Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Billy Beane Couldn't Bear to Watch Jeter in Game 5

From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"

Terrence Long, the same batter whose Game 3 double led to Jeter’s forever flip to Posada, lifted a high foul ball behind third base, and the shortstop chased it the same way he chased Shane Spencer’s errant throw. Jeter looked at the ball, the stands, the ball, the stands, and the ball again. At the time, he had already driven home what would be the winning run on a sacrifice fly, and at age twenty-seven he had already collected his eighty-sixth and eighty-seventh career postseason hits to break the record held by Pete Rose.

Beane was not in his seat to watch Jeter break Rose’s record or give
the Yanks a 4–3 lead; he had left the Stadium after his A’s went up
by a 2–0 count in the second inning, too tormented to watch. Beane
jumped on a train to Manhattan and tried to forget about the game. He closed his eyes and fantasized about popping back into the Stadium in the ninth inning to watch the A’s win.

“I didn’t want to go through the hell of watching them beat us again,”
Beane said. “I figured if I disappeared at that point in the universe,
something crazy would happen and we’d win.”

While Beane was riding the subway, Jeter was going over the rail.
He went head over spikes and crash-landed flat on his back against the cement floor of the photographers’ pit. The crowd of 56,642 gasped when Jeter disappeared from view, fearing serious injury and an extended at-bat for Long.

There would be neither: Jeter suffered only a cut on his elbow. Of
greater consequence, he had caught the ball. Scott Brosius grabbed it
out of his glove and fired to second, but Chavez had already tagged up and beaten the throw. It didn’t matter; the A’s were pronounced dead on the spot.

From The Captain

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