Nothing wrong with Wainwright’s groove to Jeter | NevadaAppeal.com

Nothing wrong with Wainwright’s groove to Jeter

Does anybody really believe Adam Wainwright is the first pitcher in the history of the All-Star game to throw a 90 mile an hour fastball right down the middle on the second pitch of the game? Of course Wainwright grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter. If he would have tried to strike Jeter out in the first inning he would have been booed. By his own teammates. His only mistake was admitting it to the media. It was Jeter’s night. When the opposing team (Wainwright included) takes a moment and applauds for you as you step up to the plate, well, it’s no longer a competition. It’s a coronation. Wainwright did absolutely nothing wrong by grooving a pitch to Jeter. It happens in All-Star games all the time. See Magic Johnson in the 1992 NBA All Star game. Do you really think the other team was trying to guard Johnson? Jeter still had to hit Wainwright’s pitch.

. . .

The year long celebration of Jeter, though, is getting a bit tiresome. Jeter is a great player and a future Hall of Famer. That’s not the issue. But this manufactured love affair of Jeter this season is a bit silly. Put Jeter on the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros or Toronto Blue Jays and he’d be Robin Yount, Paul Molitor or Craig Biggio. Great player. Classy. Hall of Famer. But since he’s on the New York Yankees, well, he’s all those things as well as the face of baseball, the greatest living human being on the planet and opposing players in the All-Star game have to stand and applaud him during the game. It’s time to tone down the Jeter fawning just a bit.

. . .

If Jeter really the face of baseball now or is that mythical title merely the creation of the national media? Jeter is not now or has he ever been the face of baseball. He’s simply not exciting enough. He’s just a steady, singles-hitting shortstop with no range. If that is the face of your sport, well, it’s no wonder your sport doesn’t exist to anyone under the age of 40.

. . .

LeBron James should be applauded for going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. If you weren’t a LeBron fan before this, you should be now. James uplifted an entire region by going back to Cleveland. He didn’t have to do that. He could have gone to the highest bidder or the team that would have given him the best chance at winning more championships. But he didn’t. He went back home where he belongs. It’s the best feel good story in the NBA in quite a while.

. . .

The prevailing thinking now is James will not win a NBA title anytime soon in Cleveland. The Cavaliers, supposedly, are too young and inexperienced to even dream about winning a title. Don’t be so sure. The combination of Kyrie Irving and James alone makes the Cavaliers one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. And if Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett emerge, look out. It wouldn’t take much for James to lead the Cavs to the Finals. The East is that weak. And the West, with the senior citizen San Antonio Spurs, and underachieving Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, isn’t all that much better.

. . .

The Nevada Wolf Pack football team is just 43 days away from opening its season against the Football Championship Subdivision Southern Utah Thunderbirds. The FCS is the former Division I-AA for all of you Wolf Pack fans who remember when the Pack actually played for something (before 1992). There’s nothing wrong with a mid-major opening its season at home against an FCS team.

You get an easy victory, the home fans (and players) get an inflated opinion of their team and everyone goes home happy. It’s sort of college football’s version of Wainwright grooving a pitch to Jeter.

The game is as meaningless as an All-Star game but nobody really cares. The home team literally pays a team to come to its stadium to lose and the FCS team sacrifices its overmatched athletes for a paycheck. It’s college football at its essence.

. . .

The continuing off-the-field troubles of Titus Young have become extremely sad. Young was a huge part of the amazing Wolf Pack-Boise State football rivalry from 2007-10. Young, and fellow Los Angeles-product Austin Pettis, were quarterback Kellen Moore’s top two wide receiver targets for Boise State. It was Young who nearly spoiled the Pack’s greatest win in school history when he caught a Moore pass down to the 9-yard line with two seconds left in 2010.

He also returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against the Pack in 2009. Young, who was always running into trouble even at Boise State, has battled mental issues (according to his father) throughout his life.

. . .

Wolf Pack football players Cody Fajardo (Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award), Richey Turner (Biletnikoff Award), Brock Hekking (Lombardi Award) and Matt Galas (Rimington Award) are on the watch lists for a number of national honors this season. It’s all well and good. The award gets free publicity around the country, the players get something to put on their resume and the school gets something to post on its web site in the summer. But it means nothing. Pack players have little chance of winning any national award. If Trevor Insley didn’t win the Biletnikoff Award in 1999 after turning in one of the greatest seasons by a wide receiver in NCAA history, well, a Pack player will never win one of these awards.