Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Eliminate the Home Run Derby

Shifting gears here toward a subject near and dear to my heart.


But my heart is troubled as I have had it up to my armpits with the stupid Home Run Derby that precedes the annual All Star game.

It wouldn't bother me so much if the hitters on my favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, would just say no to participating.

A few years ago it was Jim Edmonds who wore himself out with a HR Derby appearance. Shortly afterward he threw out his shoulder, and he never did return to the power numbers he had had.

This year Albert Pujols participated, in large part, I think, because St. Louis was hosting the All Star game and he felt an obligation. He hasn't been the same since. I'm sure he'll snap out of this uncharacteristic slump, but his numbers since the All Star game are way down.

If I were a team owner or manager, I would make sure the contracts with the players included prohibitions against competing in the derby. It's both bad business and bad baseball to perpetuate this thing.

If you have to hold a derby, do it at the end of the season, maybe the night before the opening of the World Series. Exempt any player that will be in the World Series, however.

But there is a also a good argument against ending the HR Derby. There are only so many home runs that a player will hit during his career. Each one hit during a derby is one less that he will slam during a game, when it counts.
You don't see the NFL tossing the ball 10 times to running backs at the 15 yard line and telling them to score a touchdown against a wall of tacklers. Somebody might get hurt. In fact, in the Pro Bowl, at the end of the season, players do get hurt. But they have the off season to heal.

The HR Derby is not like batting practice and it's not like a real game.

It's less than either. It can introduce errors into a hitter's natural swing, which makes it a blight upon the game.

Labels: , ,


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Red S Tater said...

I agree, why don't they just put it on a Tee and whack it or maybe just hit it from a soft-toss drill.

But how about those Rockies huh?


Post a Comment

<< Home