Derek Jeter was on top of the world Saturday when he got his 3,000th hit - the first-ever Yankee to reach that number.
But Jeter has quickly fallen from grace in the eyes of the MLB brass for his decision to forgo today's All Star Game.
Jeter cited a need to rest after the enormous pressure to hit the 3,000 hit mark, which was delayed in part due to the 17 days he spent on the disabled list with a strained calf. We thought it'd be best not to try to push it, because it's most important to try to be ready for the second half [of the season]. That's what my focus has to be on, he told reporters.
An anonymous Major League official spoke to the Daily News about Derek's absence.
Derek Jeter has done everything right during his whole career, he said. He was wrong on this one.
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The same official said he had been holding out hope that Jeter might have flown to Arizona to acknowledge the fans who voted for him, even if he didn't actually play. This could have been a celebration of his 3,000th hit.
Jeter was spotted on Monday in Miami with his girlfriend Minka Kelly, who is there to shoot the upcoming Charlie's Angels series.
A few fellow players, including Jeter's former teammate Lance Berkman, agreed with the MLB official that Jeter should have attended the game. The Daily News article suggests that former manager Joe Torre may have tried to convince the shortstop to change his mind about skipping it, but could not convince him.
But not everyone in the league belives Jeter should be obligated to play or attend the All-Star game.
I don't think anybody can seriously question Derek Jeter's commitment to promoting the game and being an ambassador for the game, said Michael Weiner, Executive Director of the Player's Association. He's been as good an ambassador for the game as anybody for the past 16 years. I don't think that's a fair criticism.
Teammate Russell Martin also feels that Jeter earned a break.
He's just coming off the DL, he played a bunch of games in a row, Martin said. I'm sure the fans wanted to see him here, he just got his 3,000th hit - and the way he did it was incredible - but he's got to take care of himself, and make sure that he's healthy. You have to respect that.
[Source: Daily News]