New York Moment – The Flip
It’s going to be a very slow couple of days in the sports world, so we at Double G Sports wanted to treat our readers to a special series. It’s called “Moments” and the premise of it is to relive some of our favorite sports moments growing up.
I already spoke about my time at Game 3 of the 2001 World Series with President Bush throwing out the first pitch, the patriotism rocking the stadium, and the impressive Yankees victory over the Diamondbacks. However, one of my other favorite sports memories was just two series before that.
The year was 2001, and the New York Yankees were in a tough series with the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees were coming off three straight World Series victories when they nearly ran into a buzzsaw. The Yankees lost their first two games at home to go down 2-0 in the series. They were on death’s door when it all came together.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh with a Jorge Posada home run. Mike Mussina was still pitching deep into the game when he got into a little trouble. He gave up a big hit to Jeremy Giambi, and then a double to Terrence Long. Giambi tried to score from first, but a little divine intervention took place.
It became known as “The Flip” and no one really understood why or how Derek Jeter was in the perfect position to flip the ball to Jorge Posada and have Giambi tagged out. Giambi elected to try and score standing up instead of sliding, and the rest was history.
“The Flip” is one of those plays that just doesn’t make any sense from a baseball standpoint. Shane Spencer, who was playing right field in Game 3, missed both cutoff men yet Jeter was miraculously there to feed Posada? Why did third base coach Ron Washington send Giambi, who was a notoriously slow baserunner? Why didn’t Giambi slide rather than try to score standing up? There are so many unanswered questions that probably will never be answered, but it doesn’t matter. Mussina pitched a gem that night and Mariano Rivera closed the door for a 1-0 victory by the Yankees. The Yankees would later go on to win the series (after the momentum greatly shifted) and unfortunately lose to the Diamondbacks in one of the best World Series of all time.
This was one of my favorite memories for a couple of reasons; As a Yankee fan I didn’t want the season to end, as it was just after 9/11 and watching the Yankees on their quest to the World Series was therapeutic. On top of that, I was in complete shock when this play happened. I just assumed that the Yankees’ luck ran out and that a tie game would soon turn into another A’s victory. Boy was I wrong.
It wasn’t my first memory, but “The Flip” personified everything I loved about Derek Jeter and the Yankees. He was never my favorite Yankee, but the respect and love I had for the captain was unquestioned. This was just another memory in the long list of Yankee accomplishments, but one that was extraordinary.
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