Yesterday, after the umpire from Monday's Yankees-Blue Jays game said that he told Jeter he was tagged on that play on the first inning, I said this:
Interesting. But not nearly as interesting as it will be if someone in the New York press gets Jeter on the record today about all of this. Because he pretty much has to say the ump was lying, right? And when you do that, you usually get fined or something, don't you? More likely scenario: Jeter gets away with some non-committal quote and everyone drops it because he's the Captain and no one ever seems to want the Captain to look bad.
Guess I was wrong, because somebody -- George King III of the New York Post -- got Jeter on the record, and he's anything but non-committal:
Jeter wasn't buying Foster's explanation to Hirschbeck prior to last night's 4-3 win over the Twins at the Metrodome. Asked if he heard Foster say, "I had him tagging you," Jeter was quick to answer.
"He didn't say that," Jeter told The Post in a firm voice. "He knows exactly what he said and he didn't say that."
So, we have a clear instance of a player saying that an ump is lying. Which is worse than simply saying that an ump blew a call, which in the past has gotten players and managers fined. No one seems to be rushing to fine Jeter this morning, however, which suggests one of two things: (1) that Jeter gets special treatment because he's Jeter; or (2) that Major League Baseball thinks Jeter has a point and isn't buying the ump's story.
So which is it: does baseball not care if one of the game's biggest names calls an umpire a liar, or does baseball not care that its umpires are freelancing out there and then lying about it to cover their butts? Because it has to be one or the other, doesn't it?