Derek Jeter couldn’t help but laugh when he heard comments from Skip Bayless of ESPN’s First Take that performance-enhancing drugs have something to do with the shortstop’s stellar 2012 season.
At 38, Jeter is having one of the best seasons of his career with a league-leading 168 hits and a batting average (.321) that ranks him third in the American League. Despite the late-career surge, Jeter laughed when reporters presented him with Bayless’ comments that he could be on performance-enhancing drugs, ESPNNewYork.com reported.
Following his game on Wednesday, Jeter defended his record as he distanced himself from Bayless’ comments, USA Today reported. Jeter said:
“What do you want me to say? I ain’t getting involved with this, man. You can say whatever you want to say now. There’s no repercussions. … That’s the unfortunate thing, you know what I’m saying? Whenever you have people that anytime you bring something like this to light with guys that are doing things, it’s like, now you have everybody questioning everything. That’s the unfortunate thing. Maybe Skip should be tested.”
The comments about Jeter’s possible steroid use came as part of a discussion Bayless had with BALCO founder Victor Conte. Speaking on his show Wednesday, Bayless said:
“I am shocked by what I’m seeing from Derek Jeter right now. They all said he was washed up. All of a sudden, this man has turned 38 years of age in June and already he has more hits than he had last year. … I’m seeing a whole new guy this year from last year … Are you kidding me? You would have to have your head in the sand or your head somewhere else not to at least wonder, ‘How is he doing this?’ “
Bayless backed off the accusation, saying that Derek Jeter has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
“I am not saying he uses a thing,” Bayless said. “I have no idea. But within the confines of his sport, it is fair for all of us, in fact you are remiss, if you don’t at least think about this.”
When asked if he was insulted by the comments, Jeter rose his arms to show off his lanky physique.
“You tell me,” Derek Jeter said.