I must admit I’m a bit of a fraud.
I’m one of those guys who says he hates the Home Run Derby, but tunes in to watch it every year. What can I say? I love baseball so much, I can overlook all that’s wrong with the sport, starting with Commissioner Bud Selig.
That said, we can all agree: the Derby has sucked eggs since Josh Hamilton put on an exceptional show at Yankee Stadium in 2008. And that one kind of sucked, too. Hamilton didn’t even score the victory due to the Derby’s crappy rules.
I can’t say whether this year’s field is or isn’t promising, but I have high hopes for one very divisive figure within the game of baseball: National League selection Bryce Harper. More on that momentarily.
The two teams have shaped up as follows: American League Captain Robinson Cano, New York Yankees; current MLB home run leader Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles; and reigning Home Run Derby champ Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers.
Cano reportedly has an offer on the table to Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera to become the fourth member of the squad. I’m sure we’ll know who the fourth is soon enough. I’d love to see a sweet swinging random like Toronto’s Colby Rasmus in the mix — that dude is built for a Home Run Derby. It won’t happen, but it’d be awesome if it did.
On the other side: National League Captain David Wright, New York Mets; Wright’s buddy Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies; National League home run leader Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies; and second-year phenom Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals.
I like Harper to come out on top. I know a lot of people expect the youngster to choke, but I’d say such a possibility is slim to nil. Harper has competed in this type of event before, and he’s got more fuel in the tank than any of the rest of these dudes. If he remains patient for pitches to hit, he’ll launch more than a few taters.