With the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby and All-Star festivities coming to us from Kansas City, the excitement over having the team’s lone All-Star Billy Butler in the contest was something all fans held.
Unfortunately, American League captain, defending champion of the event and New York Yankee Robinson Cano did not select Butler to the event after he said he would.
While there was plenty of fun, there was a clear awkwardness when the fans booed Cano mercilessly when he came up to bat.
Cano wasn’t the only one that struggled, though, and all of the players on the list will wish they had never agreed to be a part of the event.
After snubbing the hometown boy, Cano knew that he was going to hear it from the crowd. As much as it is justifiable to take Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo and Prince Fielder over Butler, Cano never should’ve said he would pick a Royal.
Cano had no chance before stepping to the plate—boos showering down from every corner of Kauffman Stadium—and they roared even louder as he made out after out. With no home runs in the Home Run Derby, it would be safe to say that the fans got in the head of the Yankees star.
While the fans across MLB will agree with who Cano selected, the Kansas City fans had every right to get on the captain of the American League team for his snub. This was just one of those lose-lose situations for Cano; good thing it was all for fun, though.
With a tough first half of the 2012 season because of injuries and inconsistent play, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was looking at the Home Run Derby as a way to build momentum coming into the second half.
After hitting just one home run and it coming on his second-to-last swing, Kemp has to go back to the drawing board again.
There is little doubt that the star will find his rhythm and start playing at a high level in 2012, but Kemp should pass next year on this whole Derby idea if he is asked again. Not only did the star do poorly this year, he only had two home runs in a first-round exit last season.
Dodgers fans should start a campaign to “Keep Kemp Out for 2013.”
Another star that struggled was Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. With the talk of the star being traded and the organization saying he won’t be, this poor performance doesn’t help his stock either way.
While it was disappointing, the first-time contestant had no problem telling MLB.com how much harder it was than he thought:
It's hard. It's harder than people think. There's a lot of feeling and a lot of excitement. Sometimes you're trying to do too much and things don't go the way you want them to. I'm sure he can hit a lot more homers than just one. It didn't happen tonight. As a player, you don't want it to happen to you, but it did. All we're trying to do is trying to put on a good show for the fans.
Every contestant says how hard it is, but it’s a different ball game when the player gets up to bat the first time. With a promising MLB career on tap, there is little doubt that CarGo will be back soon enough to redeem himself.
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