Derek Jeter breaks down 'The Flip' play from 2001 ALDS against Athletics for first time
Jeter goes into detail of one of the most incredible defensive plays in the history of the sport
Upon receiving the call that he's going to be headed to the Hall of Fame, Jeter stopped by MLB Network studios and spoke with analyst Harold Reynolds about "The Flip," in which he was able to throw out Jeremy Giambi at home plate during a crucial moment in the 2001 ALDS. Jeter, for the first time, went into extensive detail about the stellar defensive play and what his assignment was as everything was unfolding.
"My job is to watch the runner, the runner at first was Jeremy Giambi," Jeter said. "So the ball goes down the line, so my job is to see if there's going to be a play at third base. But once you see that Giambi is going to go home, my job is to then be the third cutoff man to redirect the throw to third base.
"Now we don't practice actually shuffle passing the ball to home plate. If you look at the replay, if I actually wanted to throw to third base, we could've gotten Terrence (Long) at third."
Jeter is quick to point out that right fielder Shane Spencer threw the ball over the first two cutoff men, which allowed him to make the incredible defensive play. He also said that if Spencer hits one of those first two cutoff men, that Giambi could've been out by about 10 feet. What's notable -- as Jeter pointed out -- is that he was able to tell from the second the ball left Spencer's hand that the first two cutoff men would have no shot at making a play.
The Yankees shortstop also joked that the Giambi family is "not very fast," so he knew that he had a chance to get the out at home plate.
"I looked at Giambi to see where he was before I actually got to the throw," Jeter said. "When I was about here (in the middle of the diamond), I could see that we had an opportunity to get him. Now, you still see the ball in the air and it has to be a clean exchange to throw it home. Worst case scenario if you look at the replay, it could've gone to third."
After breaking down the iconic moment, Reynolds then brought up video of a play from a 2011 regular season game against the Tampa Bay Rays in which Jeter almost had a shot to make a similar play. The ball, again, was hit down the right-field line and as the throw was coming into the infield, you can see Jeter drifting toward home plate, just like he did 10 seasons earlier. The throw ended up going to one of the other cutoff men, so Jeter didn't ended up having a chance to make a play, but it showed that "The Flip" play was something Jeter was always prepared for.
"The Flip" will certainly go down as one of the most spectacular defensive plays in MLB history. The fact that Jeter put himself in the right position to make the play is what makes it so special.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Harper explained why he thinks a trade might not pay off
Correa sat down with Ken Rosenthal and MLB Network
Fernandez won four Gold Gloves during a 17-year MLB career
Two youth baseball leagues in California were harsher towards the Astros' mistakes than MLB...
The Astros are not a well-liked team right now, and MLB seems headed for more ugliness
Bryant would like to be 'in the loop' more, but hasn't been told he will remain with the Cubs