If only it ended so well every time a guy took a fastball off his batting helmet.
It began in the fifth inning of the Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park last night, when an Andy Pettitte fastball skipped off the helmet of Kevin Youkilis. It was only a glancing blow, not enough even to knock the Boston slugger off his feet. It was also clearly unintentional; rare is the pitcher willing to settle a grudge with a fastball above the shoulders, and Pettitte in particular is known for his abhorrence of hitting batters.
As Youkilis made his way to first, he looked across the diamond at Derek Jeter and playfully told his ex-Team USA teammate that he was next in line.
Sure enough, a half-inning later, John Lackey drilled Jeter (well below shoulder level, as the Code dictates). It would have been expected from any pitcher, but the fact that Lackey is new to the Red Sox made it all the more pressing for him to quickly gain the respect of his teammates.
Jeter knew it was coming, and not only took his base without incident, but ended up laughing with Youkilis on the field over the first baseman’s prediction.
“(Youkilis) was just joking that we’re the two that always get hit, so that’s why we were laughing,” Jeter was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. “I didn’t think (Lackey) was throwing at me, not in a one-run game . . . I didn’t think twice about it really.”
Tit for tat, situation finished. That’s the Code at work.