NEW YORK ALL-STARS 2014 AN LAST ONE FOR JETER
By: Luis Vazquez
New York will be represented at this year's all star game in Minnesota by only three players, two Yankees, one an icon, the other a rookie of sorts that has emerged. The Mets lone representative, Daniel Murphy, is not even considered the best known on his own team. This is a far cry from the past when New York was well represented year in and year out. But each has a story on the road to this showcase, You can call them the Legend, the Rookie, and the the Underdog.
The Underdog is Murphy, hitting .284 with 7 home runs and 37 RBI's along with 113 hits that ranks second in the National League. He has been solid and his final numbers will justify the decision to keep him off the trade market before the July 31 deadline. It has been a year where he was criticized by Boomer Esiason of WFAN when his first child was born on opening day and his grace in handling it won him many admirers. And now, Murphy an All-Star for the first time.
"Its very humbling to even be mentioned in the same breath as some of the guys that are going to be at this game."Murphy shared.
The Yankees had three All-Stars until Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka, slightly tore his elbow ligament, sending him to the DL. The remaining two are a contrast. Derek Jeter in his 14th and final All-Star game, is going to receive the accolades similar to what former teammate Mariano Rivera received at last years game in New York.
Dellin Betances, relief pitcher, has been fighting to arrive. He did and his first All Star selection is a confirmation of such. At 26, this native of Washington Heights has been a major reason why the Yankee bullpen has excelled. At 6'8" and 260 pounds, he has powered his way to a 4-0 record with a 2.43 E.R.A. He has appeared in 48 games and logged 63 innings with a save and 96 strikeouts. He had few expectations entering 2014 after four years toiling in the minors.
"My goal was to make the team." Betances said. "Just coming into Spring Training to try to make the team and just earn my way." His excitement was only increased with the chance to join Jeter in his mid season game swan song.
"For me just watching his last year, this is amazing." Betances admitted. "Its great getting to meet these guys and know them a little bit. For me, just being here with Jeet's last year, I'm honored to be here. "
Jeter, is in his final MLB season and his numbers are good considering he is in decline. He is hitting .272 with two home runs and 25 runs batted in. His 92 hits have put him on pace for another possible 200- hit season with 31 runs scored in 83 games something that didn't look possible since he missed the 2012 ALCS and most of 2013 with a serious ankle injury.
But the former 2000 All-Star MVP, and five- time World Series champion has continued to add to his Hall of fame resume as the career hits leader of the New York Yankees, manning his short stop position despite a diminished range.
But Jeter is here and knowing better than anyone what its like to be picked in a tough decision over another, young sensation, and now a baseball treasure in an era of enhanced talent. This is what New York brings to this midsummers classic.
"I don't know what tomorrow's going to be like." Jeter said. "I'm coming here, playing in the All-Star Game and trying to win for our league, because someone in this room is going to benefit."