If you’ve been following Major League Baseball or at the very least just turned on ESPN’s Sportscenter in the past week, you’ve undoubtedly seen the replays of the Yankees’ star player Derek Jeter faking being hit by a pitch while playing against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Long story short, that’s exactly what happened — the baseball buzzed by Jeter’s elbow and he then gave quite the performance, pretending to get hit.
First and foremost, let me say this: The only reason this got the media attention it got was that it was the New York Yankees.
Had this exact same thing happen to a team like the Indians or Pirates, the media wouldn’t have even batted an eye in ignoring it.
ESPN and several news outlets wasted no time in labeling Jeter a “cheater”, and then predictably flamed him on Sportscenter.
It’s no secret that in baseball, and any other sport, a player is going to do what is necessary to gain an edge. Even as little kids, baseball players are told to take a pitch if it gets close, and sell it if they think it’s appropriate.
In that sense, Jeter succeeded as the umpire didn’t hesitate to award him the base, the award given to players hit by a pitch.
By doing his job and getting the base, Jeter placed his Yankees in a better position to drive in a run and win the game.
Which they didn’t, by the way. The Yankees still fell 4-3 to the Rays and despite the outcome, Rays fans and the baseball world continued to clamor over the fake hit.
The true baseball aficionados, however, were simply amused at what had resulted of the fiasco that ensued.
The truth is that every baseball player, in the same situation, would have at the very least thought about doing the same thing.
Label it cheating, label it cinematic, comical, whatever you please. The bottom line is that the New York Yankees were crucified for doing something that everyone else does.
Actually, if anything, it just proves that the defending World Series Champions still have the baseball world wrapped around their finger.
When something interesting or awry happened to the guys in pinstripes, the media stopped and gave them attention.
Granted, it may be negative attention, but the media still threw the Yankees into the limelight when it shouldn’t have turned into the brou-haha that it did.
As Jeter said to the reporters, according to ESPN New York: “This is not the first time this has happened, guys,” Jeter said. “And by the way, we lost the game. Must have been a slow news day.””