July 14, 2008

Home Run Derby = Yawn

I wanted to see this tonight, oh well...

Usually, the Home Run Derby is one of the more exciting events of the MLB All-Star extravaganza. What could be better than watching the best sluggers in the game crush as many as they can? Whether you like the individuals or not, watching them hit the ball 450 ft repeatedly can be enjoyable. Who can forget Big Mac crushing balls over the green monster, or Albert Pujols or Barry Bonds... ?

But this year, the lineup leaves quite a bit to be desired for various reasons. The AL lineup is Justin Morneau, Evan Longoria, Josh Hamilton, and Grady Sizemore. The NL lineup is Chase Utley, Dan Uggla, Lance Berkman, and Ryan Braun.

So what's wrong with that lineup, you might ask? The NL has 3 MVP candidates lined up, while the AL has some of the superstars of the game including the likely rookie of the year in the AL.

Stop screwing around, and give the hometown fans someone to cheer for.

What's wrong is that the great home run hitters of this generation are not represented. A-Rod and Manny both recently passed the 500 HR milestone, while Griffey hit his 600th this year. Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols are two of the best HR hitters in the game right now, but none of those 5 players will be swinging for the fences tonight. Nor will Vlad Guerrero, David Wright, Chipper Jones, ...

Depending on your definition, at least 5 of those players are from small-market teams, meaning that the percentage of fans who see these players on a regular basis is quite small. In addition with their youth, very few have established a name for themselves beyond the last year or two. Berkman leads this group with 281 HRs at age 32, while Utley only has 122 career HRs.

Berkman is the senior statesman of this derby, at 32 with 281 HRs.

The derby is supposed to be for the fans, a chance to see the stars who they love hit the ball as far as possible. Instead, the fans get a bunch of solid players, but none of them are known for bashing the ball out of the park for the last decade. When was the last HR derby without a single hitter in the 300 HR club?

I'm not saying it isn't nice for the small-market players to get some recognition, because those 8 are all quality players, at least this year. What I'm saying is that I'd like to see some of the many future Hall-of-Famers swinging tonight, instead.

2 Responses:

GR said...

I couldn't agree more. I would love to see some of the big boys hit balls to unimaginable places in Yankee Stadium. Here's hoping the young/small market guys put on a show.

"ben" said...

Same problem with the dunk contest.

Summer is here and there's never been a better time to try your hand at online sports betting. Place your bets on your favorite horse with horse racing or even try your luck with your favorite football team. Enjoying sport is just a click away!