Home Run Derby Preview

Ian HunterCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 09:  National League All-Star Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals competes round 2 of the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Home Run Derby at AT&T Park on July 9, 2007 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Think of it as an orgasm for the eyes.

MLB is bringing you nothing but moon shots as eight All-Stars will slug it out tonight to see who will be crowned the king of the 2009 Home Run Derby.

It’s unfortunate that great pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine had to find out the hard way that chicks dig the long ball. But apparently it’s not just the female contingency, according to ESPN polls almost 70 percent of people actually prefer to watch the Home Run Derby rather than the All-Star game itself.

Aside from Carlos Pena, there aren’t any real true home run hitters representing the American League at the Home Run Derby. So that means I have to give the edge to the National League because all four of their hitters have 30+ home runs as their career average, whereas the AL has just one hitter with those kind of numbers.

BatterHR's (This Season)HR's (Career High)HR's (Career AVG)
Carlos Pena242634
Joe Mauer151315
Brandon Inge192718
Nelson Cruz22928

Albert Pujols324643
Ryan Howard225849
Prince Fielder225037
Adrian Gonzalez243631

In the end, do any of those numbers even matter?

I guess anything can happen since they’ll all be hitting 65 MPH batting practice fastballs anyway.

Albert Pujols is the odds-on favourite to win the HR Derby according to BetUS.com, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a dark horse pick like Adrian Gonzalez wins it all.

Thankfully I’m not putting my money where my mouth is because last year I picked Dan Uggla to win the derby and he didn’t even make it out of the first round.

So what do these sluggers get for all their trouble?

A shiny silver trophy and a potential downfall in the second half of the season if you believe in the Home Run Derby curse.

That’s why I’m glad that Aaron Hill turned down the chance to represent the AL in the HR Derby.

He doesn’t want to mess up his swing, and I respect his choice to decline the invitation because he can’t afford to drop off after the All-Star break.