(Busch Stadium) Like most pitchers, Adam Wainwright looks forward to batting practice. But on Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals ace had a little extra enthusiasm as he launched five home runs over the wall–including three into Big Mac Land.
“Lots of extra incentive,” smiled Wainwright afterwards. “I’m having fun, we love hitting, we love taking BP. Listen, somebody the said ‘hey, you want in this thing’ the other day and I said wait, they may not know that I want in this thing. So if in fact there ever was a 1 millionth-of a chance to get in it, I wanted to let the world know that I wanted to be a part of it.”
The “it” he is referring to is the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game. Wainwright joins San Francisco’s Madison Baumgarner and Chicago’s Jake Arrieta as voicing his interest in performing in the event. Baumgarner and Waino have spoken directly about the idea, but have yet to see their efforts recognized by those in charge.
“It’s probably like the Dumb and Dumber when he says one in a million type of chance type of thing, but I’m ready if they call,” stated Wainwright. “Of course, the Cardinals would have to approve.”
“I don’t see anything good coming out of that,” said Mike Matheny on the topic.
“All these starting pitchers and relievers used to be the best hitting players on their high school team,” pointed out Wainwright. “Everybody thinks they’re pretty good at this game so it’s fun to go out and hit BP every day. It’s one of my favorite parts of the year.”
Acknowledging that it would be out of routine for American League pitchers, Wainwright noted that in the National League a pitcher would probably have a better chance of being injured while pitching in the All-Star game than in batting practice.
“We stretch and run and do all that kind of stuff and get warm and hot, take warm-up swings–we do this everyday. It’s not like they’re asking us to go out there and do something we don’t ever do. We hit on the field quite a bit, especially every home game.”
While pitchers–and many fans are receptive to the idea, others on the Cardinals didn’t have quite the same reaction.
“They just tell me to shush,” chuckled Wainwright. “They found out about my tweet while we were watching the postgame ESPN the other day eating dinner in the Pittsburgh locker room the other day. The tweet came across the screen and they were talking about it and everybody was like ‘whoa’. It was fun. Listen, I’m a smack-talker by nature anyways. If a hitter wants to challenge me, I’m going to accept it. And if a pitcher wants to challenge me, I’m certainly going to accept it.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI
— Adam Wainwright (@UncleCharlie50) June 12, 2016