(CBS) In an odd twist that yet again reflects why the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series is just plain dumb, last night’s Midsummer Classic featured Groovegate.
In the bottom of the first inning, Cardinals right-hander and National League starter Adam Wainwright allowed a lead-off double to legendary Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who was making his final All-Star Game appearance, as he plans to retire at season’s end. Jeter then scored on a Mike Trout triple, and the American League went on to score three early runs off Wainwright in an eventual 5-3 win.
Upon his exit, Wainwright suggested in an interview that he grooved Jeter a pitch.
“I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots,” Wainwright told reporters. “He deserved it. I didn’t know he was going to hit a double, or I would’ve changed my mind on that.”
Considering home-field advantage was on the line, it was notable admission by Wainwright. It immediately raised some questions, and he soon realized the firestorm he may have just created. Later in the game and again afterward, Wainwright backtracked, saying he misspoke. He also called himself a “knucklehead.”
“You know what, sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way,” Wainwright told Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews during an interview in the dugout. “I feel terrible about this if anyone is taking any credit away from what Derek Jeter has done tonight or off me or anything. It was mis-said.
“I made a mistake by that. I hope people realize I’m not intentionally giving up hits out there. I know this game means something. I’m guessing people are thinking I’m trying to give up home runs to Miguel Cabrera, too, next.
“I’m very competitive. I think I said yesterday I did not want Derek Jeter to get a hit. I think I said it today even before I pitched, so. I don’t know. It’s a distraction and I did not want to be a distraction. I wanted it to be all for Derek so if anything has taken away from his moment then I sincerely apologize. At no point in my career have I ever gone out and intentionally given up hits.”
Check out video of Jeter’s double and the stirring ovation he received upon his exit in the video below.