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?

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.