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Derek Jeter assumes a fair ball is foul, allows a bloop hit to turn into a triple

Jun 3, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

Derek Jeter

This is a thing because Jeter making a mental mistake on the field is a man-bites-dog kind of thing. But, really, all I can think while watching this mental gaffe by The Captain in last night’s Yankees-Mariners game is “if Yasiel Puig did this, the world would end.”

The situation: Kyle Seager hit a shallow pop up down the left-field line. Jeter — playing close to third on a shift — went after it, as did left fielder Brett Gardner. Gardner almost got it but it popped out of his glove. Jeter’s back was to the field and he apparently didn’t see the umpire signal that it was a fair ball, so he just jogged after it. As he did so, half the ballpark was yelling at him that it was fair. But the time he figured it out, Seager was at third base.

On a night when the Mariners put up a ten-spot it ultimately didn’t make a difference. And because it’s Derek Jeter, I suppose he gets a pass. But it does go to show you that everyone screws up sometimes.

  1. chew1985 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Good thing Larry Bowa didn’t see you do that, Mr. Jeter.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Jeter robbed Seager of a cycle. If that play had resulted in a single, Seager would have had a cycle.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        I don’t know – by the time Jeter had it in his glove, Seager was almost at 2nd

      • scoochpooch - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Problem is that it was only a single, possibly a double. Jeter has to get an error on that play, I dont know why mental mistakes aren’t errors?
        For example, groundball hit to SS, he refuses to throw the ball or walks off the field thinking he caught it, batter runs around the bases, we would score that as a HR?

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Scoochpooch, I’ve long thought that MLB ought to adopt the basketball idea of team rebounds, also, and create “team errors.” The rule book allows an error to be charged, already, for indifference, or whatever, even if a fielder doesn’t touch the ball. So, for pop-ups that fall between two fielders? Rather that either giving the batter a hit, or trying to decide which fielder is at fault, call a team error.

      • scoochpooch - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        I’d go for that.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      Derek Jeter, #disrespecting. No glove flip for you, Mr. Jeter.

  2. thedoubleentandres - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    I’m gunna write his unborn kids a nasty letter at once.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    At 39, his baseball instincts have begun to fade.

  4. Paul White - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Wait for the inevitable columns that argue this is such a rare occurrence for Captain Jetes, something he NEVER would have done as recently as last year, that clearly he has made the right decision to retire. What a grand and wonderful man he is for recognizing the proper time to go, what a great team player, etc., etc.

  5. aresachaela - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    What a memorable last season for Jeter so far…

  6. indians131184 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    I just have to use this time to say the hot/cold zone espn is running during its games are the worst thing on tv right now

  7. timmmah10 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    What I don’t understand is why did he break for the ball quickly after it came out of the OF’s glove only to pick it up and face the OF wall?

    Possibly Alzheimer’s?

    “Oh he almost made a good play… oh look a baseball!…. what, where am I?”

    • bankboy2012 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      He had to watch Gardner so he didn’t run into him, not just the ball like the umpire did. Gardner’s momentum took him and the ball into foul territory close to the line, so at game speed I can see why, without seeing or hearing the umpire’s call, he would have thought it was foul. On the other hand, one should assume it’s a live ball until hearing otherwise.

      Craig is right though, the internet would have melted from all the hot takes if that was Puig who had the brain cramp on a play like that.

      • infieldhit - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        I’m not big on the media fawning over Jeter, but when you have one guy who’s known for making mental errors, vs another who’s not, it seems natural for the latter to not get as much criticism when he does.

    • danaking - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Had Jeter caught the ball before it hit the ground, Seager would still have been out, even though the ball had already bounced off of Gardner.

  8. darthicarus - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    He needs to #RespectTheGame

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM

  10. RoyHobbs39 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Did you see that pitcher dare look at him as if he made a mistake?

  11. chris3141084 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    He may have been safe at third anyways, not likely it but given he still had to turn and throw, credit goes to the hitter for hustling the whole way.

