Why Derek Jeter doesn’t like to talk about All-Star balloting
The Yankees captain would be thrilled to be ticketed for a trip to the Midsummer Classic, and he is keeping his calendar open for the July 15 contest at Target Field. Still, Jeter doesn’t want to jinx anything.
“You know me — I don’t think about that before it happens,” Jeter said on Monday. “I learned that a long time ago. I’ll wait to see what happens.”
With 2,924,686 votes, Jeter is holding off his top challenger, Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox (2,325,527). J.J. Hardy of the Orioles is third with 1,534,547 votes.
For the moment, Jeter would prefer to keep his focus on the Yankees schedule, which he examined on a wall adjacent to his clubhouse locker.
“My plans for the middle of July? I’ll be in Cleveland, Baltimore, then home for Cincinnati and Texas,” Jeter said, skipping over the four blank days in the heart of the month. “Those are my plans right now, as of now.”
Jeter’s reluctance to discuss his All-Star candidacy is rooted in the summer of 1999, when Nomar Garciaparra of the Red Sox benefited from frenzied online voting to overcome a deficit of more than 30,000 votes, passing both Jeter and the Indians’ Omar Vizquel in the final week.
“Everyone was like, ‘Oh, you’re leading,'” Jeter recalled. “Then Garciaparra got like 100,000, 200,000 votes the last day, something like that. After that, I said, ‘I’ll just wait.'”
Updates on the other Yankees in the race:
Catcher Brian McCann (1,624,124) sits in third place among American League catchers and, despite struggling offensively in the first half, could be up for a spot now that AL leader Matt Wieters of the Orioles (2,103,385) is out for the season due to injury. The Athletics’ Derek Norris (1,924,049) is second.
Mark Teixeira (877,468) ranks fifth among AL first basemen, while Jacoby Ellsbury (1,501,306) is currently seventh among AL outfielders. Carlos Beltran (1,292,920) is ninth among outfielders and Brett Gardner (908,921) is 12th.