Even during his worst offensive season, Derek Jeter was the starting shortstop for the American League all-star team. In 2010, he won the fan vote ahead of Elvis Andrus, batted second behind Ichiro Suzuki and got a hit off Roy Halladay.
Tonight, Jeter will be back. After sitting out last year’s game — and catching some heat for it — Jeter will once again start at shortstop. Now that Ichiro is no longer playing at an all-star level, Jeter will hit leadoff for the first time.
“The whole atmosphere is fun,” Jeter said before leaving Boston on Sunday. “The whole experience is fun. It never gets old. Being around the guys is probably the thing you look forward to the most. You get an opportunity to talk to some players you really don’t know too well, and get an opportunity to know them. That’s probably the thing that stands out.”
This year’s All-Star Game is largely focused on the young guys. You’ll most certainly hear a lot about Mike Trout and Bryce Harper today, and it’s well deserved, but as my good friend Mark Feinsand wrote in today’s Daily News, Jeter still gets his share of attention. Even among the superstars, Jeter stands out.
“I had a lot of animosity toward DJ early on in my career,” Chipper Jones said. “He beat me in two World Series and I didn’t know him. I sat across the field from him so many times, saw all the accolades he was getting and was a little green with envy. Then I got a chance to play with him (at the 2006 World Baseball Classic), in the clubhouse, in the dugout, off the field at dinner. This is the best dude I have ever met. This guy deserves everything.”