  12. metalhead65 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    yeah 1 misplay shows he does not respect the game but the constant casual jogging after a fly and on the base paths like certain ball players is perfectly fine right? let’s compare a rare mistake by a hall of famer to the routine actions of the guy just trying to have fun. Jeter has spent his whole career respecting the game and playing it the right way that even fans who hate the Yankees respect him but you compare him to the clowns who don’t over 1 bad play?

    • 18thstreet - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      I’m so glad you’re here.

  13. pete2112 - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    I respect what Jeter’s done for this this organization and the kind of player he’s been throughout his career. He’s never been the most talented player on the field but I would say generally he’s one of the smarter players on the field most of the time, which is what makes him so special, in my opinion. However, this season I can see that his concentration or drive is not what it once was. I suppose that’s normal for someone who is winding down, but it’s weird to see some of these mental mistakes from him. I wasn’t expecting to see the Jeter from 1999, but at the same time with how this team has broken down and is lacking any real strength at starting pitching except for one, this season has been hard to swallow. This team just doesn’t have enough offense to keep up with their lackluster pitching and seeing Jeter make mental mistakes like yesterday just stings a little.

  14. stlouis1baseball - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    “if Yasiel Puig did this, the world would end.”

    I challenge you to make a Yasiel Puig reference in every article for the next two days.
    This might seem like a daunting task. But you already do so in about 90% of your articles.
    With a little diligence…you pick up the remaining 10%.

    Good luck!

  15. greymares - Jun 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I’m sure there are Yankee fans that swear the ball had to be foul, Jeter wouldn’t make that mistake.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      It was right on the line- if they had called it foul, replayed wouldn’t have overturned it either. Either way- he can’t just assume it was foul.

  16. Detroit Michael - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    This clip demonstrates Jeter’s superhuman ability to block out crowd distractions and focus on the play. Unfortunate result in this particular instance, but Jeter’s ability to focus on the play at hand is still evident.

  17. deathmonkey41 - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Can your next Yankees-related article be “Yanks finally wise up and realize Kevin Long is a fraud. Fire him immediately.”

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Yeah it’s definitely Kevin Long’s fault that the Yanks had to re-sign Ichiro, and trout out an infield of Jeter, Solarte, Ryan and Johnson.

  18. danaking - Jun 3, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    This could have happened to anyone. From Jeter’s perspective, it may have seemed obvious the ball was foul. Given his record of heady play over the years, this qualifies as a “Nothing to see here. Move along, folks.” Reminds me a little of Larry Walker handing a fly ball he caught to a kid before realizing there were only two outs, and having to grab the ball back.

    The real takeaway here is Seager: always run hard. If Derek Jeter can make a mental mistake, anything could happen.

  19. stevietimmy - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    “If Yasiel Puig did this, the world would end.”

    It’s called, “That’s life, get over it.”

    So yes, if the world still ends after Puig is a 13 time All-Star, 5 time World Series Champion, World Series MVP, etc. etc., then get back to me.

    Otherwise, we will just file this one under “Blogger whining.”

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM


      If the World ends, how is C.C. going to get back to you?

  20. ud1951 - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    A little part of me would like the Dodgers to acquire Jeff Francoeur from the Padres and then have Mattingly insert him in the line up in right field after benching Puig for missing the cut off man. I really want to read what Craig would write about that.

  21. imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Damn, Jeter almost caught it for the out when it came off of Gardner’s glove.

  22. jackybadass - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    He played too long! Stick a fork in him. Play the kids , he’s lookin like old willy mays.

  23. deeman4410 - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Jeter has played his whole career respecting the game and playing it the right way…..

  24. yankeessuckameanone - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    If Puig did the same thing, you’re damn right people would make a big deal out of it because he always has mental lapses on the field. People, like you Craig, must be asking yourself, “When will Puig stop playing like a little leaguer?” But at the same time, it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal considering he makes mistakes all the time. It would just be a big deal to point out that the guy is a moron.

  25. Bryz - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Phil Cuzzi would have called it foul.

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