Thursday, September 16, 2010

Un-Jeterian


Derek Jeter was the 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

It looks like he'll be the 2010 Salesman of the Year and the Academy Award winner for Best Actor.

Jeter, unconventionally, has opened up a can of worms with his phantom "hit-by-pitch" act last night. And what has everyone scratching their heads is not the actual stunt itself, but that it came from him.

When asked about it, Jeter bluntly said, "it hit the bat" with a "I don't want to talk about it" look on his face.

Clearly, Jeter did what he had to do to get on base.

BUT--

I think, what has surprised a lot of people is that we're not used to seeing Jeter in the center of a controversy. Jeter has been a master at maintaining a "saint-like" status throughout his entire career and shenanigans like this are not part of his culture. That's A-Rod's territory.

I mean, can we imagine what the outcry would've been if A-Rod had pulled this stunt?

But I guess when you're desperately trying to shake off the Tampa Bay Rays and you're having a hard time doing so, you'll do just about anything to gain an edge.

Rays manager Joe Maddon, who got tossed out of the game for arguing the call, actually praised Jeter after the game for his devious acting job. But Maddon knew the ball hit the bat and he let the umpires know it.

In the end, Jeter may have lost some points on the "good guy" front, but at the time, it was a good move on his part because Curtis Granderson followed his "hit-by-pitch" with a home run giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

But in the end, there was poetic justice for the Rays as Dan Johnson hit a two-run home run of off Phil Hughes to give the Rays a 4-3 lead.

The Rays would go on to win by that score, take two out of three games, and sole possession of first place.

And all Jeter did was create a firestorm of chatter that will stick around for a while.

Photos courtesy of the AP

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