Warning Track Power: How I Lost the BR Home Run Derby

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Warning Track Power: How I Lost the BR Home Run Derby
IconWhile I don't consider myself a Mets fan, I'm rooting harder than ever for David Wright to succeed.

Specifically, I need him to hit 91 home runs over his last three games.

You see, I seem to have fallen a wee bit behind in the Bleacher Report Home Run Derby.

My players, who were chosen based on their ability to hit home runs, have not been hitting home runs.

As such, I'm sitting in 380th place with mere days left in the regular season.

Although it's not over yet (Ed's note: It's over), I'm going to need some help to win—namely in the form of a clerical error.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly where my team went wrong, but if I had to guess, I imagine my main problem was a lack of rudimentary baseball knowledge.

Picking players based solely on name recognition and one video game season of MLB '06 was not the greatest strategy. I have learned my lesson.

At the start of the season, my team seemed to have great potential. I had big names like David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, and Alfonso Soriano anchoring my lineup, and hitting behind them were the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Vlad Guerrero, and Prince Fielder.

Somehow, I managed to screw this up.

Ortiz (injured!), Pujols (injured!), and Soriano (injured!) had okay seasons in spite of their medical issues. Fielder became the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs. Rodriguez's career year included 53 homers...and counting.

But anyone could have picked these guys for their team.

The difference between the good and bad teams was the lesser-known players—or, as I like to refer to them, the guys I chose randomly.

Again, not the greatest strategy.

The poster child for my ineptitude was Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson. I knew Johnson as a rising star for a young Nats team.

Upon further review, I was thinking of the wrong Johnson.

My Johnson had a fractured right leg that forced him to miss the whole season.

After hitting 23 home runs in 2006, Johnson had zero in 2007, a negative 230 percent change. At this rate, I won't be picking him again next year...unless I forget who he is between now and then.

Johnson was not alone in the underachievement fest; he was just the star. Jason Giambi and his baker's dozen of dingers left me wanting. Manny Ramirez spent too much time being Manny on the DL and not enough time being Manny at the plate. And I wish I had something witty to say about Morgan Ensberg and his 12 home runs, but I can't remember who he is right now.

Strangely enough, I had very high hopes going into this contest. When I selected my players, my ego told me both that I was assured of winning and that my hair looked really good.

My ego lied (sadly, about both).

Instead, my team was a failed-expectations version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I had the MLB leader in most home runs (Rodriguez) and the leader in fewest home runs (Johnson). There was a former MVP going through a power slump (Guerrero) and a big-boned kid belting 50 (Fielder).

Miguel Cabrera even made a cameo, in a role that was fun for awhile but nowhere near good enough to save the show.

In the end, I have no one to blame but myself. Poor planning and hasty guesswork is no way to build a champion (are you taking notes, Peter Angelos?), and I ultimately got what I deserved.

I learned there's no substitute for preparation, and no bribe big enough to get Ryan Howard on your team.

Don't expect me to make the same mistakes next time.

Come Bleacher Report NHL Shootout, I'll be ready.

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