Tuesday, September 23, 2014

If Jeter keeps hitting, the ghost of Adam Wainwright will soon rise

It still bothers me that Derek Jeter's warm and fuzzy 2015 All-Star game farewell took an asterisk in the ribs from Adam Wainwright.

As you surely remember, the St. Louis pitcher and NL starter grooved Jeter a meatball, right down the fairway, which Derek whacked for a double. The problem? Wainwright later embarrassed himself and the game by telling everybody what he'd done. Good grief, if you're going to throw a guy a bone, keep your fat mouth shut about it. But Wainwright - angry that the American League scored - blabbed on TV.

What still nags at me, though, is one issue: Wainwright never said who put the meatball idea in his head. Was it his Cardinals manager, Mike Matheny? Or somebody higher up in the food chain? I doubt he came up with the notion himself. Somebody got to him. And later, he was willing to embarrass Jeter - but not to mention who hatched the plan.

So now we're watching Jeter - clueless for the last two weeks - go on a sudden hitting spree against Baltimore, which doesn't need to win these games. Though Buck Showalter hates the Yankees with the heat of a billion suns, he's always loved Jeter - (who doesn't?) - and, no matter how hard you want to believe, you also have to wonder if something is going on here?

For the record, considering all that's happened, it ABSOLUTELY SUCKS to be wondering if something is going on here.

And nobody would blame Jeter - he's the last guy to want leniency from the opposition. Still, if he keeps driving the ball off that left field wall - well, I'm sorry... We love Jeter and want him to do well - (points that, in this current environment, must always be stated in any posting that questions what's happening) - but there's been way too much orchestration of his farewell tour to NOT wonder if we're being played.

This is what happens when an organization - be it a government, corporation or sports team - decides to sell pageantry and myth-making instead of a winning product.

1 comment:

John M said...

It's a fine tradition, as the Times points out when they wrote about Denny McLain grooving one for the Mick's 535th:

“When I got there, Denny said, ‘Hey, big guy, should I let him hit one?’ ” Price recalled Thursday night in a telephone interview. “I said it was a great idea. Mickey was always nice to me. So I went back behind the plate and Mickey, like he always did, was tapping the plate with his bat when I said, ‘Want us to groove one for you?’ ”

Mantle apparently didn’t believe Price, but when he saw McLain nodding on the mound, he understood what was going on.

“High and tight, mediocre cheese,” Price said Mantle responded.

McLain served up a few that were apparently not gift-wrapped quite as neatly as the Mick preferred. But then came exactly what Mantle was looking for, and he hit a rocket into the upper deck in right field, the next-to-last home run of his career.