Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will not attend the All-Star Game due to “emotional and physical exhaustion” from his pursuit of 3,000 hits, according to two people with knowledge of his thinking.
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However, the debate over Jeter’s decision continues.
Giants closer Brian Wilson, without addressing Jeter specifically, said during the All-Star media availability on Monday that players who are elected or selected to an All-Star team should participate in the festivities unless they are too limited physically to attend.
Jeter, elected by the fans as the American League’s starting shortstop, recently spent 17 days on the disabled list with a strained right calf. However, he played in the Yankees’ final six games before the All-Star break, reaching 3,000 hits with a stirring 5-for-5 performance Saturday.
“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.
“Whether you’re taking it for granted or just think it’s a grind, I always think about the pitcher who is better than me at this moment.”
Jeter said after reaching 3,000 hits that he felt “a lot of pressure” to reach the milestone at his home park, Yankee Stadium. That pressure — and the quick turnaround to the All-Star Game — led to Jeter sticking with his decision to withdraw, a decision he originally made last week, citing his need for rest.
“(With) everything he’s done for the game, just let the guy enjoy himself, man,” said Russell Martin, the All-Star catcher and Jeter’s New York teammate. “He just got 3,000. Leave him alone, man. Seriously. He’s coming off the DL. He played a bunch of games. He deserves a little rest (to) get his body right. I think everybody should respect that.”
One source close to Jeter speculated that the shortstop might have reversed course if he had reached 3,000 hits earlier last week and had time to “decompress.” But Jeter had no such time; he would have needed to fly to Phoenix after Sunday’s game, just one day after his big moment.