Derek Jeter’s storybook farewell to the All-Star Game will go down in history with an asterisk thanks to Adam Wainwright.
Jeter started at shortstop and batted leadoff for the American League Tuesday in Minnesota, and he got his team started with a line drive down the right field line for a double. Mike Trout tripled him in, and then Miguel Cabrera smacked a 2-run home run off Wainwright, who had a bad first inning that put the NL in a 3-0 hole.
Later in the evening, Wainwright told reporters he intentionally gave Jeter a pitch to hit.
“I was gonna give him a couple of pipe shots. He deserved it,” said Wainwright. “I didn’t know he was going to hit a double or I might have changed my mind.”
The pitch tracking data supports Wainwright’s admission; his first pitch (taken for a ball) was 94 mph, while the second was 87 mph and down the middle. Jeter cracked the second for a double.
“Sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way. I feel terrible about this. If anyone’s taken any credit away from what Derek Jeter has done today or off me or anything … it was mis-said. I made a mistake by that,” Wainwright said.
“I hope people realize I’m not intentionally giving up hits out there. I know this game means something. I’m guessing people think I’m trying to give up home runs to Miguel Cabrera, too.
“It’s a distraction and I did not want to be a distraction. If anything was taken away from his moment, then I sincerely apologize. At no point in my career have I gone out and intentionally given up hits.”
If you ask me, I think Wainwright gave Jeter a pitch he could hit. Jeter still did the hard work by turning it into a double, but I think Waino helped him out. Wainwright just screwed up by telling the media he did that.
After the game, Jeter was told about Wainwright’s comments and gave a great answer:
Jeter also got a hit in the third and finished the game 2-for-2. And now Wainwright goes down in history in the same conversation as Chan Ho Park.