Texas Ranger home run machine Josh Hamilton, who leads the majors with 21 bombs this year, has decided to skip the Home Run Derby during All-Star weekend. Good for him.
Back in 2008, Hamilton put on a ridiculous display of power when he crushed 28 dingers in the first round of the Derby. What else does he have to prove there?
There have been studies on whether or not guys who participate in the HR Derby actually lose production after the fact or not, and whether they do or not is beside the point to me.
Hamilton has led the Rangers to the most wins in the American League with 33 as of today, and they need him to be there the rest of the way. It sounds trite, but what if he gets hurt during the Derby? Sure, he could get hurt during a game, but at least that would be during what he's getting paid to do.
He could get hurt in the actual All-Star game as well, but that too is more within the realm of his job. The Home Run Derby might be fun for the fans, but sometimes these guys need to consider what they're really there for, and that's to try and win games, not HR Derbys.
Maybe it sucks for the fans, but they'll get over it. Besides, wouldn't they rather see Hamilton hitting bombs in late September on the way to a pennant, than during an exhibition? I would.
Here's Hamilton's 28 bombs in 2008 if you have seven minutes to spare.<iframe width="600" height="450" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NZQkI-qyvOo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>