Phoenix Much is being made of the big names absent from this year’s All-Star game, yet some who are hurt came anyway to show their support.
Take Jose Reyes of the New York Mets, who says he has been hurt three of the four times he has made the All-Star team, but has come to the game each time. Or Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino. He withdrew because of injury but felt a special obligation to show up because he was the final player chosen for the NL team out five in an online vote by fans.
Several other All-Star selections who won’t play made the trip, some of them injured, some ineligible because they pitched Sunday.
But some of the biggest names are no-shows, most notably Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, who has had a calf injury but was well enough to go 5-for-5 and get his 3,000th hit with a dramatic home run on Saturday. Jeter decided not to make the cross-country trip to the desert.
“I think it’s too bad that Jeter in particular is not here, because of what he accomplished over the weekend,” Philadelphia Phillies chairman Bill Giles, the honorary NL president, said at a Monday news conference, “and I think it is a bit of a problem and baseball should study it.”
Boston’s David Ortiz said people should cut Jeter some slack.
“He always said yes to the All-Star game,” the Boston slugger said of his Yankees rival. “I think he has the right to, whenever he needs a break you know, to pull himself together, especially coming off an injury. I think people need to respect that.”
The Yankees’ Mariano Rivera also skipped the game because of a triceps injury. But Reyes, from that other New York team, didn’t let a hamstring injury prevent him from coming to Arizona to at least witness the festivities.
“Every time I’ve had the opportunity to come here I’m going to come, no matter what happens,” Reyes said. “Like I said, three of the last four years in the All-Star game I’ve been injured, but I still come here.”