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Derek Jeter “Hit” by Pitch: Cheating or Gamesmanship?

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Jonathan Bales

This is a Dallas Cowboys-related site, but I like to comment on non-Cowboys (or even non-football) topics from time to time.  Last night, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter faked getting hit by a pitch to advance to first base.  The pitch clearly hit his bat, but Jeter gave an Emmy-winning acting performance to trick the umpire into thinking the ball hit him.

The act has drawn both support and criticism.  Some media have applauded Jeter’s acting job, claiming there’s nothing “illegal” about flailing around as if he was injured.  Is it deceptive?  Yes.  But it’s also great gamesmanship by a veteran player.

Others argue that it’s cheating.  It’s a dishonest move that results in an unfair advantage for the Yankees.  After all, the pitch didn’t hit his body.

Personally, I can’t understand the flack Jeter is receiving from some for his decision to pretend to get hit.  He’s a professional baseball player, and his job is to help the Yankees win baseball games.  It isn’t to correct the umpires on their miscalls.  As Jeter said after the game, “He told me to go to first base. I’m not going to tell him I’m not going to first, you know.”

It reminds me of my ball-playing days.  I played centerfield for my high school team and we had a metal fence in the outfield such that it was difficult for spectators (and umpires) to determine if a batted ball was a home run or had bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.  People familiar with high school baseball know that when a ball bounces over the fence, the outfielder is supposed to raise his hand to alert the umpires that the ball is no longer in play.

On two separate occasions, I raised my hand after home runs that had just cleared the fence.  The umpires saw it and rewarded the hitter with just a double.  On one occasion the opposing coach actually knew it was a home run and ended up arguing and getting kicked out of the game, but that was irrelevant to me.  I just raised my hand. . .nothing illegal about that.

So what do you think?  Was Jeter wrong to pretend to get hit?  Was I cheating when I raised my hand after home runs in an attempt to deceive the umpires?  Tell us what you think . . .

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7 Responses to Derek Jeter “Hit” by Pitch: Cheating or Gamesmanship?

  1. john coleman says:

    It was both cheating and gamesmanship. The use of instant replay to get calls right is yet another reason the NFL rules. Iwill say this of Jeter, If I’m playing them he is my biggest concern. IMO he has long been the engine for the Yankees. BTW I hate all teams from NY and Philly. I’m Ok with them going o-165 and 0-16. Pro basketball doesn’t count. I’m a college basketball fan, the NBA sucks. My team resides in Durham. Back to the question. Give him an emmy. Jeter has always been a true pro.

  2. Kevin Keithley says:

    gamesmanship. Do we really expect every player that benefited from a blown call to ‘correct’ the umpire?

  3. Kevin Keithley says:

    and here’s the pitch! ” Ball 4, go to 1st base,” says the umpire. Batter, ” umm, I’m sorry sir, but that was the 3rd strike, I’m out”

  4. Haha agree with both, although I actually don’t hate ALL Philly and NY teams. I can stand the Yankees and even the Phillies. Also, I am one of the few who likes the NBA more than college. It used to be the other way around, but give me Kobe v. Lebron any day.

  5. Vince Grey says:

    I’ll tell you one thing, that little stunt might well cost him a close call or three in some future REALLY big game.

    Umps tend to have long memories when they get embarrassed.

  6. I thought having the trainer come out was going a little too far lol

  7. Vince Grey says:

    I’ll take college BB any day over the NBA, even though the 3-point line is still too close, because at least some teams and players have the basic fundamentals down. The NBA’s not much but clearouts, dunks and 30 foot 3’s. Yawn. BTDT.

    I miss Jordan in his prime and the old Pistons, thugs though they were.

    Biggest problem I have though, is that the season’s waaaayyyyy too long. Nothing happens until the playoffs.

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