Monday, July 12, 2010

What Home Run Derby?

The All-Star break is here for major league baseball and tonight, some of the young power will be showcased in the Home Run Derby. When I look through the list of competitors though, I wonder where the power is. Of the eight entrants, only two have more than twenty home runs in the 2010 season. Only two entrants have more than 200 home runs for there entire careers.

Maybe this is one of the events that just loses something as you get older. I remember being fascinated by the slam dunk contest when I was about seven years old. I remember seeing Spud Webb dunk and think, "I might have a chance someday." I don't think Spud Webb was much taller than I was then.

By the time I was about fourteen, the slam dunk contest really seemed silly. I am not too impressed by guys who are 6'9" slamming a basketball. If a guy is that tall and he cannot slam a ball, that may me be more intruiging. But the whole premise seems silly anymore.

You take a guy who can almost touch the rim flat footed, give him an open court with no defenders, and so what. Yeah he can dunk. But it never looks terribly impressive.

I do think that the Home Run Derby is more impressive. Granted, the pitches are not really pitches. It is more like beer league softball. They throw it to you so you can hit it. But it is impressive to see a ball go 500 ft. I'm not going to get a hard-on over it though, like one particular guy on ESPN. (Some of you know who I am talking about.)

But to look at this years field for the Home Run Derby begs the question, where are all the home runs? Take a guy like Chris Young for the Diamondbacks, 15 HR this year, 86 for his career. I've never even heard of this guy. Alot of people who don't participate in fantasy baseball probably have never heard of him either.

How about Corey Hart? Last year he hit 12 home runs. He has 88 in his career. Is this must-see T.V, watching Corey Hart and Chris Young swing for doubles.

David Ortiz belonged there three years ago, but in his last two years, he has 51 home runs total. Although that is better than Corey Hart.

Vernon Wells hit an average of 17 home runs the last three seasons. Matt Holliday averaged 24.5 the last two seasons. Hanley Ramirez has 13 so far this year and has an average of about 25 home runs per season. Yes he is a superior player, but I don't care about any of these guys in a contest to hit home runs.

Miguel Cabrera is the only player that I really think belongs. This guy has power, averaging 35 home runs the last three years.

I remember when I was younger, watching guys like Ken Griffey Jr. and Juan Gonzalez duel it out, watching Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa just kill the ball. Yes, there were alot of question marks even then, but those guys could knock the shit out of the ball.

Where are the guys who can hit the ball a mile now? How can you have a home run derby and not have Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn or Albert Pujolz to knock the ball into the Pacific Ocean? I want to see the guys who can destroy the ball. Maybe I'm just getting older though, and the whole thing seems silly.

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