Derek Jeter has always downplayed his famous “flip” play in Game 3 of the 2001 division series with the A’s, saying that running along the first-base line wasn’t anything special because that is where he was supposed to be in case of an overthrow from the outfielder.
Some people have refused to believe it. But if you were standing by the back field at the Yankees complex earlier this morning, you could have seen the Yankees practicing that exact play. Third-base coach Rob Thomson stood on the infield grass and rapped liners into the right-field corner as a line of outfielders took turns digging the ball out and throwing it to the cutoff man while the infielders went to their respective positions … including the shortstop running the Jeter route to the first-base line each time.
Like most folks, I was – and still am – amazed by that play, but the more I watched the drill today the more Jeter’s assertions make sense. “Where else would the shortstop be?” he has always said.
OK, fine. But it still looked weird seeing Ramiro Pena do it.
* That’s an AP shot of Jeter and Jorge Posada and Jeremy Giambi and … well, you know the rest.