07/11/11 6:22 PM ET
Players respect Jeter's choice to miss ASG
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Jeter looked plenty healthy in his historic five-hit game on Saturday, as well as in New York's victory over the Rays on Sunday to close out the first half, leading some to wonder if Jeter should have packed his bags for Phoenix.
To that suggestion, his Yankees teammate Russell Martin opined: Let the captain enjoy some rest.
"With everything he's done for the game, just let the guy enjoy himself," Martin said. "He got 3,000 [hits] -- leave him alone, seriously. He's coming off the DL. He played a bunch of games. He deserves a little bit of rest to get his body right, and I think everybody should respect that."
Jeter announced on Friday that he was bowing out after being selected as an All-Star for the 12th time, voted as the AL's starting shortstop. Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians was a player-elected reserve and will start for the American League in Jeter's place.
"It's unfortunate, because you guys know how much I enjoy going to All-Star Games," Jeter said that day. "I love playing in All-Star Games, especially getting voted in by the fans. It's something I would like to do.
"I'm trying to be smart about it. I know I can be stubborn a lot of times when it comes to injuries, but I'm trying to be smart about it."
Jeter's pursuit of 3,000 hits was delayed for three weeks by a right calf strain suffered on June 13. In addition to Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera also asked out of the All-Star Game due to injury.
Paul Konerko of the White Sox said that the injury could still be lingering with Jeter.
"I promise you his injury is not 100 percent," Konerko said. "Nobody ever comes back from an injury in the middle of the season at 100 percent. It's never gone. So he's playing with it, I guarantee you that.
"It's one of those things where I understand people voted him in and wanted to see him, but if there's any guy in the game who bought a rain check for one of these, he's the one. Let's move on and not make such a big deal about it."
The Rangers' Adrian Beltre said that Jeter was playing for his career, and that pushing the calf wouldn't help his situation. Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis added that Jeter has probably come to All-Star Games a little banged up in the past.
"I think, for him personally, getting the break and maybe taking those days off rather than coming and flying on planes, that might help him stay healthier," Youkilis said. "Some guys need that."
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz said that he felt Jeter has earned a pass because of his service to the game.
"He's not in his 20s anymore," Ortiz said. "I totally understand that sometimes it's time to take a break from the All-Star Game. He's one of the primary players who always says 'yes' to the All-Star Game, he always comes here to represent, and I think he has the right to [drop out] wherever you need a break, and pull himself together, especially coming off an injury. I think people need to accept that."
Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran noted that shortstop Jose Reyes, who is on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury and unable to play, still made the trip to Phoenix; Jeter said on Friday that he wouldn't. But Beltran said he was not sure about the details of Jeter's situation.
"I don't know if his calf's still bothering him or not," Beltran said. "Jose is on the DL, so Jose decided to come. I do believe that as a ballplayer, if you have no injuries, you should be here. Because the fans are the ones who vote for you, who want to see you here. But if those players have injuries, sometimes they prefer to get the rest and take treatments, and try to get better for the season."
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson said that Jeter's intentions of looking ahead to the final months of the season were well-placed.
"The main concern for him and us is to be able to play the rest of the season," Granderson said. "This is a great privilege and an honor to be elected to the All-Star Game, but he wants to be able to go ahead and play the rest of July, August and September, and hopefully into October for us. If he can get an extra day of rest, we all want it."
Robinson Cano, who would have been Jeter's double-play partner in Tuesday's game, said he understood why Jeter decided to err on the side of caution.
"You need him. He's a guy you want to rest and work on his legs," Cano said. "I wish he would be here. These are the kinds of things you can take home as a memory and share with your kids. It is what it is. Health comes first."