BOSTON (CBS) – Wally Pipp played first base for the Yankees from 1915-1925 and was considered one of the best sluggers of his era.
But he’s not remembered for his prowess in the playing field. Pipp is best known for losing his job to Lou Gehrig after he asked to sit out of a game due to headache, according to legend. Gehrig went on to start 2,130 consecutive games.
In present day, when somebody gets “Wally Pipp-ed” it means their job is being taken, which is exactly how The MMQB’s Greg Bedard describes the New England Patriots linebacker situation.
Donta Hightower has been so freaking good this season. He should be in the mix for Pro Bowl and All-Pro at MLB. Has Wally Pipp'd Mayo.— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) November 25, 2014
“Let me preface this by saying that I believe I value Jerod Mayo more than most do. I think he’s a very good player and I think he will be a very good player. But in my opinion, Dont’a Hightower has done what Jerod Mayo normally does — take on blocks, be tough in the running game and be adequate in coverage — and he’s taken it to another level with his athletic ability,” Bedard said of Hightower, the third-year pro out of Alabama.
Captain and defensive play caller Jerod Mayo injured the patellar tendon in his knee in Week 6 against Buffalo and was placed on season ending injured reserve. This is now the second year in a row where Mayo has failed to finish the season.
In fact, Mayo has now appeared in just 12 games over the last two seasons as his 2013 campaign was ended early by a pectoral tear.
The team faces an interesting decision in the offseason when Mayo’s cap hit rises to $10.6 million and he turns 29 in February.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the Patriots decide with Jerod Mayo. Bill Belichick loves Mayo, and I can see why. But I think they’d be better served by leaving Hightower where he is and trying to get younger and athletic at the linebacker spot,” said Bedard.
It certainly wouldn’t be the first time somebody on the Patriots was “Wally Pipp-ed.”
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