Alexei admires Jeter's contributions to game

Alexei admires Jeter's contributions to game

CHICAGO -- Alexei Ramirez's statistics are better than Derek Jeter's across the board through the first two months of the 2014 season. In fact, Ramirez has been the best shortstop in the American League during that time.

But Ramirez thoroughly understands the All-Star voting support received by Jeter, who is one of the game's biggest and most respected stars, playing in the final season of a two-decade career.

"You have to tip your hat to Derek Jeter. That's a guy we look after and it's a great model," said Ramirez through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I am very pleased to be right next to somebody like that."

In the first round of AL voting released Tuesday, Jeter's vote total sat at 602,525 and Ramirez's at 472,537. Ramirez would be honored to take part in Jeter's final All-Star appearance.

"I admire Derek Jeter as a person and as a player," Ramirez said. "He's a legend. He deserves this more than anything else for everything that he's done in all his career."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.