By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL/Designated Writers
Tuesday is baseball’s All-Star Game and Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets’ ace pitcher won’t be there. Houston’s Jose Altuve won’t be there. Teammate Carlos Correa won’t be there. In fact, no Astros will be there.
Why? Because they don’t want to be.
I guess Willie Mays didn’t have any family when he went to 24 All-Star Games. Hank Aaron must have been injury free when he went to 24. Stan Musial must have been inconsiderate of the St. Louis Cardinals pennant chances when he went to two dozen All-Star Games.
Because those are the excuses being tossed around not only this year, but every year. The argument being made by Mets’ lovers in the New York media is that “DeGrom belongs to the Mets, and their fans — both of whom are enjoying what is shaping up to be a very special season in Flushing. And if deGrom doesn’t care to share himself with the VIPs gathering at Coors Field, or Tuesday’s global TV audience, just so he can stay as close to 100 percent healthy as he has all year, that’s just tough luck for everyone else.”
Wow. How New York of you.
Altuve has 19 home runs to lead one of the best teams in baseball and is skipping the All-Star Game so he can rest his ailing left leg. That’s the same leg that hasn’t kept out of the lineup much — he’s only missed one of the last 12 games — and he says does not need any procedures done on the leg.
“I need those four days to get everything with my leg right and be really healthy for the second half because I feel like the team needs me 100%,” he said.
So playing two innings and getting one time at bat in an All-Star Game is going to ruin the Astros’ chances?
Look, if we want to get onto tennis star Naomi Osaka for skipping French Open press conferences because “it’s what she signed up for,” then baseball stars fall under the same umbrella. If she’s not helping to grow the game, then neither are these guys.
It’s nice to say that you are doing it in the name of helping out the team, but how about helping out baseball while you are at it? I’m good with not being in the Home Run Derby, but the All-Star Game is an honor, voted on by the fans.
Everybody needs rest, lots of players have pregnant wives and who wouldn’t want four days off? (And by the way, that’s an extra day longer than it used to be, so making the excuses even weaker.)
And baseball wonders why the All-Star Game just isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be.