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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

Some Records Aren't Made to Be Broken

June 25, 1996|Allan Malamud

The subject is hitting and the authority is Pete Rose. . . .

"There are some great hitters around, but I don't think anybody will ever break the career records for hits or homers," he said. "They're longevity records. To break my record, somebody would have to get 200 hits a year for 21 years and then another 57 hits. To break Hank Aaron's record, you'd need to hit 35 homers a year for 21 years and then another 21 homers." . . .

Rose got 4,256 hits during a 24-year major league career that ended in 1986. . . .

Aaron hit 755 home runs during a 23-year career that ended in 1976. That was easy to look up. He remains the first player listed in alphabetical order in the Baseball Encyclopedia. . . .

Rose played in the most games, 3,562, and Aaron in the third most, 3,298. . . .

"Nobody plays nearly that long any more," Rose said. "They like to retire early and they can because the salaries are so big." . . .

Asked to compare slugging catchers, Rose said his old Cincinnati Red teammate Johnny Bench had tremendous power but wasn't nearly the hitter for average that the Dodgers' Mike Piazza is. . . .

"Bench could have played first base and went to church every day and he still wouldn't have hit .300 for a full season," Rose said. "Piazza makes contact so often. That's his secret." . . .

Rose, who made the National League all-star team at five positions, said a switch from catcher might prolong Piazza's career, but that it wouldn't be an easy move. . . .

"Most players don't want to change positions and don't feel comfortable once they've done it," Rose said. . . .

Rose admits that he is not impressed by some of the power numbers being hung up this season, particularly in the American League. . . .

"American League ballparks are a joke," he said. "They're bandboxes. The home run distances are short in the old ones like Tiger Stadium, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium, and the new ones too. Look at Seattle. And those guys in Baltimore should pay to hit there." . . .

Rose, who conducts a nationally syndicated radio talk show and owns a restaurant in Florida, has not filed to have his suspension from baseball lifted and says he won't until a full-time commissioner is named. . . .

The commish could begin his regime in grand style by welcoming the all-time hits leader back and making him eligible for election to the Hall of Fame. . . .

*

This is the summer that the 100 millionth fan will attend a Dodger game in Los Angeles. Wonder what the door prize will be. . . .

Roger Cedeno's vast improvement from the left side is making the Dodger outfielder a much more effective switch-hitter, especially considering that nearly two-thirds of his at-bats are from that side. . . .

Just when it appeared that the surprising Montreal Expos were fading away, they're playing good ball again and Felipe Alou has the manager-of-the-midseason award wrapped up. . . .

Which was a bigger upset, the Indians being swept by the New York Yankees in four games over the weekend at Cleveland or Detroit taking three in a row from Minnesota? . . .

L.A. will play six games against Colorado this week, four times in baseball and twice in soccer. . . .

I hope that the rest room facilities will be adequate next month at the Centennial Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, where fans at the U.S. track and field trials were advised by the public address announcer to drink eight to 16 ounces of water an hour. . . .

Michael Johnson's world record in the 200 meters after all those heats in the stifling heat of Atlanta must be considered one of the greatest track achievements ever. . . .

Four former UCLA athletes won spots in two events apiece at the trials--Gail Devers in the 100 meters and 110-meter hurdles, Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the heptathlon and long jump, Michael Marsh in the 100 and 200 meters and John Godina in the shotput and discus. . . .

The UCLA basketball team will open the Preseason National Invitation Tournament against Tulsa on Nov. 20 at Pauley Pavilion and, if successful, host a second-round game against the Oklahoma State-St. Mary's winner on Nov. 22. (Complete schedule, C7) . . .

An educated guess is that Cigar would have been assigned 131 pounds for Sunday's Hollywood Gold Cup. Without him in the lineup, Soul Of The Matter is the top weight at 123. . . .

Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who will ride Helmsman, hasn't won the Gold Cup in 14 tries, but has finished second nine times. . . .

It seemed to me that the times in the walking races at the U.S. Olympic trials were pedestrian.

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