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When do players notice hitting streaks?

Joe DiMaggio had the longest hitting streak in

Joe DiMaggio had the longest hitting streak in MLB history, getting a hit in 56 straight games during the 1941 season.

DETROIT Mark Teixeira said the 30s. Andruw Jones said 20. Joe Girardi said 30 on the nose.

Derek Jeter wanted clarification on the question.

"Pay attention in terms of attention to DiMaggio or just the streak in general?" he said.

The question? When does a player notice a hitting streak of another, such as the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who started the week with a 27-game streak, one he extended to 29 games Tuesday before he sat out Wednesday with an inflamed left elbow (the Dodgers did not play Thursday).

"If you're talking about Joe DiMaggio, I mean you really couldn't even pay attention until somebody got to 40, but even then they're still more than two weeks away," Jeter said. "So, I mean in paying attention to, hey, maybe this person has a chance, I would say it would have to be in the 40s."

That's not to say Jeter, whose career-long streak is 25 games, accomplished in 2006, hadn't taken notice of Ethier.

"Don't get me wrong, you hit in 10 straight it's impressive," Jeter said. "Any hitting streak is impressive. You can go into a series where you're facing a quality pitching staff and if you get a hit in three games you feel pretty good about yourself, you know what I mean?"

This May is the 70th anniversary of the start of Joe DiMaggio's legendary streak and the number 56 seems as unattainable as ever and still carries with it a sense of awe.

"It's pretty amazing, especially considering if you look at today's streaks," said Teixeira, whose career-long streak is 14 games. "We're talking about 28 being pretty impressive. To get into the 50s, to 56, that's hard to believe."

Girardi said the obstacles to any player keeping a prolonged streak going are many.

"Sometimes you just don't feel good at the plate," Girardi said. "And if you're a hot hitter, sometimes they're going to pitch around you. If you're going that good, there's a chance they're going to pitch around you to get to the next guy."

Jones mentioned the number of pitchers a player might face in a game.

"Back in the day, a starter would go eight innings, or nine innings and a hitter would get a chance to see him four, maybe five times," Jones said. "Now you may see a guy twice and you'll see two other guys out of the bullpen."

Jeter, who is quoted in Kostya Kennedy's book, "56," an in-depth chronicle of DiMaggio's streak that came out this spring, combined Girardi's and Jones' thoughts.

"Very, very difficult now because you face a starter two times or three times, then you can face a middle relief guy, then a setup guy, then a closer," Jeter said this week. "You're facing different pitchers all the time. And obviously if you have a streak like that and you're swinging the bat well, they might not give you anything to hit."

Teixeira had had plenty of two-month stretches in which he's hit the ball well, but hitting in 56 games straight?

He laughed.

"Law of averages," Teixeira said. "You can be on fire for two straight months and the chances are you're not going to get to 56 because you're going to have a day where you hit three or four rockets right at somebody."

The longest streak in the big leagues since Jeter's been up was Jimmy Rollins' 38-game streak that extended over two seasons, 2005-06.

"Impressive," Jeter said. "And he [was] still three weeks away [from 56] . . . that record right there, it's awfully tough to break because there's just too many factors."


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