The All-Star festivities for Major League Baseball are fast approaching. The game, the galas, the celebrity softball game, and the Home Run Derby will be taking place next week in St. Louis, Missouri.
Now, what event do you think the Loyal Homer is most looking forward to watching? (I can promise you it’s not the celebrity softball game, which is probably Sports Geek’s favorite event!)
It is, in fact, the Home Run Derby!
The Home Run Derby is a made-for-TV event that has taken place at the All-Star Game every year since 1985. And last year’s first round created perhaps the most buzz ever, with Josh Hamilton hitting in record 28 home runs in the first round (though he eventually lost to champion Justin Morneau.).
The question posed by Bleacher Fan basically asks if MLB still needs to host the Home Run Derby each. I say most definitely… YES!
I love the home run derby. It’s one of my favorite exhibition events of the year in any sport. Some buddies of mine and I are planning on getting together on Monday to grill out and watch the derby. We’ve been doing this for years. It appears I am not the only one who likes the Home Run Derby, either. Last year’s Home Run Derby drew 6.78 million viewers for ESPN.
Fans come to the park to see home runs, even in this steroids era. They don’t come to the park to see singles and doubles. Do fan stand up and cheer when the eighth place hitter hits a bloop single to center? Heck no! Do fans stand up and cheer when the cleanup hitter hits a 475-foot bomb over the right field fence? You betcha!
This year’s derby features some of the game’s biggest sluggers, including Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder (his dad Cecil could hit some moon shots back in the day), and hometown boy Albert Pujols. Now, you can’t honestly tell me that you don’t want to see how far Pujols can really hit a baseball. He can hit it a long way in a game (just ask Brad Lidge). Imagine how far he can hit it in against batting practice pitching! I, and thousands of other fans like me, get to baseball games early just to stand in the outfield seats and try to catch a BP home run. That proves to me that America is still fascinated with the long ball.
And chicks dig the long ball. If you have never seen this commercial, please give it a look. It’s one of my all-time favorites.
Is the derby a little too drawn out now with all the rounds and the contestants and commercial breaks after every hitter? Yes, certainly! It needs to be adjusted. But it does not need to be eliminated. Loyal Homer loves the event and I know the fans do too!