16 September 2010

Jeter, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater?

Watch the following video of Derek Jeter selling a hit-by-pitch to the home plate umpire, even though the ball clearly hits his bat -not his elbow - in the replays:

A little extra hay against the New York Yankees shortstop is being made right now with this video about whether or not the shortstop cheated. Here's the situation: top of the 7th, no one on and one out. The first pitch by (former Arizona Diamondbacks closer) the Tampa Bay Rays' Chad Qualls comes in tight to Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who (rightly) spins out away from the ball. The ball, according to replays, actually hit the know of the bat, square on the end, and as it connects, Jeter grabs at his elbow, drops his bat, and grimaces in mock pain. The umpire, convinced by this rather impressive acting, announces a hit by pitch and awards Jeter first base. The Yankees' trainers come out to check on Jeter (who sells it all the way to first) and Rays manager Maddon comes out to argue. To their credit, the umpires did huddle up at second base to confer on the call, but no one saw it as anything other than a hit batter.

Now, don't get me wrong: I dislike the Yankees just as much as the next true American patriot (sorry, Yankees fans!), but Jeter really didn't do anything wrong. Selling the hit-by-pitch is just as much a part of baseball as anything else. Seriously, what did you want the guy to do? Tell the umpire that the ball DIDN'T hit the bat and that he wanted another chance to strike out? When you look at the video in real time, it happens so fast that it's impossible to tell whether the ball strikes his bat or his arm - I can't blame the umps for missing it.

But all you fans out there who decry this as cheating... it's not. And it really wouldn't be such a big deal if Jeter's HBP didn't end up resulting in a 2-run homer that inning by a later batter. But considering the Rays won the game, it makes little difference now. Also, after the game, Jeter admitted that the ball didn't actually hit him - adding more fuel to the "he cheated!" speculators. I dunno about all of you, but I find it really hard to criticize a guy for doing what I would expact any member of my team to do in the same situation.

Good acting, Derek.... just don't do it against my Diamondbacks next time we meet!

No comments:

Post a Comment