Yankees: Randy Arozarena passing Derek Jeter’s playoff record is stupid
By Adam Weinrib
Yankees legend Derek Jeter deserves to keep the playoff record for most hits by a rookie. At least give Randy Arozarena a monster asterisk.
After Yankees star Roger Maris was forced to live with an asterisk for the majority of his record-setting life after passing Babe Ruth in an 162-game season, Randy Arozarena and every playoff record-holder for the rest of the game’s history must be subjected to the same fate.
Sorry, but those are the rules.
There’s no way to properly balance cumulative playoff records for hits, runs, homers, wins or any counting stat. After all, if a player is so powerful that he blitzes the opposition and leads his team to sweep after sweep after sweep, he’ll have much less of a chance to pile up hits than an opponent who repeatedly squeaks by.
Of course, there’s also the macro view. Rob Manfred added an extra round to the 2020 postseason to allow for easy expansion, and he’s probably going to keep it.
So even if there was already a problem with 1996 Derek Jeter accumulating a postseason rookie hits record, seeing as he participated in an ALDS, ALCS and World Series, which many of his predecessors did not, Arozarena passing Jeter’s mark early on in the World Series is even less legitimate.
Yeah, congratulations to Randy, we guess, for passing Jeter’s mark with two more games played already under his belt? By the time this World Series wraps, there’s a good chance that Arozarena obliterates Jeter’s total.
There’s also a feasible chance that some rookie comes along after Manfred expands the playoffs to all 30 teams and blows both men out of the record books. So let’s make the buck stop here? Jeter has the record for the three-round postseason, Arozarena holds the mark for the bizarre 60-game campaign and endless playoff bubble. Deal’s a deal.
Jeter, for his part, doesn’t seem to care. He’s built an impressive roster of “bottom feeders” in Miami that went on an unexpected playoff run in 2020, and he’s started the offseason by poaching more Yankees coaches from their vaunted player development squad.
So, just so we’re clear, the baseball world is going to call Arozarena the once and future king. He’s not, and it’s pointless to weigh different postseason eras against each other.
Jeter’s still the best of the best for his comparative era. Not bad.