Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Monday, July 14th, 2008 at 2:03 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

After looking through this year’s Home Run Derby contestants, I was disappointed to see that bigger names in baseball were unwilling to participate. Players such as Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Howard aren’t on the card for this year’s event, which is a historical one at that. It is both the first and last Home Run Derby to take place at “The House that Ruth Built.” Understandably, players don’t want to mess with their swings or get injured by being a part of this event. In addition, players receive minimal compensation for winning the contest, let alone simply being a participant. 

Don’t these players make enough money that for one night of the year they don’t need to see that big paycheck at the end of the day? This event is strictly for the fans and they should be rewarded by the players they root for just for one night. While purists of the game like to see pitchers’ duels and close games, the majority of casual baseball fans like to see the long-ball and some players do that better than others. Maybe it’s time one of these top tier players came out and said they would do the derby every year barring injury and get the attention of their millionaire teammates. It’s not enough for these guys to just do it when they feel like it, they have some sort of obligation to the fans, even on all-star weekend. It’s more than playing 3 innings half-heartedly, and coasting back to the hotel room after the game.

Either way, this year’s derby does have some star power in it and can prove to be an exciting one. This year’s participants are Chase Utley, Grady Sizemore, Justin Morneau, Josh Hamilton, Lance Berkman, Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, and Dan Uggla. These players should be applauded for their willingness to partake in the derby this year. The first 5 guys on this list are all left-handed, with the exception of Berkman being a switch-hitter. This gives them a distinct advantage at Yankee Stadium with that short porch in right field, as opposed to “death valley” in left field. 

My prediction is that Utley, Sizemore, Mourneau, and Hamilton all make it to the 2nd round, with Utley leading the way and blossoming into the favorite. Then Sizemore will have a monster 2nd round and face-off against Utley in the finals. This will lead to that 2nd round tiring Sizemore out and Utley walking away with this title.

Maybe instead of a trophy, they should give them a championship belt they can wear around all season long. This could encourage more players to want to try and win this belt away from other people and there would be a ceremony in which the new winner rips the belt off of the previous champ. Hopefully by the time all-star weekend is being held in the new Yankee Stadium or at Citi Field, there won’t be anyone complaining about a lack of superstars competing for the Home Run Belt.

There are currently 6 responses to “And Your Home Run Derby Winner is…”

Hot Stove New York uses Gravatars — short for Globally Recognized Avatars — for the pictures that show up next to comments.

  1. 1 On July 14th, 2008, Andrew Feingold said:

    Everyone should be pulling for Hamilton and he has the best odds at 7-2. If he does not win then I would like to see Morneau or Uggla win.

    Mourneau over his past 7 days is hitting .538 with 2 homers. He is coming in hot if that means anything

  2. 2 On July 14th, 2008, gozer said:

    it’d be a nice story, sure, but not realistic. My money’s on Morneau, Berkman, or Utley. If a righty wins, I’ll eat my avatar’s hat.

  3. 3 On July 14th, 2008, SoxAddict said:

    And your Home Run Derby winner is NOT the fan.

  4. 4 On July 15th, 2008, J Atwood said:

    I pick Josh Hamilton! Man I’m smart.

  5. 5 On July 15th, 2008, pbausk said:

    i was right about the tiring out theme, hamilton was done in the finals, but utley disappointed much

  6. 6 On July 15th, 2008, J Atwood said:

    I wasn’t all that surprised or disappointed about Utley. He’s not a power hitter. It’s a fluke, I think, that he is leading all the all stars in home runs. Utley can certainly hit it out of the park, and is certainly one of the best power hitters from the second base position ever (along with Uggla), but he’s still no Ryan Howard or Barry Bonds.

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