Right after Derek Jeter got hurt last month, I remember chatting with a fan at Wrigley Field who explained wistfully that she had gambled that the Yankees shortstop would get his 3,000th career hit within the ivy walls that weekend. She had bought a plane ticket and tickets hoping to witness history -- and the roulette table simply didn't turn right for her.
You wonder how many dollars are invested in this way, as players approach milestone moments -- and as fans venture an educated guess on when the big moment will come.
Remember how ticket-buying fans reacted to every bit of news about the date of the possible debut for Stephen Strasburg? The same thing is happening as Jeter draws closer to 3,000 hits -- and he now needs just four more, after collecting No. 2,995 and No. 2,996 on Tuesday night.
Chris Matcovich sent along this analysis from the website TiqIQ.com, which tracks the shifting landscape of ticket prices. As of Tuesday night at 8:30, here's how the data for ticket-buying in Yankee Stadium for the days ahead appeared:
"The Yanks start a four-game series against the Rays on Thursday in the Bronx and secondary ticket prices for the game are starting to skyrocket. Below is the price change (in average ticket price) for the four games in the series:
--June 29: $103
--July 5: $142
--Get in Price: $51
--Percent change: 39.8
--June 29: $96
--July 5: $158
--Get in Price: $49
--Percent change: 59.4
--June 29: $117
--July 5: $194
--Get in Price: $34
--Percent change: 60.7
--June 29: $112
--July 5: $177
--Get in Price: $27
--Percent change: 51.8
"As you can see right now fans are betting that Jeter will get the historic hit at the stadium on Saturday. Prices will fluctuate greatly with every hit as everyone will be betting on which game he will get the milestone. Every one of these games is above the Yankees average ticket price this season which is $92.37. As he gets closer we predict that prices will continue to rise as there will be a major premium to pay to see Jeter get to 3,000."
By the way: The win for CC Sabathia on Tuesday was the 169th of his career.
• The Twins won again Tuesday, their sixth win in the past seven games, and after standing at 17-37 on June 1, they are now just eight games under .500; Minnesota has drawn within seven games of first place, and keep in mind it is not chasing immortal teams. The run differentials for the AL Central, team by team:
White Sox: -5
But this is not to say everything is going smoothly for the Twins -- Scott Baker, who has been throwing well, was pulled with elbow trouble during Tuesday's win, and Ron Gardenhire had to yank closer Matt Capps for the second straight game, La Velle Neal writes.
• Bruce Bochy fired back at some of his peers for their criticism of his All-Star selections.
Dings and dents
4. Mariano Rivera's elbow is still sore, writes George King.
9. Bronson Arroyo's latest malady is vertigo.
Moves, deals and decisions
1. The Pirates' brass are meeting today to discuss their handling of the trade deadline -- and it's all good.
2. The Dodgers are a mess and there's nothing Ned Colletti can do about it, writes Bill Plaschke.
A rival executive on the team's situation with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier: "Even if they're ever in a position to re-sign those guys, they've now waited so long that they'll have to overpay to keep them, by tens of millions of dollars." Kemp and Ethier are eligible for free agency in the fall of 2012.
4. Victorino's injury means John Mayberry is back for Philly.
5. The Marlins are priming another arm for the rotation.
6. The Mets are shopping K-Rod, as Andy Martino writes.
5. The Padres are playing against the Giants with a lot of swagger, writes Henry Schulman.
6. The Yanks won, Jeter got closer to 3,000 hits, and he could now get a night off.
7. A close call hurt the Rays.
8. Replays showed the Jays were right to be upset about the way they lost in Boston.
11. Tuesday's loss in Washington has people wondering whether the Cubs are eliminated from the playoffs -- on July 6.
13. The Royals saw a massive drought end when they beat the Sox.
16. The A's wasted a rally of their own.
17. The Phillies are glad to know they had Tuesday's kind of outburst in them.
The Patience Index
• Brian Matusz fared no better in Triple-A.
• Mike Quade has blocked out the criticism, writes Paul Sullivan.
• The White Sox are hoping their No. 1 pick moves quickly.
• Michael Pineda got snubbed, writes Larry Stone.
• There was a litany of issues with the umpiring in the Tigers-Angels game.
And today will be better than yesterday.