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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Adam Wainwright says he grooved pitch for Derek Jeter to hit in All-Star farewell

Derek Jeter’s final All-Star Game went about as well as possible, even if it included a little help from the opposing pitcher.

Jeter went 2 for 2, including a first-inning double on a 90-mph fastball National League starter Adam Wainwright told a group of reporters he threw over the plate intentionally.

“I was gonna give him a couple pipe shots. He deserved it,” Wainwright said. “I didn’t know he was gonna hit a double or I might have changed my mind.”

Plenty of the 41,048 at Target Field chanted Jeter’s name in classic fashion – De-rek Je-ter – following the double. They later dwarfed that cheer with a cacophony of yells and claps when he made his way to the dugout for the final time.

It mattered not that Jeter’s Yankees tormented the Twins for years. Perhaps the final national stage for the Hall of Famer deserved the sort of noise befitting a Hall of Famer. And he showed his appreciation, too, leaping to the top of the steps and walking out for one final curtain call.

As he did, Frank Sinatra’s voice from “New York, New York” strained through the loudspeakers, and nothing – not even a grooved fastball – could deny the words that met him as he hit the field: “King of the hill.”

For Tuesday night and many, many more.

Good cripple hitter Posted: July 15, 2014 at 10:53 PM | 173 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: adam wainwright, all-star game, chan ho park, derek jeter

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:33 AM (#4751675)
So...banned for life, then? Whatever his motivations, that's pretty much the definition of throwing the game.
   2. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 16, 2014 at 06:42 AM (#4751677)
Yes, definitely.
   3. Daniel in Toronto Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:12 AM (#4751680)
To paraphrase Claude Rains from Casablanca, "I'm shocked that a pitcher would groove a pitch to Jeter."
   4. TJ Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:17 AM (#4751681)
Wainwright's version of a gift basket...
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4751682)
I had never heard the phrase "pipe shot" until last night. It sounds rather kinky.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:22 AM (#4751683)
Given that the World Series is just meaningless exhibition games, what's the big deal? I don't even know why they bother keeping score once the regular season is over.
   7. TerpNats Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:23 AM (#4751684)
Well, the good news is that barring a major second-half change, Wainwright's decision won't lead to either the Yanks or Bosox hosting Game 1 of this year's World Series.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:28 AM (#4751686)
Well, the good news is that barring a major second-half change, Wainwright's decision won't lead to either the Yanks or Bosox hosting Game 1 of this year's World Series.

But if the Nats lose game 7 to the Orioles, won't it be fun to read Brown Diaper Joey's reaction?
   9. Rants Mulliniks Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:29 AM (#4751687)
I loved how they kept showing the relay of the diving play Jeter made (even though he failed to throw out the runner). In slow motion it was so obvious that he has no range whatsoever, and he pretty much looked like an 80-year old man tripping over a curb into the path of an oncoming baseball.
   10. SteveF Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:36 AM (#4751689)
Chan Ho Park was purported to have grooved one to Ripken, though he never admitted it and the game didn't count for anything.

Of course, grooving pitches later became Chan Ho Park's specialty, so who knows whether that one was intentional.
   11. bookbook Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:38 AM (#4751690)
Ha! I didn't watch the game. I thought a "pipe shot" might be some sort of brushback pitch targetting the guy's neck.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:40 AM (#4751691)
I loved how they kept showing the relay of the diving play Jeter made (even though he failed to throw out the runner). In slow motion it was so obvious that he has no range whatsoever, and he pretty much looked like an 80-year old man tripping over a curb into the path of an oncoming baseball.

Surely even the most clueless Primate has to realize by now that the ONLY reason the media dwell on Jeter so much is because they just love monitoring threads like this and seeing how much outraged indignation they can arouse. It's like picking the wings off flies.
   13. Scott Lange Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:46 AM (#4751693)
Until around the year the tie happened, the All-Star game was one of my favorite days of the year. I would cheer for my favorites and boo players I didn't like during the introductions, and root for the NL to win like it mattered. I still remember jumping up and down with friends in somebody's living room the year Fred McGriff homered in the 9th to come back and beat the AL. Then at some point I realized the players didn't care, and baseball didn't care, and I stopped caring. I haven't watched more than a few minutes of it since. I think its a shame that they treat the game like a joke, and admitting you tried to lose the game is about as extreme an example of that as I can imagine.

Admittedly, there's a chance I'm not being completely rational here since the situation involves my least favorite player from my least favorite NL team grooving pitches to my least favorite player on on least favorite AL team, but still. Anyway, here's to Oakland's DH hitting four homers off Wainwright to beat the Cardinals in Game 7.
   14. Lassus Posted: July 16, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4751695)

This seems like a non-story.
   15. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4751701)
Until around the year the tie happened, the All-Star game was one of my favorite days of the year. I would cheer for my favorites and boo players I didn't like during the introductions, and root for the NL to win like it mattered.


I have to admit that I was never that big a fan of the game itself. The debate surrounding the elections has always been more interesting that game to me, and I don't think I've ever watch one all the way through (except, ironically, the one time it ended in a tie).

