• Yankees captain Derek Jeter finally made his return to the field this week with much fanfare in New York. His coming-back party was short-lived. Jeter had to sit out over half the season after a broken ankle in last year’s playoffs and a set-back in rehab put him on the shelf for longer than originally expected. He entered the lineup on Thursday as a designated hitter for one game but is now out until after the All-Star break after an MRI revealed a strain of his right quadriceps. He’ll be re-evaluated after the break. “It’s frustrating, I don’t know what else you want me to say,” Jeter said in a team news release. He went 1-4 in the game.
• Jeter has three obstacles to overcome to get his Yankees into October baseball. The first is the Boston Red Sox, who have built a six-game lead on the Yanks entering Saturday’s games and a 4.5-game lead on Tampa Bay. The second is his health, which hasn’t been his friend for nearly a year. The third is history — no team has ever had a regular, every-day shortstop 39 years or older and made the playoffs, per ESPN. Jeter turned 39 last month.
• After a hotly contested race (and ensuing debate) for the final spot in the National League All-Star team, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman beat out Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Through Friday’s games, Freeman was hitting .312 with nine home runs and 61 RBI.
• Puig’s torrid and unprecedented start to his career sparked the debate that since he’s the hottest hitter in the NL at this moment, and since the All-Star Game decides home-field advantage in the World Series, shouldn’t the hottest hitters play regardless of how many games they’ve played? Puig had a .392 batting average entering Saturday but only 19 RBI and in only 37 games played compared to Freeman’s 81. The fans eventually sided with Freeman, who’s been playing the entire season and not only the last six weeks.
• The fans held the final vote for the All-Star teams, with the decision coming on Thursday. After ESPN ran a debate Thursday morning before the polls were closed, in which Puig’s highlights were shown at nearly a 6-1 ratio to Freeman’s, the network later announced the final vote via an update in an odd way — by saying Puig had lost, not that Freeman had won.
— Ryan Lewis