What should we make of Jimmy Rollins getting his 2,000th career hit Tuesday night? On Twitter, Rollins said he appreciated all of the congratulations folks sent his way for an achievement shared by only 27o other players in Major League Baseball history. But right after the game, a 2-1 loss for the Philadelphia Phillies at Cincinnati, Rollins didn't sound all that impressed with the accomplishment:
''It was great, but 3,000 is better,'' said Rollins, eating an ice cream cone after the game. ''That's the one that's celebrated. It's another milestone in a career, but it's not the one that's celebrated. So it's just another hit.''
Boy. "Just another hit"? Only three other Phillies players — Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn and Ed Delahanty — had that many. And only 30 switch-hitters in history have at least 2,000 hits. Three-thousand hits would be great, Jimmy, but at 33, going on 34 years old, you'd need six solid seasons of about 175 hits per to get there. Is 39-year-old Jimmy Rollins going to have the Omar Vizquel-like infielder range needed to get the playing time needed to get the hits needed?
But why should we get ahead of ourselves at all? Let's just look at what Rollins has done and be impressed, like Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, whose praise was a little more effusive. As quoted by reporter Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"That's big," Manuel said. "Jimmy's career speaks for itself. If you look at his run production, his stolen bases, his defense, his career definitely jumps out at you like a lot of Hall of Famers and big star players in the game. It's right there in front of you."
As much as Rollins has accomplished — an MVP in 2007, three All-Star appearances, leading the league in runs scored once, in triples four times, in stolen bases once, and being two steals away from 400 for his career — it doesn't add up to Cooperstown. His career adjusted OPS is 97 — not even average. No, not with Alan Trammell checking in at 110, he's not a Hall of Famer.
Of course, if J-Roll lasts long enough to get 3,000 hits, his Hall of Fame case would go from practically non-existent (sorry, Charlie) to possible. So maybe that's what Rollins is saying, without quite saying it. Just check back in another thousand hits.