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Konerko defends Jeter skipping ASG

Paul Konerko says Derek Jeter deserves a break from those who are criticizing his decision to skip the All-Star Game. William Perlman/The Star-Ledger/US Presswire

PHOENIX -- Chicago White Sox All-Star Paul Konerko came out in full support of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has taken criticism for bowing out of Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

Jeter just got his 3,000th hit on Saturday after a 5-for-5 performance which included a home run for the milestone hit. Prior to getting his 3,000th hit, Jeter was on the disabled list with a calf injury. He will not attend the All-Star Game because of "emotional and physical exhaustion" from his pursuit of 3,000 hits, according to a Foxsports.com report.

"The only thing I think about that situation is it would have been nice for him to be here for everyone to cheer for him for what he just did," Konerko said.

Jeter, 37, has played in 11 All-Star Games, including five straight between 1998 and 2002 and five between 2006 and 2010.

"I think it's one thing where everyone should just give him a slide, give him a break," Konerko said. "This guy has been doing it for a long time in All-Star Games, World Baseball Classics, etc. Representing the game in an awesome way, period. Maybe one time everyone should just give him a pass instead of him doing everything for everybody all the time.'

The American League certainly will miss Jeter's presence in the lineup. He is a career .435 hitter with 10 hits in his 11 All-Star Games.

Konerko will get a chance to congratulate Jeter when the Yankees play the White Sox Aug. 1-4 at U.S Cellular Field.

"I'll see him in August, but it would have been nice to see him on that stage, to get that congratulatory thing from everybody," Konerko said. "But that is up to him whether he wanted that or not. I don't blame him one bit. I'm happy for him. I'm happy he is going to get some time off for the second half."

Konerko was asked why he was so adamant about the Jeter situation.

"Come on, let's look at the big picture," Konerko said. "Let's see what he has done for baseball and use some common sense."