bill-swift - July 11, 2012
News flash--Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder can hit the ball really, really hard. I'm sure that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone, but just in case anyone doubted his ability to kill a baseball and send it flying, Fielder hit 28 home runs in three rounds Monday night in Kansas City to win the 2012 Home Run Derby.
The field looked pretty good overall. In recent years a lot of the best sluggers have been skipping the event for fear of a power outage after the all-star break (yea, I'm calling you yellow Josh Hamilton and Ryan Braun). Team captains Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp did well picking their teams; they just forgot to hit any balls themselves (Cano fizzled with 0 ad Kemp only got 1).
The story of the first round was Jose Bautista who knocked 11 out of the park. Fielder barely made the cut with 5, just beating out Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen who each had four. Fielder made up for it in the second round by hitting 11 including a long of 476 feet to lead the charge into the final round against Bautista.
Fielder set the bar pretty high for Bautista by hitting 12, eight of them before recording two outs, tying the record for most home runs in the final round set by Cano last year. Bautista gave it an admirable try, but fell short of Fielder with seven.
As much fun as it was to watch the home runs flying out of the park, the most entertaining part of the night was Robinson Cano's turn. The boos cascading down from the stands were unmistakable. Apparently Cano had promised to pick someone from the home team Royals to participate. Billy Bulter would not have been a bad choice with 16 home runs this season, but Cano went back on his word.
And the crowd let him know how they felt.
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