But I'd pick the game in Seattle as the point at which it became obvious that it was nothing more than a side show, and I don't see that changing.
   16. BDC Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4751706)
Yeah, I don't know when the ethos of the All-Star Game changed – naturally I'll guess 1979 like everything else :) – but it's a very different affair from when I was a kid half a century ago. Unlike most things I say, I doubt that's just old-fart talk.
   17. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:22 AM (#4751708)
Jeter is to BBTF what the white whale was to Captain Ahab and Ronald Reagan is to Moursund. Who is everyone here going to obsess over next year?
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:26 AM (#4751711)
Anyway, here's to Oakland's DH hitting four homers off Wainwright to beat the Cardinals in Game 7.


Well, that would be on Matheny for leaving him in that long.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4751713)

Wainwright changed his tune later.

He was for it before he was against it.
   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4751715)
In 1983, Bench and Yaz were honored by getting pinch hit at bats and long standing ovations in an exhibition game.

In 2014, Jeter is honored by having pitches grooved to him in a game that actually counts for something.
   21. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: July 16, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4751717)
Jeter is to BBTF what the white whale was to Captain Ahab and Ronald Reagan is to Moursund. Who is everyone here going to obsess over next year?
Jeter, obviously. There will be upwards of three posts a day along the lines of "Just when you thought Jeter's range couldn't get any worse, he has literally gotten to zero ground balls to his left so far this year".
   22. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4751721)
For the record, I called it in post 9 of the OMNICHATTER thread.
   23. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4751722)
I'm pretty sure there's an entire subsection of the internet dedicated to gay Yankees fans writing fan fic about giving Jetes a pipe shot.
   24. JE (Jason) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4751727)
For the record, I called it in post 9 of the OMNICHATTER thread.

Credit to Repoz as well for noticing Wainwright chatting it up with Denny McLain earlier in the afternoon.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4751728)
I'm pretty sure there's an entire subsection of the internet dedicated to gay Yankees fans writing fan fic about giving Jetes a pipe shot.

Only one day on the job and Billy Bean is already steering the dialogue of baseball. Who knew an Inclusion Czar was so sorely needed by MLB?
   26. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4751729)
So I'm the only one who is actually annoyed at Wainwright, then?
   27. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4751732)
Jeter, obviously. There will be upwards of three posts a day along the lines of "Just when you thought Jeter's range couldn't get any worse, he has literally gotten to zero ground balls to his left so far this year".


Hey, msn.com is featuring a sports story about some mansion Tim Tebow bought somewhere (Jerusalem, presumably). If idiots in the media still consider that useless piece of crap relevant, I don't think we have to worry about the spotlight moving on from Jeter for quite some while.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4751734)

whatever happened to that Yankees reliever who retired, I forget his name now
   29. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4751737)
Until around the year the tie happened, the All-Star game was one of my favorite days of the year. I would cheer for my favorites and boo players I didn't like during the introductions, and root for the NL to win like it mattered. I still remember jumping up and down with friends in somebody's living room the year Fred McGriff homered in the 9th to come back and beat the AL. Then at some point I realized the players didn't care, and baseball didn't care, and I stopped caring. I haven't watched more than a few minutes of it since. I think its a shame that they treat the game like a joke, and admitting you tried to lose the game is about as extreme an example of that as I can imagine.
I would say almost the opposite. I always loved the ASG because it was an exhibition; a bunch of guys who have to be superserious and supercompetative for 26 weeks just playing the game for fun. It's the fact that "This Time It Counts(c)" that bums me out.

As much as I hate the Jeterlove, of course Wainwright should have given him lollipops until he smashed one; the ASG is supposed to be a celebration of the biggest stars in the game. By making it important, MLB has moved towards destroying the unmitigated joy that the game should be producing.
   30. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4751746)
So I'm the only one who is actually annoyed at Wainwright, then?

Definitely not. But who are we to argue against The Cardinal Way?
   31. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4751748)
So I'm the only one who is actually annoyed at Wainwright, then?

No, I find it really irritating. And if you're going to do that, have enough class to keep your mouth shut. I never thought I'd type these words, but now I feel a tiny bit bad for Jeter.
   32. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4751750)
The only thing Wainwright did wrong was to talk about it in the first place.

He didn't give him a BP fastball, he gave him a fastball down the middle, the kind you throw when you have a 9-run lead. If he had tried to get Jeter out with breaking stuff and hard stuff up-and-in, that would have pleased the people who are sick of the Jeter adulation, but a significant majority of the baseball world, including almost all MLB players, would have criticized him for embarrassing Jeter. The idea of what Wainwright did wasn't to give Jeter a double, it was to allow him a *chance* to get a double, or a homer, or whatever. If he was going to make an out in that first PA, it was going to be because he hit it at someone, or swung through a hit-able fastball.

Yeah, "it counts", but nobody treats it like it counts. It doesn't count for that much - the World Series usually doesn't go to 7 games, and until the recent run of home teams winning Game 7, the road team usually won. And it shouldn't count.

HFA in the World Series should be decided by overall interleague record.

To avoid the 2002 tie, the rules of pitcher usage should be changed, and all position players should be allowed to come back into the game to replace an injured player.

