Matheny Defends Wainwright

It wasn’t until after the game that National League All-Star Manager Mike Matheny learned of the social media frenzy created by Adam Wainwright’s initial post-game comments when the right-hander filled him in on the controversy.

“I think, I know that has been completely blown out of proportion and taken out of context,” stated Matheny. “Anybody that knows anything about this guy knows that he’s one of the greatest competitors that played this game in a long time. And it’s a shame in this game when people are looking for people with personalities to maybe not be so drab and bland like me, and actually mix in some personality and some humor.  And it’s taken completely out of context and run all over social media.  It is an absolute shame. Adam Wainwright went out there to compete and he was excited about the opportunity to try to compete against one of the greatest of all times in our game, and one of the greatest ambassadors this game has ever seen in Derek Jeter.  And nothing but respect for him.  Nothing but respect for this game.  And all he wanted to do is go out there and put up his best against Jeter. And unfortunately, people couldn’t pick up the tone, pick up the humor, and ran with it in the exact opposite wrong direction.”

Wainwright had said that he was going to give Jeter “a couple of pipe shots” but then added if he would’ve known Jeter would hit a double he would’ve pitched him differently. That prompted the online reaction as the full quote was posted and tweeted over and over again. The trending topic forced Wainwright into an in-game interview during the telecast to explain his comments and assure he had not intentionally allowed a hit to Jeter.

“It’s a shame that most people that are following this game and following how this happened don’t understand or had an opportunity to really know the player and the person that Adam Wainwright is,” followed up Matheny. “And he’s always going out of the way to do the right thing. It bothered him immensely, to say the least.  Something, such a great experience like this, taken once again the wrong way, ran with it the wrong direction.”

For his part, Jeter seemed amused by the news.

“He grooved them?” questioned the Captain when the subject was broached post-game. “The first was a little cutter he threw down and away.  He probably assumed I was swinging, so he didn’t groove the first one. The second one was about 98 two‑seamer that stayed on really good‑‑I don’t know, man. If he grooved it, thank you.  You still have to hit it.  I appreciate if that’s what he did, thank you.”

Besides the lead-off double to Jeter, Wainwright also allowed a triple to Mike Trout and home run to Miguel Cabrera–accounting for three of the five runs scored by the American League. Robinson Cano and Jose Bautista struck out swinging and Nelson Cruz grounded out to short to complete the inning of work for Wainwright.

photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports


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