Prince Fielder is your Home Run Derby champion—that is if you decided to stick around past the first round.
The night was set with perfect weather, a very well done arch in the middle of the field, and major league hitters who want to hit home runs...or so we thought.
Nelson Cruz and Prince Fielder started off the night exciting, both hitting 11 home runs, but it went downhill from there.
In case there are people unaware of how the Derby works, batters get 10 outs to hit as many home runs as possible. An out consists of a missed swing, groundball, pop-up, flyout, a foul ball, or anything that doesn't make it over the fence.
One would think that with 10 outs, a major league player getting paid millions would be able to hit a home run.
Well, think again.
Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers (in this case the Lions) hit no home runs. No long balls. No jacks. No dingers. Nothing that would make this guy go nuts.
Following up Mr. Nothing was Adrian Gonzalez who only hit two home runs with his 10 outs. This is the Home Run Derby and not the batting practice derby, right?
Then came (begin sarcasm) an exciting trio of batters (end sarcasm) who hit five home runs to drag this suck-fest out even longer with a swing-off.
While ESPN had no clue how this thing worked, I overheard the guy talking to Pujols that each batter had five swings instead of five outs.
Carlos Pena wooed the crowd with one home run during his swing-off, Joe Mauer couldn't find the strength to hit one in his five swings, and hometown hero Albert Pujols was able to hit two to advance him into the second round.
Before I get any further, why exactly did ESPN introduce us to Ball Track if they did not plan on using it? I remember sitting there through the first round waiting for them to use it, and the only time they seemed to use it was after the batter was done and we already knew it was a home run.
Why not use it on every swing?
Another pet peeve of mine during this derby, well every derby for that matter, is the kids in the outfield.
There must be a competition on how these kids get picked, and the worst ones get to go. It looked like an entire outfield filled with Bill Buckners; I have never seen so many balls on the ground go through the gloves.
Then add on the fact that Joe Morgan is like the John Madden of the baseball world.
"Now Pujols just needs three more homers to tie Cruz and Fielder." "Now Pujols just needs two more homers to tie Fielder and Cruz." "Now Pujols just needs one more homer to tie Cruz and Fielder."
We get it Morgan, we can count and keep track.
All of these annoyances have made me get away from talking about the actual game play of the Derby. In the second round, Howard and Pujols were just too far behind from Cruz and Fielder to advance to the finals.
In the finals Cruz was able to hit five home runs, and according to Joe Morgan's research that is a pretty good number of home runs for the finals of a derby. But Fielder and his sailor mouth were able to win the Derby.
Did anybody else catch how many times ESPN had to mute their programming because of Fielder and his potty mouth?
Anyways, congratulations to Prince Fielder for winning the most boring Home Run Derby ever.
It has to be the lowest total of home runs in a derby ever. Josh Hamilton's 28 home runs in the first round last year was more than half of this years' total first round dingers.
Who will win next year in the Home Run Derby?
I don't care, just as long as it is more entertaining to me than this year.
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