Adam Wainwright messed up big time during Major League Baseball’s All-Star game this past Tuesday night at Target Field.
Following his outing in which he gave up 3 first inning runs, Wainwright later told the media about facing Derek Jeter, “I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots. He deserved it.”
Wainwright should have, plain and simple. Even if he purposely threw a 90 MPH fastball right down the middle to Jeter, Wainwright should have denied grooving any pitch, and said that Jeter hit the pitch he meant to throw.
If he had done that, all of this is a non-story and Jeter’s final All-Star game farewell would not be marred by Wainwright’s nonsense. He tried to clear everything up later, but by then, it was too late.
The bottom line in sports is it’s never good to just hand somebody something, no matter how much you think, or the fans think they deserve it.
The prime example was when Brett Favre took a dive in the final game of the 2001 regular season against the New York Giants, a dive that gave Michael Strahan the all-time single season sack record.
Favre probably thought that he was doing the right thing. The game was out of hand, it didn’t mean anything at the time, so he decided that he was going to fall down on purpose if Strahan got close in order for him to break the record.
To this day, many media pundits claim that Strahan’s all-time single season sack record, which has yet to be broken, is tainted.
For the last 13-years, Strahan has had to answer if he truly holds the sack record because of what Favre did. Strahan didn’t ask for Favre to dive, he just thought it was the right thing to do when he could not have been more wrong.
Now, people will not think of Jeter’s performance in the 2014 All-Star game as him rising to the occasion like he has his entire career. Unfortunately, they will look back and say that Wainwright purposely let Jeter get a hit. And that’s a true shame.