For pitcher usage, I would propose:

If a pitcher comes into the game in relief, he cannot be removed from the game in the same inning unless:

1) He gives up a run -or-
2) The tying or go-ahead run is on base -or-
3) The other team sends up a pinch-hitter that bats the opposite hand of the pitcher or is a switch-hitter -or-
4) He has thrown 20 pitches -or-
5) He is injured
   33. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4751762)
   34. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4751767)
So I'm the only one who is actually annoyed at Wainwright, then?

One would think that Mike Matheny would be more than a little ticked off. It's bad enough that he started Wainright over Kershaw in the damn first place, and then his own guy goes out there and supposedly grooves a pitch, risks home field advantage in the Series, and makes him look even worse? Holy crap.
   35. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4751775)
If he had tried to get Jeter out with breaking stuff and hard stuff up-and-in, that would have pleased the people who are sick of the Jeter adulation,


Obviously, because losers really want to see winners lose.
   36. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4751776)
Re Deadspin -- didn't they briefly discuss Gwynn in connection with Adam Jones? Granted, it was about 5 seconds of airtime.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4751777)
Yeah, "it counts", but nobody treats it like it counts. It doesn't count for that much - the World Series usually doesn't go to 7 games, and until the recent run of home teams winning Game 7, the road team usually won. And it shouldn't count.

If either team were really trying to win, they'd get the best team out there and keep it there, saving the rest of the roster for specific matchup situations, and let their best pitchers go the maximum three innings the way that All-Star managers did for many decades.

But in the real world, winning is obviously secondary to giving everyone on the roster a chance to play. It's like a grownup version of a low level Little League game, and both the marketers and the public wouldn't have it any other way.

HFA in the World Series should be decided by overall interleague record.

Or since every AL team plays every NL team every year now, why not just base it on the regular season head-to-head results of the WS opponents? If the teams split those games, you could use run differential as a tiebreaker.

Personally I don't mind "this time it counts", but OTOH I can't think of any particular reason why they had to ditch the alternate year rule. At one point during that era, the World Series team with the home field advantage lost 12 out of 15 seventh games. People love to dwell on the randomness of streaks, but you can't find anything more random than the home field advantage in the World Series, and there's no reason to think that the current stretch of home teams winning seventh games is anything more than random.
   38. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4751779)
Plenty of the 41,048 at Target Field chanted Jeter’s name in classic fashion – De-rek Je-ter – following the double.

Surely I was not the only one who heard the "OH-VER-RAY-TED!" chant after each of his hits, yes?
   39. bobm Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4751783)
since every AL team plays every NL team every year now

Is this right?
   40. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4751784)
Obviously, because losers really want to see winners lose.


You know, other winners like to see winners lose, because then they are bigger winners than the other winners by not losing as much as the other winners lost.

In summary, please stop trotting out that lame statement any time you feel that the Yankee baseball team (or a Yankee player) isn't getting their taint thoroughly cleaned enough by the media and the fans.
   41. Scott Lange Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4751788)
I am definitely annoyed at Wainwright.

As much as I hate the Jeterlove, of course Wainwright should have given him lollipops until he smashed one; the ASG is supposed to be a celebration of the biggest stars in the game.


But what is "celebratory" about seeing the biggest stars in the game not try? Isn't Jeter's double rendered meaningless, or at least devalued, by the fact that the opposing pitcher wasn't even trying to get him out? Why not just put the ball on a tee? Why not have the fielders get out of the way like he's a kid with cancer at a spring football game? (For the record, I think letting a kid with cancer score a touchdown is a lovely gesture. I do not think treating the stars of your game like they are kids with cancer elevates anybody.)

To me, the All-Star game was fun when you knew the players were trying to win and cared about the outcome. That doesn't mean I support "this time it counts," because I don't think it makes the players care more and because its awfully gimmicky. But knowing the NL was trying to go out there and beat the AL made the game worth watching. "Can Jeter get a hit off Wainwright" is only an interesting question if they are both trying hard. I know that Jeter's capable of hitting a pitch lobbed down the middle.
   42. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4751790)
Or since every AL team plays every NL team every year now, why not just base it on the regular season head-to-head results of the WS opponents? If the teams split those games, you could use run differential as a tiebreaker.


Too small of a sample size. If they played 3 games where the weaker team's best pitchers happened to line up against the other team's worst pitchers (or maybe a situation where someone's hurt and they had to call up some guy from AAA to eat innings) and the weaker team won two games by one run each and lost the other by 10 runs, that's hardly fair.

And doing it by regular season record isn't exactly fair, either - if one league is much weaker than the other, the one good team in the league might win 100 games while in the better league there are better teams with 95 wins.

At least using interleague record gives some measure of value to something people generally don't like.
   43. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4751791)
Is this right?


No. The only thing that's changed is the way interleague is spread all year long (out of necessity), and the fact that all NL teams play the same number of AL foes. But the distribution of opponents is the same.

Edit: It appears teams play two more games now than in the past, but the basic point remains.

And, as I mention every time it comes up for WS HFA: Best of 3 - Best Record, League that wins Interleague, A-S game winner. HFA goes to the team with the best record unless its league fails to demonstrate supremacy in the two on-field ways of measuring it.
   44. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4751792)
Obviously, because losers really want to see winners lose.


