Derek Jeter is my favorite player -- that is, my family's favorite player. I have played the 3,000th-hit homer over and over. It is my favorite baseball moment of the new century, with the possible exception of Johnny Damon's race to third base in the World Series against the Phillies. Now, let's move on. First of all, let's dispense with the hyperbole.
Reggie Jackson, who is the biggest gasbag in baseball -- in other words, the perfect guy for Mike Lupica to go to for a quote -- said yesterday, "What does 3,000 mean to me? It doesn't just mean that you have talent. It means that you have character, here or anywhere else." Right. So much character that the top two all-time leaders in hits are Pete Rose and Ty Cobb, two bastions of character. Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, and Joe DiMaggio, who never reached 3,000, must therefore be lacking.More »