Players are dropping out of the 2011 All-Star Game left and right — including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees. Some have legitimate excuses, like Rodriguez’ Monday knee surgery, others are looking for any loophole to get themselves a three-day vacation.
I don’t blame them, actually, especially veteran players for whom making the All-Star Game has become old hat. Yet, that’s why it was refreshing to see the jubilant reaction of Yankee reliever David Robertson when he was added to the team as a replacement for Tampa Bay’s David Price — whose toe apparently hurt. Wink, wink!
Robertson apparently had planned a fishing trip, but had no problem cancelling it. This is the first All-Star selection for the Yankees’ 26-year-old setup man.
The honor is actually well deserved for Robertson, even if it seems like a zillion players had to drop out before he got the call. In 35 innings this season Robertson has pitched to a 1.27 ERA and has struck out 56 hitters. The Yankees have lost setup men Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain — both of whom were thought to be ahead of him in the bullpen pecking order — to injuries. Robertson, though, has provided a sturdy bridge to Rivera in their absence.