For most teams, the All-Star break means getting a rest from the long, rigorous season.
For some teams, the All-Star break means General Managers praying during each at-bat that an important piece of the puzzle does not get injured during an exhibition.
The Yankees this year have eight all-stars selected to the game, those being Robbie "Dont'cha know" Cano, Derek "Just another day at the office" Jeter, Alex "what did I do to deserve this" Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, CC "Big Papa" Sabathia, Mariano "throw one pitch, hit the showers" Rivera, and Nick "oooohhhhh, he is Swishalicious!" Swisher.
At this point, it has been announced that Mariano will not compete due to an oblique issue, and Sabathia will sit out due to starting on Sunday.
Although seeing Yankees in the game itself is a normal sight for fans (Jeter and Mo both have 11 All-Star appearances while A-Rod has 13), what is NOT normal is the actions that will take place on Monday night.
Nick Swisher will be a part of the Home Run Derby!
This will be the first time since Jason Giambi in 2003 that a Yankee will be represented in the derby. While, as mentioned, the managers, general managers, owners, many fans, and Alex Rodriguez, all cringe at the thought of possibly injuring themselves and/or ruining their swings, I LOVE the idea of seeing Swish hit some out.
Who knows, maybe Swisher will get lucky and win the thing just like Tino Martinez did in 1997!
But I digress...
When it comes to the All-Star game, I completely understand why some players and managers would like to see star players take off instead of spending three days playing in what is probably a more nerve-wracking atmosphere than one regularly plays in. However, is it really such a big deal to let a player be rewarded for what they've done throughout the year?
In the Yankees' case, there have not been too many examples of players backing out due to fear of injury. But what about Cano, who was slated to participate in the Home Run Derby, until Cashman gave word that he would be out? Cano in an interview later that day, claimed, "As far as I know, I'm playing" before it was ultimately revealed that he will not be a part of it.
If a player wants to do it, I don't see why they shouldn't. Why should a player have to appease the bosses, besides the fact that they sign their checks? I think a player is smart enough to know what they can do, and what they can't do.
I think it goes back to a mindset some people have in general about sports. This is the "win or nothing" thought. Basically, by taking their players out of the game, it gives a guy like Mariano a rest that will help them stay fresh throughout the regular season.
Sure, as a Yankee fan I can understand that. But what is winning if you don't have the moments to back that up?
You look at each year the Yankees have won the World Series, and hear about the moments that MADE the year, not just the moment that sealed their championship. For some players, making the All-Star team and being able to play is an honor in itself.
Sure, it doesn't directly help their team, but it is something many players strive for. In that sense, I feel it is wrong that a player cannot be a part of it if they really, truly want to be there.
To me, the All-Star break is not a break. Instead, it's a way for me to watch basically half of my favorite team play with some of my favorite players from other teams and put on an amazing show.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that if the American League wins it will help down the line by giving the Yankees home field advantage in the World Series...