Derek Jeter is loved by many and hated by more. No matter what he does, there are still going to be people who hate him and people who love him.

On Wednesday night, a Chad Qualls fastball ran inside on the Yankees captain, and Jeter spun around, acting as if he was hit by the pitch. However, the replay showed that the ball hit the bat and missed Jeter entirely.

Jeter later admitted that the ball hit the bat, but his acting convinced the umpire, and he was awarded first base. Though controversial, this play did not matter in the end because the Tampa Bay Rays won the game.

While people want to get on Jeter’s case about “cheating,” this play is no different than other types of “cheating” that happen all the time in baseball. Consider this…

A batter hits a soft liner over the shortstop’s head. The left fielder comes charging and dives for the ball. The outfielder knows that he has trapped the ball but raises his glove anyway to show the umpire that he “caught” the ball. This kind of play happens all the time.

Sometimes the batter is called out, and sometimes he is not, but either way it is no different that what Jeter did Wednesday night.

Players constantly try to “sell” umpires on things that didn’t happen. No one gets upset when a fielder pretends to catch a ball; no one complains when a catcher frames a pitch after he has caught it.

Those are both considered part of the game and smart baseball. Just because the Jeter situation is something new does not make it cheating. It is just as smart as the other types of plays and should be treated the same way.

The play was crafty, smart, and is now being blown out of proportion because of who was involved. If this were to have happened to either a different Yankee (with the exception of A-Rod) or even a different team, there would be no story. The media and fans alike tend to blow Jeter stories, as well as Yankee stories, way out of proportion.

There is no reason to be discussing this issue, as it was a simple play that showed why Jeter is such a great player.

Players who want to win and who want to get an edge use their resources and take advantage of every little opportunity they can in order to help their team. This is exactly what Jeter did, and there is no reason to ridicule him for it.

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