I don't see where I said that. Where did I say that?
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4751798)
For the record, I called it in post 9 of the OMNICHATTER thread.


I wasn't as prescient as you since I didn't think about it beforehand, but I called it after I saw it:

25. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 15, 2014 at 08:49 PM (#4751268)

Chan Ho Park should pitch to Jeter.

No need; Wainwright seems content to have grooved him a batting practice fastball. Sadly, Jeter couldn't even turn on it, needing to go to the RF corner.

As expected, this has been the All Derek Jeter Game. Thanks, FOX.


   46. vivaelpujols Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4751799)
No, I find it really irritating. And if you're going to do that, have enough class to keep your mouth shut. I never thought I'd type these words, but now I feel a tiny bit bad for Jeter.


That was my first reaction, but now I think that Wainwright was joking. This seems really out of character for him.
   47. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4751802)
You know, other winners like to see winners lose, because then they are bigger winners than the other winners by not losing as much as the other winners lost.


No, winners like to win. Winners make their own agency.

Losers like to see winners lose. It's a pathetic voyeurism. Losers don't care as much about who lays low the winners, only that it is done.

In summary, please stop trotting out that lame statement any time you feel that the Yankee baseball team (or a Yankee player) isn't getting their taint thoroughly cleaned enough by the media and the fans.


The truth hurts. This particular truth hurts losers more, but losers can always find solace; even the greatest winners eventually fail, and when they do, the losers will be there to gloat.
   48. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4751803)
Deciding field advantage in the World Series on overall interleague record seems fair. But better yet, why not cut out the middleman and just say "the AL always has home field advantage"?
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4751804)

right thread

hilarious NYC radio just now, as the 2 hosts are NOT.HAVING.IT.

one speculated that maybe Wainwright is a "jokester" or "sarcastic." lol

truly a great night when a Cardinals SP, who is starting instead of Mr. America Clayton Kershaw, serves a pipe shot to a Yankees icon in his final All-Star start - then conducts a rambling, backpedaling interview in the dugout later with a confused Erin Andrews, who gets Wainwright to agree with her that it's all social media's fault.

it's the sports version of a solar eclipse!

.......

and the idea that Wainwright would falsely claim to have grooved him one is preposterous. he got caught up in the moment, he saw the crowd reaction, he felt like he did a good thing, and he foolishly talked about it. then he had to backpedal.
   50. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4751805)
Deciding field advantage in the World Series on overall interleague record seems fair. But better yet, why not cut out the middleman and just say "the AL always has home field advantage"?


I think that the AL being the better league is a result of the Yankees/Red Sox stretch of excellence for like 15 years there. Other teams had to compete with that, so players started migrating from the NL. No evidence for that, just a hunch. And I think that the pendulum will swing back now that the Yankees, at least, are entering a dry spell (however long that lasts) and the Dodgers are spending like maniacs.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4751809)
Then at some point I realized the players didn't care, and baseball didn't care, and I stopped caring.


I think the best way to play the game is for each player to try to win -- within reason; you don't go slamming into walls and such -- and for managers to manage to win (maybe with a defensive shift or an apt pinch hitter), within the constraints of cycling through the pitchers. Cycling through the pitchers is necessary and doesn't detract from the game. The game started to go bad when they started cycling through the position players as well, but I think you can still have a good and competitive game doing that, though it's not ideal. What really kills the game is that the players just don't care whether they win, and in fact they go so far as to throw the game, as Wainwright's antics show. But I guess he was just trying to give Jeter the attention he lacks. So, mission accomplished, as he ended up embarrassing the guy, which was a shame. (Jeter is one of my favorite players, even as a Red Sox fan; Jeter himself is not the issue - it's the drooling over him by the media and Yankees fans that has long since gotten out of control.)
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4751811)
This seems like a non-story.


Sadly, it pretty much is, which shows the sorry state of the ASG and of the sports media in general, that a player felt the need to throw the game to keep everyone in la la land.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4751812)
since every AL team plays every NL team every year now

Is this right?


I guess not, as SoSH points out. My bad.

--------------------------------------------------------

Or since every AL team plays every NL team every year now, why not just base it on the regular season head-to-head results of the WS opponents? If the teams split those games, you could use run differential as a tiebreaker.


Too small of a sample size. If they played 3 games where the weaker team's best pitchers happened to line up against the other team's worst pitchers (or maybe a situation where someone's hurt and they had to call up some guy from AAA to eat innings) and the weaker team won two games by one run each and lost the other by 10 runs, that's hardly fair.


That's now a moot point, as my premise was mistaken. Where is Google Europe when I really need it?

And doing it by regular season record isn't exactly fair, either - if one league is much weaker than the other, the one good team in the league might win 100 games while in the better league there are better teams with 95 wins.

At least using interleague record gives some measure of value to something people generally don't like.


As I said, I can't see why they ever ditched the alternate year rule, since HFA doesn't really mean much to begin with. But if they can't revert to that, I'd prefer just keeping the current system, because at least with this the result is immediately determined, and determined well in advance.

P.S. Barring rainouts, there seem to be always an even number of interleague games in any given year. What would happen under your proposal if the two leagues came out even?
   54. winnipegwhip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4751813)
Wainwright grooved the pitch when he heard that fan call him "over-rated".
   55. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4751814)
No, I find it really irritating. And if you're going to do that, have enough class to keep your mouth shut. I never thought I'd type these words, but now I feel a tiny bit bad for Jeter.


