In the 2012 Home Run Derby, there was a big-time reaction for Home Run Derby captain Robinson Cano. That reaction was filled with an array of boos from the Kansas City crowd.
Why the hostility for the second baseman?
Well, he said he would pick a a member of the Kansas City Royals a couple of weeks prior to the event. That guy would be All-Star Billy Butler. The Royals DH was not chosen by Cano.
This has happened before. Last year, captain Prince Fielder received boos after failing to pick local hometown boy Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Now, commissioner Bud Selig said that the Baseball Writers Association of America will discuss a possible rule change to the anticipated event. This rule will be for the captain to choose a player from where the Home Run Derby is being played. In other words, a hometown boy.
Fans booing should not have such an impact on a decision like this. Should Cano have not commented at all that he would choose a Royal? Yes, but in the end, isn't it his decision?
Could the MLB have stepped in and held Cano to a higher standard to make sure he did pick Butler? Yes, there is an argument for that as well.
Players like Cano shouldn't be booed like he was on Monday night, but he asked for it. Does that mean the MLB should jump in and demand the captain to choose a local? No, that isn't very fair.
Fans buy the tickets, and they have the right to cheer and boo as they please. Perhaps he would have gotten booed anyways for being a Yankee. It comes with the territory, usually.
Do you want a Hometown Player in the Home Run Derby?
So, with the festivities heading to Citi Field next year, would it be wrong for the Home Run Derby captain to not choose David Wright or a member of the New York Mets? No, it should be their decision.
These players are volunteering for the event. They shouldn't have to deal with many rules. MLB guys are used to getting cheered and booed. Quite frankly, they are athletes and fans show them positive and negative emotions.
While some don't necessarily deserve the reaction they receive, that shouldn't have any power on the future of the Home Run Derby.
Having a hometown player could be good for the sport and event, but is it coming along the wrong way? This would be a decision of haste and reaction of Cano's night.
This story may not have been such a big deal if Cano hadn't said anything in the first place. Perhaps the clubhouses should tell their players to not make such promises if they can't handle the negative reactions if they end up backing out of the deal.
There will always be the risk of having a hometown player that won't be considered worthy of the nod by many baseball experts and fans.
The MLB shouldn't make a decision like this based on one night.