Adam Wainwright: “I didn’t want Derek Jeter to get a hit”

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Adam Wainwright did an in-game interview with FOX’s Erin Andrews after the eighth inning about his controversial comment that he grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter in the veteran shortstop’s first at-bat of Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game.

Here’s the dialogue …

[Video of the first-inning at-bat plays]

Andrews: “Adam is watching this video with me right now going ‘Come on — 94 mph, 87 mph, that’s ridiculous.’ The comments you made to the reporters after you pitched … what was that all about?”

Wainwright: “Sometimes my humor goes … uh … gets taken the wrong way. 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. 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 yesterday that I didn’t 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 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.”

Andrews: “Well we appreciate you clearing that up. Don’t you love social media?”

Wainwright: “No. I don’t love social media.”

Did Adam Wainwright take away from Derek Jeter?

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.