Derek Jeter led off his 14th and final Major League Baseball All-Star Game with a double down the right field line off Adam Wainwright. It was the first of two hits for the New York Yankees’ captain.
Wainwright said after his start Tuesday that he grooved a couple of pitches to Jeter in the first inning, which caused quite the stir. The St. Louis Cardinals ace was forced to later explain himself after social media completely blew up over the situation.
“I was going to give (Jeter) a couple pipe shots,” Wainwright told reporters after exiting Tuesday’s game. “I just thought he deserved it. I didn’t know he was going to hit a double or I was going to change my mind. I thought he was going to hit something hard to the right side for a single or an out. I probably should’ve pitched him a little better.”
It isn’t too shocking that Wainwright gave Jeter something to hit. The fuss was over Wainwright coming out and admitting such, as it looked like an attempt to take something away from Jeter. Wainwright later apologized during a late-game interview with FOX’s Erin Andrews.
“I feel terrible about this. If anyone’s taking any credit away from what Derek Jeter has done tonight … I mean, it was mis-said. I made a mistake by that,” Wainwright told Andrews. “I hope people realize I’m not intentionally giving hits up 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?
“I’m very competitive. I think I said (Monday) that I didn’t want Derek Jeter to get a hit. I think I said it (Tuesday) even, before I pitched. So I don’t know. It’s a distraction and I do not want to be a distraction. I wanted it to be all for Derek. If anything is taking away from his moment, then I sincerely apologize. At no point in my career have I gone out and intentionally given up hits.”
Wainwright surrendered an RBI triple to Mike Trout and a two-run homer to Cabrera in the first inning as the American League grabbed a 3-0 lead out of the gate. The AL eventually won 5-3, with Trout, who added an RBI double in the fifth inning, earning MVP honors.