Is Derek Jeter's decision to skip the 2011 MLB All-Star Game really that big of a deal? Some folks seem to think it is.
"I would say that you would show up, unless you need these three days to recover," Wilson said. "You are representing your team, so it would be good to be here."
Wilson then was asked if elected starters carry more of an obligation to participate, knowing that they were elected by the fans.
"I don’t know if (it’s an) obligation, but it’s one of your duties as a player, out of respect, knowing that there was a guy that really wanted to be on the All-Star team, and his stats were right there, and he would have loved the chance to be here," Wilson said.
Other players, though, are defending Jeter.
"Derek Jeter has been the ultimate ambassador for the game of baseball for years and years. He's represented the game the right way on and off the field. Does he need to do this? I think he's done more for the game than anyone," said Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun.
"It's been a crazy week for him. I'm sure he wants to rest his body and prepare himself for the second half of the season. His team is the most important thing. Derek has been to a lot of All-Star games and he's achieved things very few people in the game have achieved," Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said.
I am not a fan of players skipping the All-Star Game. Players, especially veteran ones, seem to use the flimsiest of excuses to take the three-day vacation rather than playing in the game. If skipping the All-Star Game was unheard of, or if Jeter was retiring at the end of the season, I would say he is mistaken for skipping the game.
I simply can't , however, make an issue of Jeter choosing to rest. None of us knows how much of a toll the chase for 3,000 hits took on him mentally. What we do know is that Jeter is about winning more than he is about individual achievements and having the spotlight on himself. If he feels like he needs the three days of rest in order to be ready to help the Yankees in the second half of the season, so be it.
ESPN's Andrew Marchand agrees with me:
Now, that he got to 3K in style, it could be argued he should have come to take some bows. But again, the whole focus would be on him and, even if he didn't play in the game, he would be flying back-and-forth across the country to be worn out. That doesn't make sense for the Yankees.
For baseball, that might make sense. For Jeter and the Yankees, no way.
So I can see this becoming a story, but really, from the Yankees' point of view and with Jeter interested in winning, it does not make much sense for him to be here.
If Jeter was being selfish he could spend three days basking in the spotlight of becoming the 28th player in baseball history -- and first Yankee -- to reach the 3,000-hit milestone. Instead, he is putting winning -- with the Yankees -- ahead of personal attention. That's really hard to argue with.