Wainwright seemed oblivious to the fact that if you say something to a bunch of reporters, they're going to report on it.

But at least we had Joe Buck around to tell us to swallow Wainwright's "explanation" whole. "Thanks for clarifying that, Adam."

   56. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4751818)
Well obviously Fox thought it was a big deal as they tried to do damage control. To be honest I also thought that Jeter was also getting Crash Davis type help in his 2nd at bat from the NL catcher. Erin Andrews interviews Wainwright.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4751819)
He didn't give him a BP fastball, he gave him a fastball down the middle, the kind you throw when you have a 9-run lead.


No. Wainwright's "pitch" was a fat pitch, a BP fastball, with zero movement, and straight. down. the heart of the plate. Which everyone who has ever watched even a few games of major league baseball could easily tell. Pitchers with 9-run leads don't stop competing. Wainwright was not competing.

If he had tried to get Jeter out with breaking stuff and hard stuff up-and-in, that would have pleased the people who are sick of the Jeter adulation, but a significant majority of the baseball world, including almost all MLB players, would have criticized him for embarrassing Jeter.


Er, no.
   58. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4751821)
Lot of whiney gits in this thread, I must admit.

Of course Wainwright was going to groove one to Jeter. I predicted it in advance, and I'm surely not the only one who did so. When Cal Ripken hit a homer in his 2,142nd game, you think that was just luck? Baseball players do this in situations where the stakes aren't high and the opposing player is a superstar celebrating a big "final" milestone. It's a tradition, and a fine one at that.

And I say this as one who is admittedly tired of the Jeter praise myself, and has no love for the Yanks. Everyone here knows how I feel about the Yankees. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Brazil at the World Cu--wait.
   59. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4751823)
But in the real world, winning is obviously secondary to giving everyone on the roster a chance to play. It's like a grownup version of a low level Little League game, and both the marketers and the public wouldn't have it any other way.


People here and elsewhere are members of the public, and we certainly would have it another way.

   60. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4751824)
even the greatest winners eventually fail, and when they do,


At which point they become losers. Because "win/loss" is sort of a binary. Unless you're tonsils deep on Jetes stick, of course. Then he can never lose, simply be failed by a world that doesn't deserve him.
   61. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: July 16, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4751828)
People here and elsewhere are members of the public, and we certainly would have it another way.
We are an unimportant minority of a minority of a minority. And you don't speak for all of "us," either. And our opinion isn't necessarily more valid than the opposing side's opinion.
   62. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4751830)
We are an unimportant minority of a minority of a minority. And you don't speak for all of "us," either. And our opinion isn't necessarily more valid than the opposing side's opinion.


Well, there's also the large majority of fans who voted for someone other than Jeter to start the game.

The contingent of nostalgia-driven fans is strong, but not the majority. The fact the the ASG(and Fox's broadcast decisions, especially) caters to them so strongly is part of the reason why the age of the average viewer is around 50.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4751831)
I think that the AL being the better league is a result of the Yankees/Red Sox stretch of excellence for like 15 years there. Other teams had to compete with that, so players started migrating from the NL. No evidence for that, just a hunch. And I think that the pendulum will swing back now that the Yankees, at least, are entering a dry spell (however long that lasts) and the Dodgers are spending like maniacs.

Maybe so, but since interleague play began in 1997, the top eight teams in terms of interleague winning percentage have all been from the American League.

Yankees .603
Angels .577
White Sox .576
Red Sox .569
Twins .557
A's .542
Mariners .539
Tigers .537
Cardinals .532

And the worst three (Pirates, Padres, Reds) are NL teams. Doesn't mean it can't change, but up to now it's been a league wide phenomenon, and not just a case of the Yankees and the Red Sox being outliers.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4751834)

"Of course Wainwright was going to groove one to Jeter. I predicted it in advance, and I'm surely not the only one who did so. When Cal Ripken his a homer in his 2,142nd game, you think that was just luck? Baseball players do this in situations where the stakes aren't high and the opposing player is a superstar celebrating a big "final" milestone. It's a tradition, and a fine one at that."

It doesn't bother me, either. The groove deniers are hilarious though.


   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4751836)
But in the real world, winning is obviously secondary to giving everyone on the roster a chance to play. It's like a grownup version of a low level Little League game, and both the marketers and the public wouldn't have it any other way.

People here and elsewhere are members of the public, and we certainly would have it another way.


Funny you should say that, when just eight minutes earlier you wrote "I think the best way to play the game is for each player to try to win -- within reason;"

Now WTF is that supposed to mean? You either play to win or you don't, and it's obvious that aside from "This time it counts", the entire purpose of the All-Star game is to let everyone play, not to win the game. Not even Selig would deny that.
   66. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4751842)
And the worst three (Pirates, Padres, Reds) are NL teams. Doesn't mean it can't change, but up to now it's been a league wide phenomenon, and not just a case of the Yankees and the Red Sox being outliers.


