July 16, 2014

Re2pect

Will Leitch, Sports On Earth:
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." ...

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.
Also: Deadspin.

7 comments:

FenFan said...

I'll say it once more: the ASG has been, and continues to be, nothing more than an opportunity for MLB to make some extra green at mid-season. The same is true for every other sport that does it.

Making this game "count" by giving the winning league home field advantage in the World Series is laughable. It's no better than when they alternated HFA between the leagues.

So far as I'm concerned, baseball went on hiatus Monday and doesn't return until Friday evening.

hrstrat57 said...

Jeter is a fine player... heart and soul of 5 championship clubs. Durable and productive, especially in the clutch. Defensively for the better part of his career just ok.

Deserving of our respect as one of our better hated opponent players? Sure of course, check.

Compare him to Dimaggio, Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig as I have heard many do this season? Kinda silly really. Hall of famer sure....all time greatest Yankee?

MLB sure does love a good story.

laura k said...

People who compare Jeter to Ruth and Gehrig simply do not know what they're talking about. I don't mean that as an insult, I mean it as a fact. Gehrig is one of the most under-rated player in baseball history. And few people realize how great Ruth was, where he stood in relation to his peers.

DiMaggio and Mantle were both great players in certain ways, and both are over-rated in certain ways. I think comparing Jeter to DiMaggio or Mantle is valid. At least, not insane.

Of course I agree that the ASG is a relic. Once upon a time it was exciting for fans to see players they could only read or hear about during the season. Now... ridiculous.

johngoldfine said...

Jeteration gone bananas.

It's a bit frightening living in a world that offers this sort of uncritical, worshipful, absurd tribute to an athlete. He's a talented jock, not any kind of saint or "hero"--a much abused word.

One thing that particularly galls me about Jeteration is the obligatory ascribing of 'humility' to the man.

The genuinely humble man would have waited until the end of the season to announce his retirement and skipped all this commercialized, sentimental farewell fanfare.

Jeteration is the flip side of the angry, paranoid, and stupid 'God Bless America' in the 7th inning--a demand from the stands that everyone fall into line and see all things in identical ways, and woe betide the iconoclast, naysayer, or indifferent.

Tom DePlonty said...

Jeteration is the flip side of the angry, paranoid, and stupid 'God Bless America' in the 7th inning--a demand from the stands that everyone fall into line and see all things in identical ways, and woe betide the iconoclast, naysayer, or indifferent.

This is fantastic.

D.Ing said...

And Tony Gwynn, a player of roughly equal accomplishment, still actively involved in the game, dies and get nary a mention by either Fox or the MLB poobahs.

Dear MLB and TV people,
You only have two jobs: Try to keep the game clean and let people enjoy it at a reasonable cost. Leave the tribute-making to the players and the fans, those who love the game and those they love.

Michael said...

I'm just trying to imagine what Pedro would've done in Wainwright's place.