Was it OK for Jeter to fake getting hit by pitch?

September 17, 2010

Smart baseball

Phil Rogers

Chicago Tribune

Give Derek Jeter an Oscar. And extra MVP consideration.

Derek Jeter was once again instinctually brilliant when he faked getting hit with that Chad Qualls pitch in the seventh inning on Wednesday night against the Rays. It was a case of bad umpiring and very, very smart baseball.

The Yankees were trailing 2-1, so getting on base was Jeter's priority. When the pitch hit the knob of his bat, he immediately acted as if the pitch hit him and he was in pain, and umpire Lance Barksdale bought it, sending him to first.

Some people think that a player of Jeter's stature shouldn't trick an umpire to get on first base. But it's exactly because Jeter is so resourceful that he has the stature he does. He knows the right thing to do at the right time every time, and this was just example No. 1,487.

Brilliant player. Smart move. Bad umpiring.

progers@tribune.com

No problem with it

Peter Schmuck

Baltimore Sun

Apparently, all that time hanging around with beautiful actresses is paying off for Derek Jeter, who seems to have developed some pretty good acting skills.

He put on quite a show on Wednesday night to feign a hit by pitch against the Rays, and his sleight of hand almost turned a big game in favor of the Yankees.

I've got no problem with that, just as I have no problem with the basketball guys who flop to draw an offensive foul — except when it's one of those irritating guys from Duke.

It's up to the umpiring crew to judge whether he got hit or not, and he was convincing enough to steal first base.

That's not cheating.

That's baseball.

pschmuck@tribune.com

Everybody does it

Kevin Baxter

Los Angeles Times

NASCAR is governed by a simple creed: "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'." (They really talk that way in stock-car racing, by the way.)

Baseball lives by a similar code. From the phantom double play and scuffed baseballs to stealing signs and catchers framing pitches in an attempt to steal strikes, baseball players have always bent the rules in an attempt to gain an advantage.

And it's no different in football, basketball or any other sport. The only illegal plays are the ones on which you get caught. You can debate whether that's moral, but you cannot debate whether that's reality.

Derek Jeter — who is the captain of baseball's premier franchise — pulled a fast one to give his team an advantage in an important game that may wind up deciding the division title. If the umpire doesn't catch it, it's a good play.

kbaxter@tribune.com

Shame on the ump

Juan C. Rodriguez

Sun Sentinel

Describe this play without mentioning the offending Yankee and nine out of 10 fans guess Alex Rodriguez was the culprit.

In no way does this compare to screaming at a fielder while running past him or trying to dislodge a guy's glove from his hand to avoid a tag. Jeter's biggest crime was overacting. He should have trotted to first as soon as home plate umpire Lance Barksdale signaled.

Leaping out of the way with a quick shake of the hand and convincing wince was sufficient. Bending at the waist, hands on knees, with a trainer present was overkill. This is no different than an outfielder trapping a ball and showing the umpire his glove, or a catcher bringing back an outside pitch. If the umpire gets fooled, shame on him.

jrodriguez@tribune.com

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