The question comes up every year: How do you improve All-Star game ratings?
I've heard a lot of ideas.
Some advocate moving the game to Wednesday in order to give aces who pitched on the Sunday before a chance to play in the game. Others want to drop the mandate that every team has to be represented. One person actually waved the white flag, saying the game should be done away with.
Then there is the argument that it should be mandatory for all players voted in by the fans to show up at the game.
That brings me to Derek Jeter.
You know the story by now. Jeter got his 3,000th hit last Saturday, then announced that he would not be attending the All-Star game. He has been criticized for his decision ever since. The harshest criticism came from an MLB official who chose to remain anonymous:
"Derek Jeter has done everything right during his whole career. He was wrong on this one." [NY Daily News]
This anonymous MLB official made his comments before the game and before the announcement that this was the lowest rated All-Star game ever. I'm sure he knew that ratings for the game have been low for years.
When Jeter got hit No. 3,000 on Saturday, he and the rest of MLB brass were likely giddy with excitement, anticipating a ratings windfall.
Jeter let the air out of their balloon in a hurry, dashing their hopes of a respectable showing, making one exec so angry that he had the gall to say that the great Derek Jeter was wrong.
Derek Jeter was wrong. He should have been at the All-Star game. He owed it to all the fans who voted for him. So go ahead and blame him for not showing up, MLB.
But the blame game should end there.
Jeter is not responsible for the low ratings. That one's on you.