The moment came mid-game, off the field. It came when National League starter Adam Wainwright, talking to reporters after giving up three first-inning runs, admitted the pitch he threw that Jeter hit for a double to lead off the game … he grooved it. "I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots," Wainwright said. "He deserved it. I didn't know he was gonna hit a double or I might have changed my mind." ...Also: Deadspin.
It was as plain as day. He didn't hedge. He wasn't vague. He told the exact truth. He grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter because he respects Jeter so much he felt he deserved it. And then he owned up to it. ...
But that's not why Wainwright was criticized, or why he was forced to apologize to Erin Andrews during the game and act like he was kidding. The reaction among media - who are paid to ask questions of players and managers that elicit honest reactions, and if the reactions aren't honest, they're paid to find out what the truth in fact is - wasn't to thank Wainwright for his honesty. It was to blast him for not lying. ...
And why did people want Wainwright to lie? Because now Jeter's night - Jeter's perfect night - was somehow sullied. Everybody had their stories written in the first inning. This was Jeter's last great moment, and of course he went 2-for-2 because he was special. Wainwright telling the truth meant that the Jeter's Great Night story had to have an asterisk. And Derek Jeter is never, ever supposed to have an asterisk.
July 16, 2014
Will Leitch, Sports On Earth:
by allan at 12:21 PM