the heck, I’ll make an unscientific guess. June 8 vs. Red Sox in New York.)
“I don’t look at it as being a distraction, because I’m not trying to do anything differently,” Jeter said. “When you go to the plate, you’re always trying to get a hit. I don’t expect it to be an everyday thing. The closer you get, there will probably be more attention paid to it, but as of right now it’s not something I’m thinking about.”
Jeter has mentioned several times recently how he dislikes receiving recognition for personal statistical achievements, always preferring for the milestone to pass so he can stop answering questions about them. Yet he might have turned a corner in 2009, in pursuit of Lou Gehrig’s all-time Yankees hits record, surpassing the Iron Horse with hit No. 2,722 on Sept. 11, 2009 off the Orioles’ Chris Tillman.
Saying that his parents suggested that he try to relish those moments more, Jeter is heading toward hit No. 3,000 intent on soaking up more of the moment.
“This is a first for me, I’ve never been through it,” Jeter said. “I’ve always looked forward to things being over with and moving on. I always enjoy playing but I’m going to try to enjoy it as much as I can. I can’t really answer that question now. It’s not like I’m going to do backflips every day when we get close. I’m going to try to enjoy the process.”