Larry's point is that the success of the Yankees and Red Sox (and, to a lesser extent, the Angels) over the past 15 years has driven the other teams in the AL to get better to keep up. Meanwhile, in the NL the well-heeled clubs (the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets) were not terribly well run throughout that time frame.

It's the most logical explanation for the AL's stretch of dominance.

   67. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4751847)
Funny you should say that, when just eight minutes earlier you wrote "I think the best way to play the game is for each player to try to win -- within reason;"


Now WTF is that supposed to mean?

Can you read? I explained it in my post with an example: "you don't go slamming into walls and such."

You either play to win or you don't,


No. This is silly.

Hell, even during the regular season -- and during your precious postseason -- managers don't try 100% to win each and every game. One obvious area we see this in is in pitcher usage.
   68. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4751852)
But what is "celebratory" about seeing the biggest stars in the game not try? Isn't Jeter's double rendered meaningless, or at least devalued, by the fact that the opposing pitcher wasn't even trying to get him out? Why not just put the ball on a tee? Why not have the fielders get out of the way like he's a kid with cancer at a spring football game? (For the record, I think letting a kid with cancer score a touchdown is a lovely gesture. I do not think treating the stars of your game like they are kids with cancer elevates anybody.)

To me, the All-Star game was fun when you knew the players were trying to win and cared about the outcome. That doesn't mean I support "this time it counts," because I don't think it makes the players care more and because its awfully gimmicky. But knowing the NL was trying to go out there and beat the AL made the game worth watching. "Can Jeter get a hit off Wainwright" is only an interesting question if they are both trying hard. I know that Jeter's capable of hitting a pitch lobbed down the middle.
Because it's (supposed to be) an exhibition.

You want a real ASG, with real teams designed to win? Take the vote away from the public, or at least make them pick from only the 2 or 3 best players at each position (as an alternative, make teams up by WAR or some other "definitive" stat); make teams adjust their regular season rotations so the best SP are available; make managers act like it's a real game.

None of that is reality, though. The public voted Jeter as the starter even though he's possibly the worst starting SS in the game because he's popular, and those people want to see Jeter do well. Jeter's been to 14 ASGs, but 10 years from now the only one anyone will remember is his 2B in the last one; that's how it should be because the game itself shouldn't matter.

Again - the ASG should be a break from the grind of a long season; it's the one day a year that MLB isn't a business or a job but a fun game. If that means grooving a pitch to a past-his-prime HOFer to keep the fans happy, that's OK with me.
   69. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4751860)
Not much of a surprise that the usual suspects go with Wainwright's initial statement over his subsequent clarification, and find it significant even. The real story is that a 20-year, one-team, near-certain first-ballot Hall of Famer & 14-time All-Star completed his career as a .481/.517/.667 hitter in the Mid-Summer Classic. The failure to recognize that by some here makes one wonder about their appreciation of the game. Of course, there was once a thread where some ragged on Lou Gehrig for "falsely" claiming to be the luckiest man of the face of the earth, so I guess it takes all kinds.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4751865)
Not much of a surprise that the usual suspects go with Wainwright's initial statement over his subsequent clarification, and find it significant even.


Not much of a surprise that three of the site's four biggest fanboys -- you, Andy, and Larry -- are content to alibi for Wainwright.

(Kevin's the other fanboy in that group but his team was not implicated here.)
   71. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4751872)
Funny you should say that, when just eight minutes earlier you wrote "I think the best way to play the game is for each player to try to win -- within reason;"

Now WTF is that supposed to mean?


Can you read? I explained it in my post with an example: "you don't go slamming into walls and such."

But that wasn't all you said. You also added....

and for managers to manage to win (maybe with a defensive shift or an apt pinch hitter), within the constraints of cycling through the pitchers. Cycling through the pitchers is necessary and doesn't detract from the game. The game started to go bad when they started cycling through the position players as well, but I think you can still have a good and competitive game doing that, though it's not ideal.

Of course if any manager managed his real team like that, he'd be fired within a week, with you leading the call. Again, you try to win or you don't, and the mores of the All-Star game simply don't allow that---mores that you endorse in your above quote.
   72. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4751874)

It's Occam's Razor.

Is it more plausible that a pitcher would groove one, talk about it, then backpedal - OR that he would for no clear earthly reason NOT groove one, yet claim he did, and then later confess to just having not been good enough to fool wascally Jeter?

"20-year" - recognized

"one-team" - recognized

"near-certain first-ballot Hall of Famer" - recognized, except take out the "near-"

"14-time All-Star" - sounds right

"completed his career as a .481/.517/.667 hitter in the Mid-Summer Classic" - recognized

is there anyone here who does NOT recognize all of those things? they're all facts except one virtual certainty.
   73. TJ Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4751877)
I'm fine with Wainwright grooving a fast ball to Jeter because I am fine with anything that leads to the phrase "pipe shot" being introduced into the general lexicon...
   74. Buzzkill Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4751882)
LOVE Adam Wainwright. Awesome pitcher. Wish the Red Sox had him. As for the Jeter at-bat, he ripped a 90MPH fastball from a pitcher he's never seen before in a pressure filled at-bat in front of the entire baseball country. Could you have done it? I say bravo, Jeter. Classic Jeter hit. #3400ish

Also, from Wainwright's side, he is starting over Kershaw, spotlight could not be brighter, applauds Jeter, gets on the hill, throws one in the dirt, gathers himself and grooves a couple. Now he's a villain? Give me a break. Any Cardinal fan upset about this should imagine where'd they be without him.

