FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox were on the stadium field today to work on relays and cutoffs. It’s all part of spring training, making sure the fielders know where to be.
As Valentine talked about those drills, the subject of Derek Jeter’s famous “flip play” in Game 3 of the 2001 Division Series against Oakland came up.
Jeter inexplicably ended up on the first-base line and fielded a throw from Shane Spencer in right field that missed two cutoff men. He then backhanded the ball to Jorge Posada, who tagged out Jeremy Giambi to end the seventh inning in a game the Yankees won 1-0.
Somewhere, right now, Giambi is regretting he didn’t slide.
“We’ll never practice that. We’ll never practice that,’’ Valentine said. “I think (Jeter) was out of position. I think the ball gets him out if (Jeter) doesn’t touch it, personally.’’
(There is not a chance Giambi is out without Jeter’s intercession. Posada would have had to come way off the plate to catch it.)
“The Jeter-like simulation today is that idea of what the first baseman and third baseman do as the ball is coming in, because they have to react and maybe change the position of where the shortstop is when the ball’s coming in from right. Because he does have to react to the ball. When you see a ball in flight, you have a chance at those positions to adjust,” Valentine said.
“That was amazing that [Jeter] was there. I bet it’s more amazing to say they practiced it. I don’t believe it.’’