A strange incident occurred on Monday night when the New York Yankees took on the Seattle Mariners: Young starting pitcher David Phelps yelled at fellow teammate and baseball legend, Derek Jeter, during the game in a sight that nobody watching the contest could miss.
UPDATE: Tuesday, June 3 at 1:38 p.m. ET
You can understand Phelps' frustration as he saw his solid start becoming ugly as Jeter nearly gave the live ball to a fan, however taking a fellow teammate to task on the field for everyone to see isn't proper teamwork.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, June 3 at 7:42 a.m. ET
Here is Jeter's reaction to the play that got him yelled at last night, which does fall in line with Phelps' reasoning for yelling at the Yankees star, per CBS New York:
“I almost gave it to a fan,” Jeter said. “I thought for sure the ball was foul because I was in foul territory.”
Phelps has now admitted his emotions did get the best of him in the exchange, however one of his goals was to make sure Jeter didn't give the live ball to a fan:
“I don’t fault him one bit. My emotions got the best of me,” Phelps said. “I was trying to scream at him to get his attention, hoping he didn’t throw the ball into the stands.”
It appears this will pass and won't continue to be a big story, unless you're a Jeter supporter who finds it outrageous and disrespectful for anyone to yell at Jeter.
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UPDATE: Monday, June 2 at 10:59 p.m. ET
— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) June 3, 2014
Phelps adding he doesn't fault Jeter one bit – ball looked foul.
— John Chandler (@JohnChandlerNBC) June 3, 2014
Are we to believe Phelps didn't yell at Jeter out of frustration and anger? It certainly didn't look like that.
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The play that caused the words between Jeter and Phelps happened on a fly ball down the left field line that ended with the ball popping out of Brett Gardner's glove and falling to the ground. After failing to catch the ball, Jeter was turned the wrong way and nearly gave a fan what he thought was a foul ball only to discover it wasn't. In the process, Kyle Seager was able to advance an extra base.
Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal did his best impression of a lip reader to figure out what was said between Jeter and his pitcher:
— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) June 3, 2014
Here's a screenshot of Phelps looking angrily at Jeter:
Phelps Frustrated. pic.twitter.com/LnMsHUCSkD
— JeterFan26 (@jeter_fan26) June 3, 2014
It isn't clear how many times Jeter has been scolded on the field by a teammate, but it's safe to say it hasn't been a lot. What makes it worse is that an unproven 27-year-old was the one doing the yelling, which undoubtedly embarrassed Jeter.
No matter how bad of a mistake your teammate makes on defense, a pitcher should never call out another player in public like that. That's especially true when dealing with a Hall of Fame player like No. 2 who has accomplished far more in a year than Phelps likely will in his lifetime.
I think we can excuse a mistake by Jeter now and then.
If Phelps wanted to find enemies, yelling at Jeter will get it done. As you can imagine, fans who witnessed the disrespectful exchange weren't too happy about it. In fact, some of the tweets written can't be shown on this page.
— Bhavini♥ (@bhavsxo) June 3, 2014
— John Healy (@jphealy) June 3, 2014
— Shane Bolin (@PunchAndJudy_25) June 3, 2014
There's a lot of things you can do as a Yankee, but messing with the fan's beloved Captain isn't one of them.
The search for actual video footage of the incident hasn't proven successful just yet, but Yankees 101 will bring it to you as soon as it is available.