DON’T GET ME STARTED watched as one of the National League’s best pitchers , Adam Wainright grooved one to Derek Jeter in his first at bat. The shortstop promptly sent a drive into the right field corner for a double.

Many say that Wainright intentionally gave Jeter a gift in his last All Star appearance. I don’t doubt that since history has a way of revealing how the “final” everything is rewarded with a gift. There have been other instances where guys know they’re going to pad their legacy.

Let’s go back a few decades ago. One of the great hitters of the game, Mickey Mantle, neared the end of his glorious career. In the final game of his career, the New York Yankees faced the Detroit Tigers with 30 game winner Denny McLain hurling for Detroit.

The story simply goes that catcher Bill Freehand spoke with McLain when Mantle came to the plate in his final appearance as a batter. The battery mates, so it goes, agreed to let Mantle belt one. On the first pitch – Mantle was surprised that the ball split the middle of the plate. In his final at bat, McLain hurled another one that even I could hit out of the park. Mantle launched the home run in his final at bat while McLain simply smirked on the mound.

Did Wainright purposely give Jeter his chance to go out on a high note? Many say he did. Wainright reportedly admitted it.

So – yes – when one is at the end of a career, he gets a gift from the opponent. Even in the NFL, they are saying that in the last game of the season, quarterback Bret Favre allowed Michael Strachan to get a season sack record with 22.5. Many said Favre knew that Strachan could get the record and has been accused of taking a dive, allowing him to get it. In fact, no one blocked Strahan as replays showed that Favre rolled right into Strachan and going down.

So when someone is calling it a career and is in the twilight game needing some play to put him in the record book or other reasons……watch it carefully on Don’t Get Me Started.

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