BY HIS OWN STANDARDS, JETER DOESN'T MEASURE UPBy Mike Mazzeo
Derek Jeter owed it to his fans -- the more than 4 million of them who voted him as a starter -- to play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Phoenix.
But like so many others, Jeter felt it was better to back out of the game and get some rest. That's why more than 10 percent of Major League Baseball -- 84 players in all -- was named an All-Star as of Monday morning.
This past weekend, three moments stood out to me while covering the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
1) Jeter becoming just the second player in MLB history to homer for his 3,000th hit. 2) Christian Lopez giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars and returning that baseball to Jeter. 3) The smile on David Robertson's face as he recounted the story about how he found out he was heading to his first All-Star Game.
Robertson was genuinely thrilled to go, and usually that's just not the case anymore. Decades ago, it was an honor to be selected as one of the best players in your sport, to represent your league.
Now, it seems the All-Star Game has been diminished and become an inconvenience, a missed vacation in the Bahamas or retreat back to one's mansion in Florida.
Jeter could have bucked that trend by going and leading the American League to victory and home-field advantage in the World Series. He would have been celebrated as one of the game's legends -- deservingly so -- for becoming the 28th player to join the 3,000-hit club.
Jeter's right calf was good enough for him to shine Saturday and Sunday. So why all of a sudden wasn't it good enough to play a couple of innings and have a couple of at-bats Tuesday night?
After all, didn't Jeter have enough time to rest during the three weeks he spent on the disabled list?
BLAME SELIG, NOT JETERBy Ian Begley
If you're mad at Derek Jeter for not showing up to Phoenix for the All-Star Game, your anger is misguided.
The man you should be upset with is Bud Selig.
If he wants to make sure the All-Star Game has, you know, stars, Selig needs to invoke his "best interests of the game" clause and force those who were selected to be in the All-Star Game to attend, whether they can play or not.
Sure, I'd love to see Jeter soak in an ovation from the crowd at Chase Field, especially on the heels of his reaching the 3,000-hit plateau.
It would be great to see him inject some star power into the game. His big-name teammates, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, won't be in attendance, either, despite being named to the All-Star team.
But Jeter on his own can give the game some juice.
Jeter said Friday that he'd be skipping the game because he wanted to get healthy for the second half of the season. (He missed 18 games recently due to a right calf strain.) Then on Monday, reports stated he'd be missing the game because he was physically and emotionally drained.
Sounds like a lame excuse, but it doesn't matter. Because no one's telling him he has to go.