Just an aside, Trout is a baseball beast.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4751883)
Not much of a surprise that three of the site's four biggest fanboys -- you, Andy, and Larry -- are content to alibi for Wainwright.

First, you apparently don't even know the difference between "alibi" and "excuse", but let that pass.

I'm only "excusing" Wainwright because I don't see it as a big deal one way or the other. I'm certainly not denying what he did.

   76. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4751884)

Of course if any manager managed his real team like that, he'd be fired within a week, with you leading the call. Again, you try to win or you don't, and the mores of the All-Star game simply don't allow that---mores that you endorse in your above quote.


Funny, the game's participants seemed to want to win before. Now they don't care.

But I'm not going down this rabbit hole with you. My post was perfectly clear, perfectly reasonable, and perfectly correct.
   77. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4751886)
is there anyone here who does NOT recognize all of those things? they're all facts except one virtual certainty.


You don't understand. People who treat Lord Derek Jeter as simply a HOF caliber baseball player are disre2pecting The Captain Who Is Greater Than All Things.
   78. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4751887)
Because it's (supposed to be) an exhibition.


Yes, an exhibition of great players playing baseball. The closer it gets to a Globetrotter-Generals game, the less it exhibits the greatness of the players involved.
   79. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4751888)
Not much of a surprise that three of the site's four biggest fanboys -- you, Andy, and Larry -- are content to alibi for Wainwright.

Haha... irony. Good one. I'm pretty sure the poster who typed this out has NO allegiance to any specific baseball team. And only observes the game high atop his perch as an objective arbiter of value and true outcome.
   80. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4751889)
Well obviously even the ball players thought it might be a bad idea to admit it because Wainwright had to back track from what he said. I agree that this all feeds into this culture of everything I experience has to "mean" something so that I feel special even if the moment is artificial. Somehow I dont see any of the old-time players from the All-Star games in the past throwing a meatball to an opposing player even if it is the Son of God who is at the plate.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4751891)
Is it more plausible that a pitcher would groove one, talk about it, then backpedal - OR that he would for no clear earthly reason NOT groove one, yet claim he did, and then later confess to just having not been good enough to fool wascally Jeter?


Yeah, clearly he grooved it. As if it wasn't obvious at the time. The confession just cemented it. But what is hilarious is the wails from the fanboys that we're being somehow unfair and unreasonable for believing his confession rather than his retraction and lame cover story.

Once he confesses it's simply not unreasonable to believe it, even in light of the retraction. I mean, I suppose if one were holding his family hostage or something on the condition that he claim to have grooved the pitch I could see it. Otherwise, not so much.
   82. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4751893)
Larry's point is that the success of the Yankees and Red Sox (and, to a lesser extent, the Angels) over the past 15 years has driven the other teams in the AL to get better to keep up. Meanwhile, in the NL the well-heeled clubs (the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets) were not terribly well run throughout that time frame.


Yes, this is what I mean.

It's the most logical explanation for the AL's stretch of dominance.
Oh, cool. Because I more or less pulled it out of my ass.
   83. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4751897)
14-time All-Star


To be honest, he only deserved maybe 7 of those.
   84. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4751898)
Of course if any manager managed his real team like that, he'd be fired within a week, with you leading the call. Again, you try to win or you don't, and the mores of the All-Star game simply don't allow that---mores that you endorse in your above quote.


Aggressive pitcher substitution is a common strategy in high-leverage games--especially elimination games. Even when the rotation lines up favorably, many managers will go to their bullpen early and often in those situations, sometimes even bringing in starters out of the pen.

As previously stated, it's the cycling of position players that's less defensible.
   85. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4751903)
As previously stated, it's the cycling of position players that's less defensible.


Considering there's usually not much difference in talent level between the starters and the backups, aggressive substitution would make perfect sense if done for the purpose of getting the platoon edge.

   86. Jeltzandini Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4751906)
Again, you try to win or you don't


False binary. Game 7 of the World Series vs. late September game between eliminated teams. The WS teams are doing everything possible to win, including bringing their ace starter in for several innings of relief on two days rest. The eliminated teams are playing callups and not risking anybody they care about with an injury issue. They're still trying to win despite the contextual limits on their efforts. The ASG has different limits but that doesn't automatically move it to the "they're not trying" column.

   87. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4751912)
False binary. Game 7 of the World Series vs. late September game between eliminated teams. The WS teams are doing everything possible to win, including bringing their ace starter in for several innings of relief on two days rest. The eliminated teams are playing callups and not risking anybody they care about with an injury issue. They're still trying to win despite the contextual limits on their efforts. The ASG has different limits but that doesn't automatically move it to the "they're not trying" column.


Exactly zero teams would make any effort to win World Series Home Field Advantage, just as they made zero effort to win their divisions when they had a Wild Card spot locked up - the value of having a rested rotation that's in the order you want it is much higher than hosting the final game of a series *if* it happens to get that far. You will not see any team try to win Home Field Advantage.
   88. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4751913)
I kind of the like the idea that each team's fans vote only for their own team's All-Star, and each team's top votegetter is on the team. The manager fills out the rest of the roster and decides who starts.

