This is in response to the article by Rabbi Joshua Hess commenting on Derek Jeter’s being awarded first base after the umpire said he was hit by a pitch, which he was not (Derek Jeter: Champ or chump?, Sept. 30).
The rabbi said Jeter, a clean-cut role model, was encouraging cheating to today’s youth by taking a base he was not technically entitled to. With all due respect, I disagree with the rabbi’s understanding of baseball. Cheating is taking steroids, using a corked bat, etc. Pretending to be hit by a pitch, running to first after a close pitch with a three-ball count, claiming to catch a ball on the fly when it may have hit the ground first, etc. have been part of the game since the 19th century. Umpires blow many calls, sometimes leading to a team losing a series. That, too, is part of the game.
In football, the punter falls to the ground and claims he was hit by a charging lineman. That is all part of the game. None of this is in any way cheating and every kid in Little League or Pop Warner learns these aspects of the game.
Michael I. Frischberg