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Let me clear something up right away. ‘Deking’ umpires is part a professional Baseball players job. Every player sells the close call, in an attempt to sway the umpire and benefit their team. This year we’ve seen Jorge Posada tag a runner at home plate with the glove when the ball was still in his other hand. We’ve seen a perfect game made imperfect by a missed call on the last play of the game. We’ve seen countless blown calls affect games this year and every year. But most of those are on the umpire, this one is on Derek.

Derek doing something like this in his prime would be hailed as a shrewd, veteran move and I would probably agree with that assessment. But seeing him resort to this as an aging player in decline and it just plays differently to me for some reason. It strikes me as a bit desperate, like he has to cheat in order to get on base these days. It’s also a bit pathetic, watching a once great and still proud player go outside the rules in order to still be able to do his job. Another thing that bothers me is part of the reason why the umpire took the bait is the enormous credibility Jeter carries with him as a player. If you were Home Plate Umpire Lance Barksdale and read Jeter’s post game comments, your opinion of Derek would have to drop down a peg, and it’s something you would remember this the next time Derek stepped in the batters box and a pitch came up and in on him.

Again, I don’t want to make too much of this and my point isn’t so much about the play itself. It’s more about how perceptions change at this point of a career for a player of Jeter’s status and place in Yankee lore. When A-Rod had his glove slap and “HA!” incidents, he was lambasted instantly because of the pre-existing perceptions of him as a person and his place in the game. But Derek was supposed to be different. He was the “True Yankee” who always performed and played the game ‘the right way’, though I’m not quite sure what (if anything) either of those things mean. Derek never sought attention, won big in the late 90′s was elevated to iconic status as a result. Last night was a situation where Jeter was lying his way to first base, and for me its just a reminder that he’s no longer the player he once was.

49 Responses to “Anyone else troubled by Jeter’s “acting job” last night?”

  1. Sorry to be a killjoy, and I’m sure most fans will disagree with my take. But with Derek’s OBP dropping to a career low this year, that play just reminded me that he’s a shell of his former self.  (Quote)

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  2. No. It was a heady play that both managers lauded after the game. It turned an out into a run, and could have turned the game around. I think Jeter would have done that at any point in his career. He’s always been subtly deking umpires, from swipe tags that aren’t close to pulling his body away from perfect strikes to make them seem inside.  (Quote)

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  3. Deception is part of the game. Catchers frame pitches, trying to make balls look like strikes. Batters contort their bodies to attempt make pitches seem more inside then they are. Granted, Jeter’s actions last night were unorthodox but he saw a way to get on base and it worked. To me it’s just another notch in the belt for those who want more instant replay.  (Quote)

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    bornwithpinstripes Reply:

    agree  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    Golic on M&M in the morning compared it to a receiver in football or an outfielder in baseball trapping a ball with his glove and then holding the ball and arguing he caught, I really see no difference except he is in the batters box and it’s just a one on one close up shot. Moshe is right, Jete would have done it his rookie year, last year or any year and so would just about 99.9% of everyone in the sport.  (Quote)

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  4. It’s part of the game.

    Although I have found Jeter’s season frustrating I’m not convinced he’s done. He has looked better lately and I’m hopeful that he’s been in the longest of long slumps and that is it. Remember that half year by Bobby Abreau where he did nothing? Delgado had the same. Let’s see if he can finish strong. And hope 2011 will be a good one as he gets his 3000. What else cn you do?  (Quote)

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    Ross Reply:

    “What else can you do?”

    Not give him a huge contract? :P   (Quote)

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  5. I have no problem with it, players try to sell getting HBP all the time, this time it happened to work  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    Victor Martinez did it just last week when he limped his way to first base when the ball clearly missed his foot.  (Quote)

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  6. Mick (and Willie with the Mets) did that quite a bit in his declining years, and nobody said squat. There were even times when he’d laugh about it after the game.  (Quote)

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  7. I don’t have a problem with it at all. I’m glad he did it. I don’t see the difference between doing that and trying to convince an umpire that you were safe when stealing second by immediately calling for time (even if you knew you were out), or trying to sell a sliding scoop basket catch that you know hit the ground first, or leaning into a pitch to get to first, for that matter. It’s part of the game. It wasn’t particularly honest, but I’m not so sure I want all my players going around telling the umpires, “No, actually, I was out on that SB attempt. Thank you, though”. I know Jeter did more than just not say anything, he actively attempted to deceive the umpire, but I’m just going to say that I have no problem with it whatsoever.  (Quote)

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  8. Really???

