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YORK -- Derek Jeter already holds the Major League record for postseason hits in a career, and improving upon that mark to help the Yankees win Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles was his only interest on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, not the regular-season hits record.
Jeter, 38, finished his 18th big league season in 10th place on baseball's all-time hits list with 3,304 -- 952 behind Pete Rose's record of 4,256, which Rose said Jeter has little chance of breaking in an interview with Sports on Earth's Joe Posnanski.
"I'm not talking about Pete Rose, man," Jeter said. "We're trying to win a game here."
With a Major League-high 216 hits during the regular season, Jeter topped 200 for the first time in four years and recorded the second-highest total of his career. He went 4-for-9 in the first two games of the ALDS and entered Wednesday's game with 195 career postseason hits, holding a comfortable lead for the Majors' all-time postseason hits record. But Rose told Posnanski he did not believe Jeter could continue to be as productive as he was this season for a long enough period to challenge the all-time hits record, especially while playing shortstop.
"I'd say Jeter will probably end up in batting average about where I was," said Rose, a lifetime .303 hitter across 24 seasons. "So if his average is around the same as mine, he has to get about as many at-bats as I did. I got 14,053 at-bats. What's he got? Ten thousand? Eleven thousand? He's a great hitter. How's he going to get 3,500 more at-bats? I think time's running out."
Jeter, who has 10,551 career at-bats, had a career-high 683 at-bats this season and played in 159 games, his most since 2005. Should he record 200 hits again next year -- the final guaranteed season of his contract -- Jeter would still need to repeat the feat three more times to be about 150 hits shy of Rose's record entering his age-43 season.
Rose detailed the difficulty of that in his interview with Posnanski, but when asked if he has given any thought to Rose's comments or the record, Jeter only said, "What do you think?"