Derek Jeter faked getting hit by a pitch on Wednesday, and now he is getting a lot of grief. Derek Jeter faked getting hit on an inside pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays, where the pitch came far inside and hit off the end of his bat as he tried to get out of the way. The ball bounced out into the infield, and it was immediately clear to every player on the field that Jeter had not been hit by the ball. It was at that point where Jeter started pretending that he was hit in the wrist, had to have a trainer come out and tend to it, and stood beside home plate acting hurt for what seemed like five minutes of game time.
The result of Jeter acting allowed him to get on base, where he then scored on a home run by Curtis Granderson. Replays were pretty conclusive that Jeter wasn’t hit at all, and the debate has begun about what he did on the field yesterday. To his credit, Jeter admitted after the game that he was selling the call to get on base, but some don’t find that to be enough to make up for what he did in the game. It seemed like one of those soccer players from World Cup play that fall to the ground and act like they are dying only to get up and run the field a minute later.
So the question is now raised about what Jeter did and whether it is just part of the game or an act of cheating on the field. There are quite a few sports analysts claiming that this is just part of the game, and that include Jim Rome, who stated on his Thursday show that this was part of Jeter’s job (to get on base). The better question is if more people would be upset if it was Alex Rodriguez faking getting hit by the pitch, and if people would be calling for his head on a platter if he did it. It seems though, that Jeter’s reputation around the league is causing quite a few people to turn the other cheek about what he did Wednesday.
In the end, it was the Tampa Bay Rays that won Wednesday’s game, so maybe everything turned out find in the world of baseball. In a season where Jeter has been really struggling, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that he was afraid to stay up there and hit, and would rather draw a free pass to get to first base. There shouldn’t be anyone out there that things Jeter’s acting job was necessary, even if he was going to pretend that he got hit to get on base. This also isn’t something Tampa Bay is going to forget if they meet in the 2010 MLB Playoffs.