There’s no question Derek Jeter is a Hall-of-Fame player. There’s no question Derek Jeter is The Captain of the Yankees. And of course, there’s no question Derek Jeter has won five World Series rings during his tenure with the Bronx Bombers. With this being Jeter’s last season, it would make sense for him to go to the All-Star game but the main question is, does Derek Jeter deserve to go.
Let’s start off by answering the question above. Does he deserve to go? Considering it’s his final season in baseball and it’s on the national stage, yes. He does deserve to go just to give the fans a chance to say goodbye, Cal Ripken style. Here’s the next question: does Derek Jeter deserve to start the All-Star Game. Now, that’s where my answer has to be no.
I understand the All-Star game is the ‘fans game’, where fans vote for their favorite players to gather in one stadium and play some baseball. I also comprehend this is Derek Jeter’s final season and the typical fairy-tale “farewell tour” should involve him starting the All-Star game, but let’s look at Jeter’s numbers. He has a .272 AVG with 2 HR’s and 24 RBI’s. If this was the All-Star game, I’d probably want my player to have a higher average and definitely more RBI’s. Not to mention, there are other shortstops in the American League that deserve to start the All-Star game, Alexei Ramirez for example; Ramirez has a .283 AVG with 8 HR’s and 41 RBI’s for the Chicago White Sox.
Fans consider this a lifetime achievement award for Jeter, and that’s fine. But Jeter making the All-Star game in his final year is a little more controversial than when Mariano Rivera made it in his final year. For one thing, Rivera actually put up All-Star numbers and deserved to go. Jeter’s numbers are average and there were definitely better shortstops in the first half of the season. I understand that this is Major League Baseball’s way of thanking Derek Jeter, but the 2014 All-Star game should be based off stats from the first half of the 2014 season, not because of a lifetime achievement award.
Derek Jeter should go to the All-Star game and be honored in some way, but the fact of the matter is, Jeter is taking away a roster spot and a start from a player who played better than him, who might not ever get this prestigious chance again. Unfortunately, that’s how baseball is and sometimes the only way of being honored is by being popular; not by giving results.