The flip play has become one of the most iconic plays in the history of baseball. MLB Network just had to have Derek Jeter break it down.
The flip perfectly defines the career of Derek Jeter. It was a monumental moment in the 2001 postseason that will never be forgotten. The New York Yankees were down 2-0 in the ALDS. One more loss and they would have been eliminated by the Oakland Athletics of all teams.
They were up 1-0 in Game 3 when the flip happened. Jeremy Giambi was called out at the plate and the A’s never had another opportunity to score. That play sparked the Yankees to three straight wins and another World Series appearance.
It’s just another elite play made at the biggest moment by Jeter. For the first time ever, Jeter broke the play down.
The comparisons don’t stop there for Jeter. This play also perfectly encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the hype around Jeter. Specifically, his defensive reputation.
Derek Jeter won five Gold Gloves for making plays that leave fans in awe. Except he wasn’t a good defender. In four of the five years, Jeter won a Gold Glove, he was bottom three in the league in defensive runs saved among shortstops. The one year he wasn’t he was 16th.
He was never the elite defender the league made him out to be but plays like this have established that narrative. This isn’t meant to be a criticism of Jeter. He was an elite player and a deserving Hall of Famer. This is more a critique of the league for glorifying players, especially from larger markets.
It creates a legend that’s both unfair to the fans of every other team in baseball, and the player who never played up to those standards.