Jeter, Tanaka, Betances are All-Stars

MINNEAPOLIS -- Derek Jeter was voted to his 14th All-Star Game in his 20th and final season in Major League Baseball on Sunday.

Jeter will start at shortstop and be joined by two rookies, Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances, as the New York Yankees' representative on July 15 at Target Field.

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

#2 SS
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM76
  • HR2

  • RBI23

  • R29

  • OBP.323

  • AVG.273

“Extremely happy for all of them, I think they’re all deserving. To have two rookies go, that’s pretty special,” manager Joe Girardi said. “[Jeter’s selection] is great for the fans, great for baseball and I’m sure they have something special planned.”

When former Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera took the All-Star field for the last time in 2013, Rivera stood on the mound by himself and watched players from both dugouts and thousands of fans gave him a standing ovation at Citi Field for nearly two minutes.

Jeter, who played with Rivera his entire Yankees career, doesn’t expect a similar celebration in Minnesota next week. But his final regular-season at-bat here at Target Field showed he will likely see something special in his honor.

The fans gave Jeter a standing ovation before he belted his third hit of the day, No. 3,400 of his career, in the ninth inning of New York’s 9-7 win on Sunday.

“All-Star Game was in New York last year, it’s a little bit different,” Jeter said. “I don’t go into it with any expectations. Just trying to enjoy myself and have fun with whoever is here.”

Masahiro Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka

#19 SP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM17
  • W12

  • L3

  • BB18

  • K130

  • ERA2.27

After fracturing his left ankle for the second time in six months last season, Jeter was out for the All-Star break and missed the event for the first time since 2005.

“All-Star Games are never a situation where I expect to go to the All-Star Game,” Jeter said. “I’ve never taken it for granted at any point in my career. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of them. I’m looking forward to this one.”

Jeter’s final All-Star appearance will be with two teammates enjoying the experience for the first time in their careers.

Masahiro Tanaka currently leads the American League with 12 wins, and boasts a 2.27 ERA despite adjusting to life playing baseball in America.

Though Tanaka is scheduled to start for the Yankees next Sunday, two days before the All-Star Game, he said he won’t pass up the chance to pitch while the whole world is watching.

“Getting votes from guys you’re actually facing, that’s probably one of the best compliments I can get,” Tanaka said, via a translator. “If there’s a chance, I’d like to be able to talk with some of [the other All-Star pitchers] and pick their brains.”

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances

#68 RP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM37
  • W4

  • L0

  • BB16

  • K78

  • ERA1.61

The 26-year-old Betances has given up just nine earned runs in 50 1/3 innings of relief work -- good enough for a team-best 1.61 ERA.

On a day when Girardi had to tell Vidal Nuno he had been traded, and Alfonso Soriano that he had been designated for assignment, the Yankees' manager enjoyed the chance to break some good news.

“When Joe told me in the office, I was at a loss for words for a second, truly blessed and honored to participate in this event,” Betances said. “I definitely was emotional earlier -- it's been hard work, a long journey, all years in minor leagues and ups and downs. For players to vote for me, I’m truly humbled. Crazy feeling for me right now.”

While Betances was overcome by emotion, Tanaka took the news like he was the one making his 14th appearance, not Jeter.

“[Tanaka] had a big smile on his face,” Girardi said. “He’s not a man of many words.”