Derek Jeter Pulled A Jimmy Rollins on Monday

The year-long Derek Jeter farewell tour is under way. Yankees fans got to see him at home for the first time during the 2014 regular season yesterday against the Orioles. Jeter almost gave them a storybook day, lining a Ubaldo Jimenez offering down the left field line. Everyone — the fans, the YES Network broadcasters, and even Jeter himself — thought he had a home run, but the ball caromed off of the top of the wall and Jeter dove head-first into second base for a double.

What became apparent on the replay was that Jeter loafed out of the batter’s box, assuming he had a home run. Only by the time he was near the first base bag did Jeter kick it into a higher gear. Had he hustled the whole way, he would have had an easy double. The YES Network broadcast team — including Michael Kay, who routinely blasted Robinson Cano for a lack of hustle — immediately began rationalizing Jeter’s lack of hustle. Oh, he thought it was a home run! It’s, like, the only time he’s ever not hustled in his career! It’s justified because he was safe anyway!

What would the reaction have been if Jimmy Rollins or Yasiel Puig did this? Not nearly as friendly, I can guarantee you that.

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  1. Evan

    April 08, 2014 08:21 AM

    A 3,000 hit career and multiple WS rings will make anyone forget about the slow start out of the batters box.

  2. TomG

    April 08, 2014 09:14 AM

    Um, if I recall correctly, during the TV broadcast of the first or second game of the year, TMac, Stairs and Moyer went on at length about how Utley hadn’t hit much during ST but he (Utley) had stated that he wasn’t concerned about it at all because it was just Spring Training and he was working on a few things and ST numbers don’t matter. The broadcast team agreed that this – essentially a long, slow “Who cares?” – was the correct attitude for Utley to take re: ST stats.

    Utley, it should be noted, is the guy Bowa explicitly stated he wanted Rollins to be more like when he criticized Rollins’ hustle and attitude. It should also be noted that Utley doesn’t have 3000 hits and multiple WS rings, so he’s no more entitled to that get-out-of-jail-free card than Rollins.

    Although it’s probably pointless to do so, I will now attempt to anticipate at least a few of the ways my comment will be willfully misread and refute those inevitable misreadings by stating in no uncertain terms that my comment is not intended as a criticism of Utley, whom I, like just about every other Phillies fan, lurve. It’s meant to underscore the difference in how Rollins is (unfairly, I would say) perceived.

    I guess I should also make explicit that I’m using the TV broadcast team synecdochally here, since no one in the media or on the coaching staff took Utley to task for his “Who cares?” attitude (nor should they have). (<–Anticipating the "Who cares what the broadcast team thinks?" strawman retort.)

    Um, what else? Anticipating the response of those who evidently believe that the "you've drunk the kool aid lol omg" derpitude is somehow a devastating rebuttal, I'll just say, "Yes, go on, feel free: You can has cheezburger."

    OMG. LOL.

    • Tom

      April 08, 2014 09:38 AM

      A refute of your post may not be a “misreading”. To label it as such is like saying “anyone who disagrees with me is wrong”. You really take liberties with context. Where did Rollins say he was “working on things” as Utley did? And if i’m not mistaken, I don’t believe Utley has ever been benched for not running out fly balls (what the piece was about.). Like it or not past performance does have bearing on the benefit of doubt

      • Bob

        April 08, 2014 10:30 AM

        Utley quote, “”Obviously you’re looking for results in spring training but I’ve been around for a while and I know that’s not the most important thing,” Utley said. “The most important thing is to get a rhythm going into the season.”

        Sandberg quote about Utley, “Knowing Chase, he probably wanted to be right earlier in the spring. But there’s other things about him — getting in shape and feeling good — and that was a big thing with me.”

        Jimmy Rollins, “Who cares?” about spring statistics.

        Utley and Rollins said essentially the same thing – that spring training statistics are bunk – yet Rollins gets benched and Utley gets praised.

    • Major Malfunction

      April 08, 2014 12:21 PM

      Whether Utley is hitting or not, he plays the game. PLAYS it. Not giving the appearance of going through the motions, as Rollins appears to do at times. And now that the season has started, Utley is playing well.

      Rollins on the other hand, he hit a GS off a rookie pitcher that was in over his head. He went 1 for 6 that game. The next day, there were articles about is 2nd Coming, etc. I watched a game the other day. Pop up , DP, K, K. He flat out looked over matched.

      So going back to “who cares?”. He was right, he didn’t care about spring training and it shows right now. Yes, its only a few games. But 6 Ks in 4 games with NO WALKS so far?

      But we shall not comment on this. He’s “earned it”. Furthermore, if he decides to not even run out the rest of the pop ups he will hit this season and just immediately return to the dugout, that’s cool, too. Where does one draw the line of playing it cool?

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