Well, not explicitly, but about as much as you’ll see an athlete do it to a media personality on Twitter.
Yesterday we wrote about how Jake Arrieta is dismissive of whispers that his next-level performance in the past two years is a result of performance enhancing drugs. And such whispers, to the extent they exist, should be dismissed. Unless “developed a cutter” is now a PED, but I’ll have to check the Joint Drug Agreement for that.
Either way, today ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless decided to churn that nonsense some more, doing the classic “we’re not saying, but we’re saying . . .” thing, citing Arrieta’s innings and improvement and piling on the strong implications that they think he’s juicing. Or at the very least, that he should sit quietly, idly and reverently by while guys like them spew their innuendo about it lest someone think he protests too much or whatever. It’s a frame game as old as time itself, born of Smith and Bayless’ narcissism and shamelessness. If you hate yourself and want to watch them on video saying this, it’s your funeral.
Arrieta was not going to take it lying down. In response to Smith shaming Arrieta for his alleged “laughing off” of the whispers, Arrieta said this:
And, because Smith’s guns have historically blazed in inverse hotness to the heat with which he is confronted, he replied thusly:
“The best to you.” Please. If you wish the best to anyone you’d not make baseless accusations for the purpose of “selling the controversy” or whatever useless thing your show purports to do. Treat people in a straight-up manner and offer a little “best to them” beforehand, not just when they call you out on your schtick.