What if Giambi slid in safe?

Revisiting the 2001 ALDS -- would the A's have won the World Series?

Updated: August 21, 2014, 5:18 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN Insider

When watching Derek Jeter's career highlight reel, you will no doubt see a certain defensive play made by the future first-ballot Hall of Famer. It was Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. Jeter was never Ozzie Smith or Omar Vizquel with the glove, but as Jim Caple says, "The Flip" stands out as one of the iconic moments of his career.

For those who don't remember the play, with the Yankees up 1-0 in the seventh, Terrence Long hit a liner down the right-field line off of Yankees starter Mike Mussina. Jeremy Giambi got the signal to go home. Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer missed two cutoff men on his throw to home, but Jeter just happened to be in the right place to field the ball and send a perfect shovel pass to catcher Jorge Posada. Posada easily tagged out Giambi.

The play might have been a moot point but for the fact that Giambi, despite emphatic hand exhortations from his teammates to slide, did not, and the Yankees went on to win the game.

But what if he was safe?