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Derek Jeter Makes No Apologies, Calls Hit By Pitch Uproar 'Comical'

Sep 17, 2010 – 5:40 PM
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Marc Lancaster

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The Yankees were off Thursday, which guaranteed two things: First, that the phantom hit-by-pitch involving Derek Jeter from Wednesday night's game against the Rays would rush to fill the news vacuum. Second, that Jeter would be mobbed by reporters immediately upon setting foot in the clubhouse Friday.

Both of those came to pass, naturally, and Jeter had the expected -- and perfectly reasonable -- reaction when besieged Friday in Baltimore.

"It's comical to me that this is really getting this much attention," Jeter told reporters.

As for the notion that he somehow cheated by taking first base after it was awarded to him by home plate umpire Lance Barksdale, Jeter wasn't having it.

"The umpire called it from the get-go," Jeter said. "It seems like people think I turned around and told him that the ball hit me and please let me go to first base. What am I supposed to do? Say, 'I'm sorry sir but it didn't hit me, please let me continue to hit.' You know what I mean?"

The man has a point, and the umpiring crew has remained curiously free of scrutiny in this controversy. As Jeter went on to point out, in a roundabout way, it's completely up to them -- not the player -- to make sure everything is carried out on an aboveboard basis.

"So the next time somebody steals a base and the guy doesn't tag you and the umpire calls you out do you want the fielder to say, 'No, sir I didn't tag him so let's just keep him here.' Come on, man. I mean, seriously," Jeter said. "Or you're playing football and they call holding and the guy doesn't hold him, you want him to go to the ref and say, 'I didn't hold him, sir, please put the flag back in your pocket.' Come on, man."
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