So it would seem Derek Jeter was right.
Umpire Marty Foster called Derek Jeter out today when he tried to steal third base in the first innings. Replays showed that Jeter evaded the tag. Joe Girardi was tossed arguing the play.
“I was told by the umpire that I didn’t have to be tagged to be out,” an annoyed Jeter said after the game.
Reporters went to speak to Foster to get his side of the story. Crew chief John Hirschbeck spoke instead. “Marty asked me to handle things today,” he said. “We hopefully learn from our experiences. It’s the only way we get better at what we do.”
As for the call:
“It would make (Jeter’s) actions seem appropriate if that’s what he was told,” Hirschbeck said. “The best way I can answer it is to talk to Marty about it. “Not here at the ballpark, but if I see him tonight, or if not, we’ll have lunch tomorrow and we’ll discuss it. Getting a play right is one thing, but how you handle it is also important. Nowadays, with the cameras, ESPN and the reporters, I say the media, I actually mean television — it used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn’t that way anymore. It’s not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag.”
Hirschbeck admitted Jeter doesn’t argue very often.
“Yes, in my 27 years in the big leagues, he is probably the classiest person I’ve been around,” he said.
Hirschbeck was asked about two plays that second base umpire Wally Bell got wrong.
“Sometimes, you just miss a play,” Hirschbeck said. “I think you’re human, and sometimes you just miss it.”
Kudos to Hirschbeck for be willing to speak and being so candid. But it doesn’t speak well of Foster that he sent somebody else out to speak for him instead of taking the heat himself.
It’s not going to do the Yankees any good, but it would seem that Foster and Bell will have to answer for their mistakes. No, they’re not going to be suspended or fined. But MLB does hold umpires far more accountable than in previous years.