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Adam Wainwright admits he grooved fastball to Derek Jeter, backtracks

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.

Adam WainwrightAfter all the Wainwright chatter started making the rounds, he wanted to clear things up. During an interview with Erin Andrews, the Cardinals pitcher backtracked from his previous admission.

“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.

Dwyane Wade will re-sign with Heat

dwyane-wadeLike Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade is not jumping ship just because LeBron James has returned home to Cleveland. On Tuesday afternoon, Wade announced on social media that he will be staying with the Miami Heat.

“Home Is Where The Heart Is…,” he wrote on Instagram. “My Home,My City,My House..#HeatLifer.”

Brian Windhorst of ESPN added that Wade has finalized his new deal with the Heat and expects to sign as early as Tuesday afternoon. D-Wade opted out of the remaining two years and roughly $42 million remaining on his last contract, and his new deal will reportedly help the Heat free up cap space by costing about $5 million less per season over a longer-term deal.

When LeBron announced he was returning to the Cavaliers, it appeared the Heat could be on the verge of falling apart. It looked like Bosh was going to sign with the Houston Rockets until the Heat made him a priority and offered him a max contract. Wade also drew some interest from the Chicago Bulls, whom he seriously considered signing with earlier in his career.

Wade, 32, looked old and slow during the playoffs last year. If he can get healthy during the offseason, he should still have a few good years left in his legs. Life will obviously be a lot more difficult for the Heat with LeBron gone, but Bosh and Wade should keep them in the hunt if they have the right supporting cast.

Shabazz Napier unfollowed LeBron James on Twitter

Shabazz NapierRemember when LeBron James praised Shabazz Napier and said there is no way he would take another point guard in the NBA Draft lottery ahead of the former UConn star? A report later indicated that LeBron wanted to play with Napier, and the Miami Heat responded by finding a way to acquire him on draft night. Yeah, about that…

Obviously, Napier and James will be on opposite sides of the ball when they face each other next season now that LeBron chose to leave Miami for Cleveland.

Is Napier angry that LeBron left?

As our friends at Black Sports Online pointed out, Shabazz has unfollowed LeBron on Twitter and deleted some of the tweets he sent to the MVP.

Napier joined Twitter just a few weeks ago, and LeBron was the very first person he followed after being drafted.

Napier is only following 20 accounts on Twitter, including the Miami Heat and a few other players from his draft class. He is not following LeBron any longer.

Shabazz shouldn’t be too salty. He has every right to be disappointed after getting his hopes up that he would be playing alongside LeBron, but let’s not underestimate the power of an endorsement from the best player on the planet. For all we know, Napier was drafted in the first round because of LeBron’s high praise.

Mario Gotze scores goal in extra time to give Germany World Cup (Video)

Mario Gotze won the World Cup for Germany with a goal in extra time Sunday to account for the only goal in his country’s 1-0 win over Argentina.

Gotze, who was a late-game substitute for Miroslav Klose, put in a left cross to score the only goal of the game. The 22-year-old midfielder didn’t even play in the semifinal win over Brazil and only had one goal in the World Cup prior to scoring in the final.

The win gives Germany its fourth World Cup and marks the first time a European team won a World Cup in South America.

Here he was taking it all in after the win:

Mario Gotze

Report: Carmelo Anthony finally settles on Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksEarlier this week, the NY Daily News quoted a source who said Carmelo Anthony had decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks and would inform the team of his decision on Thursday. Half of that report was accurate. Don’t worry, Knicks fans — it was the important half.

According to various NBA writers on Twitter, Anthony was in the final stages of negotiating a five-year deal with the Knicks on Saturday and told the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets — the two other teams that were courting him — to move on. The deal is believed to be a maximum contract of $129 million.

Phil Jackson claims he made five different contract offers to Carmelo, so he seemed confident the two sides would be able to work something out. Anthony supposedly believes in Jackson and is on board with the plan he has for the future of the Knicks.

There was some speculation that Carmelo was waiting for LeBron James to make a decision to see if it would be possible for the two to play together, and there is probably some truth to that. But like the rest of us, I’m sure Anthony knew it was unrealistic. His wife La La loves New York and probably didn’t want to move, which made the decision even easier.

LeBron James jersey burning starts; mural also defaced (Video)

Miami Heat fans are reacting to the news of LeBron James signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers the exact way you would expect them to. Many of them are angry, and they’re taking out their frustrations with jersey burning and vandalism.

It’s one thing to burn your own jersey. If that’s how you want to spend $100, by all means. However, you hate to see fans vandalize artwork that took hours upon hours to complete. Unfortunately, someone took black spray paint and covered Lebron’s face on a massive mural in Miami.

LeBron-James-mural-defaced

According to WPLG, the mural took artist Serge Toussaint two years to complete. The artwork is incredible, and it really sucks that people have to overreact like that.

And then, of course, there were the fans who chanted “f— LeBron James’ at newscasters as they were riding by.

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LeBron James is ‘coming home’ to Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron-CavsIt’s official. LeBron James has announced that he will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In a move that many saw coming but still seemed too surreal, LeBron wrote an exclusive piece for Sports Illustrated on Friday (with the help of Lee Jenkins) announcing that he is “coming home.”

“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” LeBron wrote. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

LeBron also expressed more regret over the way he left the Cavs four years ago, but added that he does not regret actually leaving.

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left,” he said. “Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man.”

Despite Dan Gilbert’s nasty letter, LeBron said he always knew he would return to Cleveland and finish his career there.

“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there,” said James. “I just didn’t know when.”

Considering he is only 29 and will likely sign one more huge contract after this one expires, LeBron should be careful what he says. No one would be shocked if he didn’t finish his career in Cleveland, but I suppose that’s not the point.

James got the monkey off his back by winning two championships with the Miami Heat. He now has a chance to play the hero in his home state and finish what he started. It’s not often athletes get a second chance. LeBron will try to make the best of his.