    “But most of those are on the umpire, this one is on Derek.”
    Watch the replay. The umpire IMMEDIATELY, calls the play dead and awards Jeter first base. It wasn’t like there was a “no call” and Jeter played up the HBP to get on base. ANY player would’ve done the same thing. What would your reaction be if Austin Kearns (7 Ks in his last 9 ABs) did it? I think you’re a little over the top with this one.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    Excellent point.  (Quote)

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  9. “as an aging player in decline…”

    A younger Jeter having a year like this would be slumping not “in decline.” Let’s see if he can turn things around a little the remainder of this year and next before we declare him washed up.

    Furthermore, his job at the top of the order is to score runs: mission accomplished!  (Quote)

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    Jon Reply:

    A younger Derek Jeter has never had a BA of .260 and dropping in Sept. He is already considered one of the worst defensive shortstops in the game. He will be 37 next season. His days as an everyday player are done!  (Quote)

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  10. Derek Jeter is a giant phony. Last night just provided confirmation. He’s been a substandard shortstop for the better part of a decade, yet Yankee fans fawn over his glove after making a tough play that would be routine to a decent SS. His postseason numbers are identical to his regular-season numbers, yet he’s seen as this Super Duper Awesome Clutch Hero!!!111ONE11!

    In any other city, Derek Jeter would be seen as what he is: A very good, sometimes great, future Hall of Fame player. But in New York, he’s Super Duper Awesome Mr. Yankee!!!

    So of course I’m not surprised to see the New York papers and Yankee fans support Jeter dancing around like a gaping vagina even though he wasn’t even hit by the pitch. This is why everyone else hates the Yankees and Yankee fans.  (Quote)

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    Kareem Reply:

    Bitter much? Spoken like a true Mutts or Red Sox fan  (Quote)

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    ThompsonLives Reply:

    Nope. Wrong time zone. Try again.  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    Probably a bitter Angels fan being 3 games under .500 will do that to you over this long of a season.  (Quote)

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    ThompsonLives Reply:

    Still the wrong time zone. Man, you people are bad at this.  (Quote)

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    Craig Reply:

    Whatever garbage team it is that you root for, you can take your Jeter complaints to that blog. When you’re an integral part of five World Series titles, you’re allowed to “fawned over” by the home town fans.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    If this was my post, I’d delete this comment.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    How is it different than framing a pitch as a catcher? or acting like you caught something that you trapped? Or doing a swipe tag and running to the dugout immediately? All are clearly done to deceive the umpire.  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    Derek Jeter did it on the Yankees… Literally is the only reason anyone is even talking about it… Had Mark Reynolds done this against the Astros it probably doesn’t even make more than local news after that night.  (Quote)

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    Craig Reply:

    Exactly! It is retarded that we’re even discussing this.  (Quote)

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  11. “bornwithawaygrays” might have to be reborn as “SampsonDies” to handle this one.  (Quote)

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  12. e: This is meant to be a reply to the comment from “ThompsonLives” I must have not clicked on the proper button.

    This is obnoxious.

    Players act for the HBP call plenty, and if you ask Rays fans they can tell you about Victor Martinez successfully doing it earlier this season. It’s an argument for replay not for lambasting players for doing things pretty much everyone does.  (Quote)

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    Craig Reply:

    Agreed, but the hell with instant replay.  (Quote)

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  13. Here’s where this stands right now .. I was just walking through the halls of my office, and Jeter was the but of jokes for his actions. Phrases were tossed around like “I’ll let you pull a Jeter.” It looks bad to people outside of the Yankee Universe (not to be confused with TYU, because then you’d run into copyright restrictions ….), and only the fact that Jeter is “Derek Jeter” does this not turn into a full-blown embarrassment.

    In the age of instant replays and 24 hour news, there is no way to hide faking (which is why it was actually a smart move by Jeter to admit it after the game – if he lied and maintained that he had been hit by the ball, he would have been vilified more for it).  (Quote)

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  14. I did not like the play. When does deception become an outright lie? Why didn’t the ump ask Jeter if he was hit? I don’t think Jeter was have lied if asked (though he came close to lying with his body language).  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    The ump called it a HBP right away. Jeter was ensuring no one overturned it. It was deception no greater than acting like you caught something you trapped, which no one ever takes issue with.  (Quote)

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    Tom Swift Reply:

    If Derek was my son and he was playing Little League, I would advise him to tell the ump the truth. “Sir, it hit the bat and not me.” It’s no different from returning the extra $5 that the cashier gave you by mistake at the deli.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    And your son’s coach would have told you to be quiet.  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris H Reply:

    I would have told you to shut your mouth and keep the 5 dollars too… Pizza hut just last week accidentally gave me 2 free Pepsi’s and a lasagna I didn’t order with my pizza, I didn’t let him know because it’s his mistake to catch just as it’s the umps job to catch Jeter here.  (Quote)

