On Wednesday night against the Rays, Derek Jeter came to bat at the top of the seventh inning, with the Yankees trailing 2-1.
When Jeter signaled for a bunt, one of Dan Qualls’ pitches proceeded to venture its way into an area Jeter could not get a good hit from unless you count the hit Jeter would sustain to his body. Derek turned away, but when he did, the ball ricochet off either the bat or his hand. He immediately looked to be in pain.
My first impression was that he definitely got hit, probably in the wrist area because that’s where it looked like he was holding on to for a few seconds after the incident took place.
Seeing Geno and Joe Girardi immediately running out of the dugout began conjuring up memories of the time on September 20, 2008, when Jeter got hit on the wrist. This was important because it was the day before the last game ever at the old Yankee Stadium, and one almost feared that he will not be able to participate due to a serious injury. The emotion in his face said it all that day. He was hurt.
Jeter, on Wednesday, had no emotion in his face. When I saw this, I quickly realized that it may not have been too serious. Eventually, I realized that it was even LESS serious when I saw where the ball ended up, and was finally able to transpond the sound it made after it "hit" him.
It took me a moment, but I realized that he had not been hit.
When he went ahead and took first base anyway, though, I became angry. I almost felt like a five year old kid watching their then-heroic older brother rob a bank. I…I didn’t know what to say!
Right in front of my eyes, my childhood hero was stealing right in front of me! He didn’t get hit! Yet, he was acting as if he did, and worked to set up what would became the tying and go-ahead runs, courtesy of a Grandish shot to make the score 3-2.
It gets even worse. Replays showed Jeter actually looking up just after he had gotten hit, apparently to see where the umpire was and if he was buying this acting gig.
You know the location of the last time Derek acted that well?
On the movie screen during his cameo appearance in “The Other Guys”!
I can never look at you the same way again, Derek. You were my hero. My role model. I had your poster up on my wall as a kid.
I replayed every night the moment you made the play of your career by shoveling up an errant Shane Spencer throw in Oakland and backhanding it to Jorge Posada for the out.
I replayed every night the moment you made the REAL play of your career by catching a pop-up in fair territory during a tied Red Sox/Yankees game in July 2004, and ending up sitting on the lap of a spectator in the second row of the stands.
I replayed those five championships. I replayed your walk-off in the 2001 World Series. I think of your class, your leadership, your hot girlfriend, and everything you stand for.
But now, I can’t think of any of that. Your clouded judgment has now clouded my ability to think of you as a classy man.
Why couldn’t you have just done the right thing and tell the umpire that he was wrong, and that you should still be batting and not on first base? It’s not that hard! It may have cost the Yankees the lead, but what is one game when your entire reputation is on the line?
So yeah, you'd better hide your face just as you are in your picture on here if you come anywhere near me.
You are not Mr. November anymore.
To me, you are Mr. Classless.
DISCLAIMER: This does not necessarily reflect the views of Andrew Devereaux, his blog, his friends, or about 75% of those who watch baseball. However, it does reflect a portion of the viewing audience, unfortunately a bigger percentage of the audience than it really should be. Andrew Devereaux and “Pride of the Yanks” also do not necessarily believe those who think Derek Jeter ruined his reputation by taking first base when he wasn’t actually hit should get a life, but, then again, both Andrew Devereaux and “Pride of the Yanks” do not believe they should not get one either.