Buck Showalter has made a fool out of himself.
There is a good reason Jeter bails on inside pitches.
In the history of baseball, Derek Jeter is 19th all time in being hit by pitches. Among current players he is tied for fourth on the list with his teammate, Alex Rodriguez.
Each has been hit 152 times.
Only Jason Kendall, Carlos Delgado and Jason Giambi have been hit more times than Jeter among players still active on a major league roster.
The all-time HBP leader is Old Ee-Yah, Hughie Jennings, who last actually played in 1902. Jennings was hit a record 287 times. The only player of the modern era who was close to the record was Craig Biggio, who almost surpassed Ee-Yah, being hit 285 times.
Everyone in baseball knows Jeter likes the ball out over the plate and that he is an expert at driving the ball to right field.
He is also known for striding into the ball—at least he was in the past. He is now working on an alteration to his setup at the plate that will reduce his movement toward home plate and get his front foot down faster.
So pitchers have thrown up and in to Jeter; of course he bails on close pitches. He has been hit in the hands a number of times and has missed some play from injuries that occurred this way.
One incident that drew a great deal of publicity and much criticism of Jeter occurred last season, when he feigned being hit and was awarded first base after a high-and-tight pitch came too close.
Jeter was chastised as being a poor sport and efforts were made unsuccessfully to tarnish his iconic image because of his acting.
But nothing came of the criticism of the pitch that didn't hit Jeter and nothing will come of Showalter's theatrics, which are much more ridiculous than what Jeter did.
Every player in the big leagues would have done exactly as Jeter did on that play if given the chance. They are playing a competitive sport, looking for every edge they can get to get on first base—that is the goal.
But Showalter's comments are way out of line, and he needs to just shut up and sit down.
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