05/12/09 11:20 PM ET
Longoria on historic RBI pace
Rays slugger projected to best Wilson's mark of 191
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Wilson tallied his 45th RBI in game No. 43 during his record-setting season; Rays third baseman Evan Longoria had 45 RBIs after Tuesday's game, his 34th.
When Longoria was asked if he knew what the RBI record was, he answered, "180-something."
Longoria smiled and shook his head when told that 191 was the record and he was ahead of that pace.
"It's pretty incredible right now, what's going on," Longoria said. "But it seems like every time I come up, I've got someone on base in scoring position. And that's what it takes. You've got to have guys all over the place all the time."
Longoria said he recently watched a program on the MLB Network that called Wilson's record one of the sport's top 10 records that would not be broken.
"It's a pretty incredible mark," Longoria said. "It's one of those accomplishments that will be really hard for anyone to break."
Longoria acknowledged that it was "cool" to be ahead of Wilson's pace, but added that breaking Wilson's record "is definitely not in my mind right now."
Longoria believes a lot will change if he continues to move along at his current torrid pace.
"It's like when [Barry] Bonds was chasing the home run record, guys start pitching you different when you get into those RBI situations," Longoria said. "They're going to make it a lot harder for you to get guys in. Especially late in the season when you're in the playoff hunt, you're going to get pitched a lot differently. You'd really have to be on your game for a 162-game season to break a record like that."
Longoria did not drive in a run Sunday night in Boston, ending a 12-game stretch in which he drove in 27 (April 28-May 9). Only three other players since 1954 have driven in that many over a 12-game span: Ted Kluszewski with the Reds in 1954, Mike Blowers with the Mariners in '95 and Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees in 2007 also drove in 27 runs.
"He's just not missing his chances," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Longoria.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.