Derek Jeter Should Not Be Starting All-Star Game
Derek Jeter is the face of the New York Yankees franchise, a captain amongst leaders and undoubtedly a first ballot Hall of Famer when he hangs up the spikes at the conclusion of this season. What the aging shortstop is not however is a 2014 All-Star and his selection handcuffs the AL contingent seeking that very important mid-summer classic victory.
Jeter currently leads all American League shortstops with 2,924,686 votes, leading a much more deserving Alexei Ramirez who is lagging behind with 2,325,527 votes and J.J. Hardy a distant third. The Yankee faithful have been busy voting their classy hero up the vote ladder and into the starting lineup. We all get that this is Jeter's farewell tour and it is good for baseball but this game means something, this is for home field advantage in the World Series. Would you not want to field the best possible team to give yourself a chance at the victory? Unfortunately at this tenure in his career, Jeter is way past his prime and not worthy of the selection.
The perennial All-Star has more baseball hardware and accolades than any other active player on the planet as he rides off into the Yankee sunset. He is currently batting .273 but has managed only 11 extra base hits out of his 70 hits on the season and an uninspiring OPS of .663. There is little pop left in his bat and the old wheels are hardly what they used to be but for good measure seeing the man is 40 years of age.
Here are the numbers of his competition who will not start the game:
Alexei Ramirez- Chicago White Sox: batting .298 with 8 home runs, 13 sb and .756 OPS
Alcides Escobar- Kansas City Royals: batting .295 with 2 home runs, 20 sb and .746 OPS
J.J. Hardy- Baltimore Orioles: batting .294 with 2 home runs and a .697 OPS
Jose Reyes- Toronto Blue Jays: batting .264 with 3 home runs, 16 sb and a .732 OPS
Erick Aybar- Los Angeles Angels: batting .283 with 6 home runs, 8 sb and a .753 OPS
Jeter currently sits 5th in batting average, 6th in hits, 8th in OPS, 11th in home runs, 11th in runs batted in, 11th in stolen bases and 11th in slugging percentage amongst AL shortstops. These numbers hardly suggest or scream out All-Star when you digest or compare them to other shortstops that could suit up for the classic.
In the old, meaningless format sure fill your boots and give the veterans their last hurrah but not when the game has meaning and playoff implications. Jeter isn't lacking in accolades and surely would have benefited from the mid-season rest to gear up for the grueling stretch drive.
Yankees fans did the league a discredit voting Jeter into game, a mistake that may pay dividends for a hungry National League squad in search of a win.
Cooperstown is calling but Target Field on July 15th should not be, an unfortunate reminder that all good things must come to an end, even in New York.