KANSAS CITY -- As Melky Cabrera rounded the bases in the fourth inning on Tuesday night, the Giants slugger offered his hand to Robinson Cano, ready for the celebratory handshake they would have shared back in their Yankees days.
Cano stood rigidly near second base, never daring to outstretch his palm from his pinstriped uniform, though he was happy for his good friend. It wasn't the right time to celebrate, not with the American League hurtling toward an 8-0 All-Star Game loss to the National League.
"He was going to give me a high-five," Cano said. "I know it's an All-Star [Game], but I don't want to look that bad out there. It was fun. If it was a closer game, you might have fun, but you don't want to do anything to your teammates."
It was a banner night for Cabrera, the All-Star Game MVP and product of the Yankees farm system who was traded after the 2009 World Series-winning season, but the Bombers' current representatives shuffled out of Kauffman Stadium without much to boast about.
Jeter and Cano logged the first two hits for the AL, while Curtis Granderson went hitless in two at-bats. CC Sabathia also attended the festivities in Kansas City but was ineligible to pitch due to a left groin strain.
"They've got some guys that can hit, you know what I'm saying?" Jeter said of the NL squad. "It's no easy task facing [AL starter Justin] Verlander. They came out swinging. Those things happen in an All-Star Game."
Cabrera's fourth-inning blast off the Rangers' Matt Harrison landed in the left-field bullpen, and while Cano said he is happy to see Cabrera budding into a superstar, he also understands that the Yankees may feel the effects of Tuesday's game down the line.
"It's a game, but we're playing so whoever wins is going to open the World Series at their place," Cano said. "It's a situation where it's good to see him having fun because this is all about having fun. I feel so happy for him, the way he's playing the game."
Cabrera was asked if he really expected Cano to give him a high-five, saying through an interpreter, "He's the one that congratulated me and told me that it was a great home run, and he was very happy for me."
Jeter said he couldn't be upset about the possibility of having to play Games 6 and 7 of a World Series on the road. He'd gladly welcome that scenario over the situations the Yankees have seen in the last two years.
Thus Jeter allowed himself to grin a little bit at Cabrera's homer, which concluded the scoring in the contest.
"Melky had a wonderful first half," Jeter said. "He's been swinging the bat extremely well. I'm always pulling for Melky. I enjoyed playing with him. He was a great teammate. I wish him all the best, just not when he's playing us."
While the Yankees weren't elated with the pro-Billy Butler noise that Cano received from fans on Monday and Tuesday, they spoke highly of Kansas City's service as an All-Star venue.
"I've always enjoyed my time here," Granderson said. "When I talk to friends and family about places to visit, I say Kansas City is actually a really good place to come to. There's some good shopping here, some good food. I think everybody that's been here has had something positive to say about it."
Sabathia used his time at Kauffman Stadium wisely, throwing a bullpen session to prepare for what he hopes will be a return to the Yankees' rotation next Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
While the groin strain kept Sabathia from getting anywhere near the mound, he said that his trip to Kansas City had been well worth it because his son, CC Jr., was able to enjoy free reign of the festivities.
"The kids are having fun," Sabathia said. "They loved the Home Run Derby, going out, shagging and running around. It's been a lot of fun for them. They've been killing it."
With the conclusion of the All-Star fun, Sabathia said he and his Yankees teammates are ready to get back to the business of improving on what proved to be a stellar first half for the club.
"We had some guys go down [to injuries]," Sabathia said. "The pitching has been really good. Obviously, our lineup is unbelievable. If we pitch and play defense the way we have, we've got a good chance to win the division."