July 14, 2009
After all of the hype, the 2009 Home Run Derby is over with Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers being crowned champion over the Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz Monday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Fielder edged Cruz 6-5 in the final round.
Okay, so this is old news, everyone knows this by now. So where are we getting at here? Simple. ESPN's coverage and the transformation of the event over the last 50 years.
Year after year, with Chris Berman screaming, "BACK BACK BAAAAAACK WAAAAAY BAAAAACK" you'd think viewers would just get accustomed to it. But this year, oh no, ESPN had to add two more fellas: Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips.
Now Phillips isn't nauseating to hear, but the combination of Berman and Morgan was just dreadful. This caused many people to not only complain on every social network (a.k.a. Twitter) on the internet, but also either watching it on mute or shutting it off entirely.
And every year it never seems to end at a decent hour.
Believe it or not, the origin of the Home Run Derby was back in 1960 as a television series hosted by Mark Scott, who was an actor and Hollywood Stars broadcaster. It was filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles during the offseason and it was only two players participating. The rules consisted of hitting as many home runs in nine innings and getting three outs per inning.
There were no screaming announcers, no crazy crowds, no advertising billboards, and no Gatorade as the official sponsor as well as MasterCard.
They used to show re-runs of the series on ESPN Classic.
Very interesting having it in the offseason, which makes way more sense than having it mid-season. However, if that were to be changed, people would argue the same for the All-Star Game.
It's an interest take.
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