Derek Dietrich has transformed from Miami Marlins utility man—right up there with non-alcoholic beer vender at Wrigley Field as the worst job in baseball—to home run bashing god for the Cincinnati Reds. It only took Dietrich 118 at-bats to get to 17 homers this season, the seventh fewest at-bats by a player with 17 homers since 1961. Not bad for a guy who had 16 homers all of last year.
A feat fun in itself, but Dietrich is really exploring the space in Cincy. Earlier this year he took on the role of exterminator when a swarm of bees delayed a game. The next night, he pulled duty as an electrician when a power outage halted a contest in Oakland. He drew an eye-black mustache on his face during a throwback game. Oh, and he's also admiring his bombs like works of art, staring at his long shots from the plate and taking slow trots around the bases.
The entire town has rallied around Dietrich, and most of baseball has too. Who could possibly get upset at such a success story, right?
John Wehner, that's who.
Wehner, who had all of (checking stats) four homers in an 11-year career with the Pirates and Marlins, is now a Pittsburgh media personality. And Wehner didn't take too kindly to Dietrich's, um, enjoyment. From "The Fan Morning Show" on Pittsburgh’s 97.3:
“I can’t stand him,” Wehner said. “I just don’t see why—I don’t understand why you have to do that. It’s different if you’re a Hall of Fame player, you’re a 60-homer guy, you’re an established guy. Nobody ever heard of him before this year.
“I heard of him because of his grandfather (Steve Demeter) who used to be a minor league coach for the Pirates. He was the nicest, sweetest guy in the world. He’s rolling in his grave every time this guy hits a home run. He’s embarrassed of his grandson.
“It’s just being arrogant. I don’t get it. I don’t get why you do that. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
There are hot takes, and then there are "Your dead grandpa would be ashamed" takes. Ball's in your court, Skip Bayless.
Amazingly, this was said on Tuesday morning, hours before Dietrich launched three jacks against the Pirates. Karma, she is a cruel, and quick-working, mistress.