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    Tom Swift Reply:

    So if you give him a C note thinking it’s a twenty, it’s OK for him to keep the extra $80? If that is the case, you and I have very different ideas of what is right and wrong.  (Quote)

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    Craig Reply:

    If Derek Jeter was your son, he’d have grown up to be soft and he wouldn’t have made it anywhere close to where he is now.  (Quote)

  15. Another non-story about a Yankee’s player blown out of proportion by BSPN. That anyone is talking about this shows just how ridiculous some folks in the media have allowed themselves to become.  (Quote)

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  16. To me selling getting HBP is no different than one of my all time favorite players Craig Biggio purposefully leaning into pitches, your not technically suppose to do it but if one came close he would always lean a shoulder in than away just what your suppose to do when you hit top 2 in the order, especially down by 1.  (Quote)

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  17. To me selling getting HBP is no different than one of my all time favorite players Craig Biggio purposefully leaning into pitches, your not technically suppose to do it but if one came close he would always lean a shoulder in than away just what your suppose to do when you hit top 2 in the order, especially down by 1.  

    First, it’s you’re, a conjunction of you and are, not your.

    Second, it’s not remotely the same thing. Biggio is actually getting hit by pitches. Captain Dreamy Calm Eyes flopped around like a little girl with a skinned knee even though the ball didn’t hit him. He’s a liar. And a fraud.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    And framing pitches? And acting like you caught a ball that was trapped? Do you protest against those as well?  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    Also, is it cold in Minnesota right now?  (Quote)

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  18. Also, is it cold in Minnesota right now?  

    Well, you’re in the right time zone at least. So huzzah for that.  (Quote)

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    Craig Reply:

    Thompson. You are a vegan. Can you take your bitter Hatorade elsewhere? We deal with haters ALL THE TIME. We don’t need to read your noise.  (Quote)

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  19. “I don’t want to make too much of this, but…”

    Yeah, too late coming after your use of the words “pathetic” and “desperate”.  (Quote)

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  20. Switching gears for a second, you mentioned the A-Rod “Ha” incident in your post. That, too, was ridiculously scrutinized. Over the previous few seasons leading up to that play, how many people outside of A-Rod yelled something at a fielder when there was a pop up? I don’t know the answer but I would bet that the number is not zero. I would be willing to bet no sex for a year on that too. Of course A-Rod gets all sorts of flack for it when that f*cker in Toronto should have just caught the damn pop up. Nonsense.  (Quote)

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  21. Whatever garbage team it is that you root for, you can take your Jeter complaints to that blog.When you’re an integral part of five World Series titles, you’re allowed to “fawned over” by the home town fans.  

    Whatever garbage team I root for? So it’s your assertion that any team that’s not the New York Yankees is garbage? Jeebus, no wonder everyone else hates you people.  (Quote)

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    Stephen R. Reply:

    And yet, here YOU are, comment after comment, trolling like a champion.

    Listen. ThompsonLives. I’m certain that your life is very rich and full, and that you don’t have some sort of weird psychological malfunction that makes you feel like you need to come on to the websites of rival baseball (baseball!) teams and get into flamewars like a 12 year old. Really, I’m certain of it. You’re probably a real bang-up guy and not at all weird or lonely or sinister or lacking in self-awareness or any other basic human trait.

    But since you’re not acting as if those things were true, I do feel compelled to let you know that I for one could not care any less about the team that you root for or about your thoughts on Derek Jeter, and going forward, when I see that you’ve left another half-dozen comments on one of our posts using inappropriate imagery and inciting other Yankee fans, I’m just going to ignore it, and hope that one day you find a good psychiatrist that can talk you into staying on the meds until they have a chance to work. OK?

    OK.  (Quote)

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  22. Thompson.You are a vegan.Can you take your bitter Hatorade elsewhere?We deal with haters ALL THE TIME.We don’t need to read your noise.  

    Under the Anyone Who Uses the Term Haters or Haterade Automatically Loses the Argument Rule, I hereby declare victory. Thank you for being you, Craig.  (Quote)

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  23. The fact of the matter is Jeter is in decline. A 36 year old shortstop is supposed to be in decline. He has had a fantastic career thus far including 5 World Series rings. To sell him short on his accomplishments is short changing a future hall of famer.

    When we look back on his career when he enters Cooperstown we will not remember the aging shortstop with eroding skills he is today, but the vibrant superstar he has been until recently.

    My only hope is that he can follow Jason Varitek’s lead in Boston and accept a reduced role that will maximize his effectiveness and leadership abilities.  (Quote)

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