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Like Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter honored with ovations, meatballs

It’s really not a big deal. Nothing, truly, can be a big deal in an All-Star Game with 79 All-Stars.

But you can’t look at the fastballs Adam Wainwright threw to Derek Jeter last night in comparison to the cutting, diving offerings to Mike Trout one batter later and, at the very least, not notice a difference.

Wainwright admitted, then un-admitted, that he grooved one for Derek Jeter’s leadoff double in last night’s All-Star Game, and it’s honestly unclear who cared.

Sure, Twitter kind of went crazy and I definitely noticed and texted some buddies about it. But I can’t understand why it mattered.

Here’s who can’t care: pretty much any of us here in Baltimore.

You can’t kneel at the altar of Cal Ripken Jr. without admitting he had the same fortunate fate as Jeter in his final All-Star nod. In the third inning in 2001’s midsummer classic, Chan Ho Park served up a first-pitch, belt-high fastball that Ripken put into the left field bullpen.

That didn’t matter either, even if this year’s edition of the All-Star Game “counts.” The only real difference is that Jeter did what Jeter did — poked an easy double to right field — and Ripken did what Ripken did — he hit a homer.

Neither is easy to do. Both probably could have been done on fastballs that weren’t typically reserved for 4 p.m., not primetime. And again, neither mattered. Like Ripken before him, Jeter had his moments in baseball’s summer showcase and whining about it — or the game itself — is pretty pointless.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jonmeoli

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