I didn't happen to watch Tuesday's Yankee game. I saw the score, I'm sure, but aside from this, I didn't know much. I didn't read the recap, there were no noted on-field injuries in the game, and the Yankee that interested me yesterday was Brian Bruney, who was nowhere near the Bronx. With that circumstance, I missed Derek Jeter's diving play.
If this were thirty years ago, I might have seen something about it in the morning paper. Today, I don't get a morning paper and checking, the Indy Star didn't even have a wrap. Just a box in the agates.
If I happened to have access to the New York Times, it would have been a day late but I would have seen Tyler Kepner's game story with the money line of "Jeter ranged far to his right for a dazzling play that preserved Pettitte's shutout and punctuated the Yankees' 5-0 victory."
Ballbug says the most discussed article is Kat O'Brien's Newsday gamer where the play is described as "Derek Jeter raced to the ball just in time, but it seemed he would have no play and the Rays would score their first run. Then up popped Jeter with an in-air throw to second for the forceout."
The two accounts give me a mental image. I can see the sharply hit grounder get past Rodriguez, diving to his left, looking all the world like a single. Then flashing into the picture comes Jeter, barely snagging the ball in his glove as he dives flat to the ball. He pops up, setting his right foot and firing a strike to Wilson Betemit on the stretch. I can imagine that Jeter pumped his fist or acknowledged some kind of gesture from Andy Pettitte for having made such a great play. He's got grass-stains on his pinstripes, but he somehow seems cleaner even with it, as if they belong on his uniform.
Except you might already notice that my mind's image doesn't match up. Jeter never dove. He made one of his patented hopping throws the short way to second base (guess I missed Kat O'Brien saying that very thing.) If you watch the video (available by clicking on the link to the top of the seventh in the MLB.com linescore and clicking then on the "Jeter's Leaping Throw" highlight), the play comes off like this: Aybar hits a bouncing slow roller towards the gap. Rodriguez awkwardly moves to his left, flailing and cannot make the play. Jeter is seen crossing over, taking five steps to his right, then planting, hopping, and throwing back to second base to get a plodding Dioner Navarro by an eyelash.