I don’t think Ripken’s mark is that unreachable. A guy blessed with good health who’s a good player could get it at any time (though no one is remotely close at the moment). Look at Ripken: he had some unspectacular years, but he stayed healthy, consistent, and steady. This takes a lot of breaks to go your way, but it’s possible.
If Rose can reach 44, Dimaggio’s 56 is attainable. Twelve games away is a lot, but not unthinkable.
Aaron’s record will doubtless be broken. The number of players with 40, 45, and 50 HRs has risen dramatically in the past decade because of (insert your favorite theory here: juiced ball, bad picthing small strike zone, chemical improvement, increased weight training…I go for the strike zone theory). The recent few years’ changes in baseball point to the breaking of Aaron’s record within 20 years. No doubt.
This brings me to my answer to the original question. IF the structure of the game remains the same (and there’s no reason to doubt that it will), the “complete games pitched” record will never be touched. I’m referring to picthers who did 40 complete games in a season, or 400 in a career. With the high salary of relievers, you can’t just not use them. Now that I’ve opened my big mouth, you’ve noticed that I didn’t name the record-holder. Alas, I am at work and away from my baseball almanac. A little help, please? Can someone find the name and exact number for the complete games record?