Let’s look at this point-by-point, shall we?
Here’s a defense of Jeter staying home.
He doesn’t deserve it this year.
As a perennial participant, future Hall of Famer with grand popularity and in the midst of the afterglow of his brilliant throwback performance as he got his 3000th career hit, obviously he’d be a worthy member of the American League squad.
But based on what he is now as an overall player, he’s not an All Star.
Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians; Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox; Yunel Escobar of the Blue Jays; J.J. Hardy of the Orioles; and Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers are all American League shortstops having better years than Jeter.
The same argument that says he “should” be there could be applied to the perception of fairness and what’s needed in a game that supposedly “matters” and will be “played to win”.
What if Jeter went the faux boy scout route and said something inane and made for image consumption like, “I don’t deserve it this year; let someone else have a chance. And it affects the Yankees because we hope to be in the World Series this year and have home field advantage. The AL will have a better chance with players other than me.”
A large segment of the Ian O’Connor/Michael Kay wing of Jeter worshippers would’ve sighed at his selflessness and heroism and bought it as if it was true.
It’s the exact same thing as him saying he’s tired and needs the time off.
After his superlative performance on Saturday in getting his 3000th hit, he should be at the All Star Game.
What one thing has to do with another is beyond me.
Reds outfielder Chris Heisey hit 3 home runs in a game earlier this year (coincidentally against the Yankees); should he be in the All Star Game for that one accomplishment?
Without that 5 for 5 game and the flamboyant way in which he recorded his historic hit with a home run, no one would bat an eye if Jeter had backed out of the game. He’s coming off a stint on the disabled list with a calf injury, he’s older and he needs the time off.
The fans voted him in and deserve to see him play.
The fans? You mean the same dedicated Yankee fans who’ve turned on Jeter in droves as he’s showing the perils of ballplayer-related age and the apparent decision to play without the assistance of PEDs?
The ones who want him moved down in the lineup, benched, traded and borderline shot like a horse?
The ones that refer to him publicly as Captain Groundout and Captain DP?
Those who suggest his defense is so terrible that he needs to be moved to the outfield where he can do the least amount of damage?
Are those the fans you’re referring to?
As Alex Rodriguez can attest, Jeter is rumored to be the iceman with those that cross him. The rift between the two seems healed now—I believe they’re friends again—but after A-Rod’s ill-thought-out and mostly accurate appraisal of Jeter in comparison to himself in a 2001 Esquire interview, the once-close bond exploded into a cold war that took years to fix.
Jeter doesn’t forget. He hears the boos and negative comments of those who once revered him and it’s always from the safety of the stands, on social media sites Twitter and Facebook or on unknown blogs. If they run into him in person, they treat him like he’s their totem and fall at his feet.
It’s the nature of fandom and of people, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less after the way he’s conducted himself over the years.
It’s a betrayal.
Understandable? In a fan sense, yes.
Are these the fans he’s supposed to appease when, at age 37 and in need of the rest, he made the decision not to attend the All Star Game? A meaningless exhibition that he’s been in for 12 of his 17 big league seasons?
Then again, the All Star Game itself has degenerated into the ridiculous with the Home Run Derby and 80+ players on the rosters amid all the other silliness that’s going on.
Why should a nonsensical “controversy” be any different from the current sideshow in Arizona right now?