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MLB notes: Derek Jeter returns to the scene of the flip

Sat., June 14, 2014, midnight

New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter will be honored by the Athletics on Sunday prior to his final game in Oakland. (Associated Press)
New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter will be honored by the Athletics on Sunday prior to his final game in Oakland. (Associated Press)

Derek Jeter has never understood the fuss over his famous flip.

The New York Yankees shortstop just looks back on that moment in Game 3 of the 2001 A.L. division series as being in the right position and making an improvisational play when his team needed it most. All the attention over the flip so many years later is what surprises him the most.

“It’s probably the play you see the most of, I see the most of,” said Jeter, who announced earlier this year that this season would be his last. “I think all moments are special. I’ve never ranked them.”

Jeter’s retirement tour rolled through a special spot Friday night when the Yankees began their only regular-season series at the Oakland Athletics. It was at the Coliseum on Oct. 13, 2001, when Jeter completed one of the most improbable and iconic plays in baseball history.

With New York facing elimination and leading 1-0 in the seventh inning, right fielder Shane Spencer missed two cutoff men on a hit by Oakland’s Terrence Long. Jeter had swooped in from his shortstop position, scooped up the errant throw along the first-base line and made a backhanded flip to nab Jeremy Giambi – who did not slide – at the plate.

The Yankees went on to win the game, and the series.

“A lot of things have to go right, but then also a couple things have to go wrong in order for it to happen,” Jeter said. “I think that one was just sort of like a perfect storm.”

The A’s are planning to honor Jeter – as most clubs have – during Sunday’s series finale, his last scheduled visit this year. The video highlights are not expected to include his flip, which is still a sour note for fans in Oakland.

Brewers unveil new Wall of Honor

Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and Rollie Fingers have joined baseball Commissioner Bud Selig as some of the inaugural honorees on the Milwaukee Brewers’ Wall of Honor.

The plaques on exterior facade of Miller Park were unveiled before Friday’s game against Cincinnati.

Clearing the bases

The New York Yankees signed three-time All-Star closer Heath Bell to a minor league contract. Bell, who Yankees manager Joe Girardi said will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was released by Tampa Bay on May 4. … Cincinnati right-hander Mat Latos will be activated from the disabled list today and make his season debut against the Milwaukee Brewers.

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