Back when there were separate leagues you could have had the league offices decide their All-Star teams. This Time It Counts! would have been a lot easier to sell were that still the case.
   89. Bhaakon Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4751921)
Considering there's usually not much difference in talent level between the starters and the backups, aggressive substitution would make perfect sense if done for the purpose of getting the platoon edge.


You'd have to consider defense, and the 1-per-team rule tends to cut into the quality of some reserves.


I kind of the like the idea that each team's fans vote only for their own team's All-Star, and each team's top votegetter is on the team. The manager fills out the rest of the roster and decides who starts.


I feel like we'd end up with the best hitters on each team, which would be a lot of lefties, and lot of 1B/CH/corner OF. Too many players from those groups would make fielding a complete team problematic.
   90. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4751930)
You'd have to consider defense, and the 1-per-team rule tends to cut into the quality of some reserves.


Of course, but there's no reason to think the starters are, as a whole, better than the reserves on that count.

the 1-per-team rule tends to cut into the quality of some reserves.


This is true, but a better-constructed roster (hell, the whole player vote thing might be the biggest damn problem the A-S game has) could ease some of these concerns.
   91. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4751931)
I don't think it would really be a problem, with as big as All-Star rosters are. We can give the manager the latitude to pick some team's second-place finisher in the fan voting in the once-a-decade cases where the fans happen to pick six first basemen.
   92. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4751932)

Personally I don't mind "this time it counts", but OTOH I can't think of any particular reason why they had to ditch the alternate year rule.


The idea had been kicking around for a while before it was implemented. I remember Rob Neyer being a particularly fervent proponent.
   93. stanmvp48 Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4751934)
Didn't somebody admit that he had grooved one to Helton late last season? I seem to remember that.
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4751935)

Sports Business Journal tweet

John Ourand ?@Ourand_SBJ 11m

Fox's 8.0 overnight for the MLB All-Star Game is DOWN from last year (8.1). The 11.9 overnight in New York is up 5%.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4751938)
Again, you try to win or you don't

False binary. Game 7 of the World Series vs. late September game between eliminated teams. The WS teams are doing everything possible to win, including bringing their ace starter in for several innings of relief on two days rest. The eliminated teams are playing callups and not risking anybody they care about with an injury issue. They're still trying to win despite the contextual limits on their efforts. The ASG has different limits but that doesn't automatically move it to the "they're not trying" column.


Just to be clear, here's what I'm saying.

1. The unique Wainwright case aside, the players are trying to win the All-Star game, even if the tension and anxiety level doesn't approach that of a postseason or crucial regular season game.

2. OTOH the formal and informal rules surrounding the game make it clear that trying to win in the manner of a deciding division race/postseason rubber game is not part of the package. No manager in his right mind would pull a Hernandez or a Kershaw off the mound after only one inning, or burn his entire pitching roster without taking the possibility of extra innings into consideration.

These two points are completely distinct and not contradictory in the slightest.
   96. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4751941)
Of course if any manager managed his real team like that, he'd be fired within a week, with you leading the call. Again, you try to win or you don't, and the mores of the All-Star game simply don't allow that---mores that you endorse in your above quote.

Funny, the game's participants seemed to want to win before. Now they don't care.


Talk about faith-based evidence, which in this case consists of one pitcher (Wainwright) in one game, and what else? Are too many players smiling for your satisfaction?

But I'm not going down this rabbit hole with you. My post was perfectly clear, perfectly reasonable, and perfectly correct.

Yes, it was perfectly clear that you think that a normal manager would use nine pitchers for one inning each, and that this would be "trying to win".

Tell you what: Let John Farrell try that strategery a few times when the Red Sox were in a tight division race and see just how you'd react.
   97. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4751945)
Talk about faith-based evidence, which in this case consists of one pitcher (Wainwright) in one game, and what else?


Everything else. Have you been watching?
   98. esseff Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4751946)
Wainwright and Jeter shouldda reacted like Warren Spahn and 75-year-old Luke Appling, Wainwright chasing Jeter around the bases slapping him with his glove while Jeter gushed, "Thank you, Adam, thank you!"
   99. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4751949)
1. The unique Wainwright case aside, the players are trying to win the All-Star game, even if the tension and anxiety level doesn't approach that of a postseason or crucial regular season game.


I absolutely love this. "Other than the case of the player who was trying to throw the game, the players are trying to win."
   100. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4751950)
All of you Negative Nancys do realize that baseball is a game, don't you? A game that is supposed to be fun, both to play and to watch? A game where crap like this can occasionally happen in a critical moment of a real game and everyone gets a laugh out of it? And that the ASG is just an exhibition of that game?

As in most things in life, this whole thing would have blown over if Wainwright had told the truth and stuck with it: He probably would have put the ball on a tee if that was needed for Jeter to get a hit.

Wainwright wasn't trying to "throw the game" (as if you can "throw" an exhibition anyway); he was helping Jeter have his moment in one AB. If you have a problem with that, that says a hell of a lot more about you than it does about Wainwright.
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