A Home Run Derby Suggestion

When Major League Baseball announced they were making a change to the Home Run Derby I was enthusiastic. Naming Prince Fielder captain of the National League and David Ortiz captain of the American League teams was a brilliant move.

Each captain as free to choose three names each and the participants did not have to be players already named to the All-Star game. Finally we would be able to see the best and brightest long ball hitters from each league.

Then of course the inevitable happened. Each of the captains begin choosing their friends turning the Home Run Derby into yet another example of the “Good Old Boy” network, a complaint that has been rendered on the sport on multiple occasions.

The American League roster is made up of Ortiz along with league leading home run hitter Jose Bautista from Toronto, New York Yankee Robinson Cano, and Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez. The same Adrian Gonzalez who vowed to never play in the All-Star game in Phoenix because of immigration legislation passed last year.

You do have to give credit to Ortiz for including a Yankee among his picks. That’s like Ulysses S Grant selecting Robert E. Lee as his best man at his wedding. I think most baseball fans were hoping to see Josh Hamilton be named after his 2008 display in Yankee Stadium. With the warm desert air and hitter friendly environment of Chase Field; Hamilton could have had a heyday.

Fielder’s selections on the National League side are even more perplexing. He selected Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp who is having a good year but then used his other two selections to pick St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and Brewers teammate Ricky Weeks. Holliday and Weeks, seriously?

Fielder completely ignored Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton who has hit several bombs this year of tape measure distance ranking just below Fielder for the longest home runs hit this season. Plus it’s Upton’s home park giving the fans extra incentive to root for the National League.

I have a proposal for Major League Baseball. How about we add a third team to this Home Run Derby. How about we create a Home Team made up of members of the host team to battle against the National League and American League All-Stars.

I would name Justin Upton as the captain of the team and then recommend that he add Wily Mo Pena, Chris Young, and Kelly Johnson to his team. Those four players have the opportunity to literally crush the competition and show the fans what kind of power we have in the desert.

We could even have this third team sponsored by the local utility company APS. I would even sport a sign that said, “Arizona Diamondbacks, we have more power than APS”. Now that would get the fans at the hometown stadium fired up for the Home Run Derby.

1 Comment

  1. Jeff,

    I agree that Upton was slighted in the Home Run Derby selection. In case you wanted a visual to see how productive each participants has been so far this season: http://experiencesap.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/desert-derby/

    Also, if you wanted some graphs about the Diamondbacks: http://experiencesap.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/when-a-snake-comes-creeping/

    Please feel free to use our tools to further enhance your Diamondbacks analysis in the future: http://experience.sap.com/baseball/index.htm


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