Last year, or maybe two seasons ago, the Rangers had another man fall from the second deck, as he was leaning out to try to catch a foul ball. He took a thirty foot fall, fractured his skull and sprained an ankle, but he went home after a couple days in the hospital. It just shows you how crazy and random these things could be.
I can't imagine what the family is going through. Or Josh Hamilton, for that matter. As much of a damn shame as it is, though, I don't think anybody can blame the Rangers, though. There is railing at the park, and it has actually been raised recently. It was just an accident, and accidents happen, as awful as it is.
I've kind of been wondering why Jeter's drive for 3,000 has struck such a chord with me. I can kind of remember Craig Biggio's 3,000th, but that didn't have the same kind of resonance. There are a few reasons for that, though, and none of them are because Biggio played in Houston and Jeter plays for New York (and the Yankees in particular). I think it has a lot more to do with timing.
In a lot of ways, it seems to me that Biggio and Jeter are similar players. Very, very good players who just got the job done. Nothing particularly flashy or overwhelming in what they did, but they did it every night, the same way over and over. Jeter had the better teams and bigger stage, so more people saw him, and I would imagine his overall numbers are a bit better, but I think the comparisons would surprise people.* But Jeter captures my imagination and I've made sure I've caught these last few games to see him do it. And that's because I've grown up with him. Biggio broke in in 1988, which is really before my time. I saw the meat of his career, but he was already established when I really understood what was going on. Jeter broke in late 1995, really got going in 1996. He is the biggest baseball name that I have really been able to watch from start to finish, and being on the Yankees, I've gotten to see a lot of him. And let's also be clear: the finish is near. With all my thoughts about getting older, Jeter is another sign of how I'm not the kid I used to be. He's the first first-ballot Hall of Famer I've watched from start to finish. There's a bit of bittersweet to watch Jeter go for the capstone of a storied career. I feel obligated to watch him obtain it.
*I haven't actually looked or anything. Just my sense of it from watching the games. Actually, I just checked it out at Baseball Reference. Biggio is fairly close in all categories and holds a bit of an edge in power categories.
As it stands, the Derek Jeter Hit Counter stands at 2,998. The Rays third baseman (not Evan Longoria last night, but I don't remember who it was) made a couple nice plays that could have easily turned into 3,000. One was a nice diving play towards the line, the other was a charging barehand play. They go again tonight at 7. It doesn't look like there's any national coverage of the game, but I know MLB Network will be showing every at bat, and I would be shocked if ESPN doesn't do the same. I'd rather watch the game, though, so it looks like I'm going somewhere to watch MLB.TV for the night.