From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"
Ron Washington, Oakland third-base coach, on sending Jeremy Giambi home and straight into DJ's famous flip play.
Washington had the same feeling as he moved down the line, escorting Giambi home. Back when he had scouted Jeter in the minors, Washington was the one who decided Derek was “not no goddamn shortstop” and wrote him up as a future third baseman. If Oakland’s third-base coach had long accepted the fact that he was wrong, he was about to discover just how wrong he was.
By the time Jeter caught the ball on a bounce on the first-base line some twenty feet from the plate, running toward the Yankees’ dugout and away from Posada, Washington knew he had made the right choice. Jeter’s intangible brilliance was not going to overtake the tangibles of the play, not this time.
Momentum and time and gravity were all working against the Yankee shortstop. But somehow he called an audible on the fl y. Jeter converted himself into a wishbone quarterback and delivered a pitch to the tailback that would have made J. C. Watts proud. Jeter did not just make a backhanded flip to Posada; he had the presence of mind to fl ip the ball against the grain of his body, so the catcher would receive it on the third-base side of the plate. “That son of a bitch threw the ball back this way,” Washington would say, “because he knew it would tail back in. He threw it so all Posada had to do was catch and tag.”
Washington on his reprimand of Giambi: “I walked into the dugout and everybody’s patting Giambi on the back for the effort,” Washington said. “And I point-blank told Giambi right there, ‘You’ve got to fu--in’ hit the dirt.’ That’s exactly what I saidd. He didn’t say anything.”
from The Captain