If there is one thing that every sports fan--baseball lover or not--can appreciate it is the home run. There is just something awe inspiring about a guy hitting a ball so hard it flies 400 or 500 feet away.
That's why the brain trust in the MLB front office came up with the Home Run Derby as part of the league's all-star festivities. What better time to gather some of the best crushers in the game and have them launch a few baseballs into orbit?
It is not as easy to get some of the best into the contest anymore. There is a belief that by participating and giving the fans want they want the player will have a power outage at the plate after the break is over. For many guys it has proven to be true so they don't participate anymore.
This has made the Derby not very entertaining sometimes, but this year will not be the case. AL captain Robinson Cano was not able to talk Josh Hamilton into doing the Derby this year, and the word is that David Ortiz opted out as well.
We can assume that Matt Kemp, the NL captain, asked Ryan Braun (why wouldn't he?), but the Brewers slugger declined as well.
While some of the best bashers may not be on the list the ones collected certainly are no slouches in their own right. Here are the teams:
National League: Matt Kemp (Dodgers; captain); Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies), Carlos Beltran (Cardinals)
American League: Robinson Cano (Yankees;captain); Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Prince Fielder (Tigers), Mark Trumbo (Angels)
Maybe if home field advantage for the World Series was given to the winner of the Home Run Derby we'd get the best sluggers to enter the contest and really get a show...I'm just saying...
(Highlights of the 2011 Home Run Derby)