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Home Run Derby 2014: Most Disappointing Results from Monday Night's Event

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 14:  American League All-Star Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts during the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2016

Well, that could've gone better. Major League Baseball swung for the fences with the new structure it implemented for the 2014 Home Run Derby, and those changes backfired in a big way.

Yoenis Cespedes beat Todd Frazier in the final, but most fans were left burnt out after Monday's event went on and on and on and on. All that was missing was Bud Selig to come out and declare it a draw because there weren't any pitchers left.

On an underwhelming night at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, these three things stuck out the most.

 

Yasiel Puig Goes 0-fer

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 14:  National League All-Star Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats during the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Fans were denied any Yasiel Puig home runs, which means fans were denied the patented Puig bat flip. Remember how Cespedes won last year's Derby? Puig would've made that look like Cespedes gently placed the bat on the ground, tucked it into bed and read it a story before it fell asleep.

We can only assume he would've because he didn't hit any home runs.

The problem was clearly Robinson Cano's dad, per ESPN Stats and Info:

In a few weeks, of course, nobody will remember this, and it won't preclude Puig from enjoying his first All-Star Game, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

But it felt like the fans were robbed to a certain extent on Monday night. Almost everybody wanted to see what the Los Angeles Dodgers star would do, and he did almost next to nothing.

If that's not disappointing, then what is?

 

Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton Are Victims of the System

You'd think that hitting the most home runs in the first round would be a bonus to the hitter. Instead, it served as the beginning of the end for Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton. The duo combined to hit 16 dingers in the opening round but followed up with only four in the third round, and both stars were subsequently eliminated.

Bautista and Stanton were clearly off their games, a result of the amount of time they were forced to wait until their numbers were called. For the former, it was nearly two hours:

If MLB wants to overhaul its overhaul, that's gotta be one of the first places to start. The guys who hit the most home runs shouldn't then be punished.

 

Justin Morneau and Brian Dozier Bow Out Early

This last point isn't any fault of the new Derby structure; Justin Morneau and Brian Dozier simply weren't good enough.

It would've been awesome to see the two face off in the final, or at the very least have one of them make a deep run. Both Dozier and Morneau had the Minneapolis crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, the former because he's a Minnesota Twin and the latter because of his past years of service with the Twins.

You would've thought that Monday night would've belonged to Dozier since he plays at Target Field on a regular basis. Instead, he never got into a groove. Perhaps the pressure got to him a little bit.

Morneau's struggles were a little more predictable considering eight of his 13 home runs and 39 of his 60 runs batted in have come at Coors Field this year.

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