Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Prince is King, Kemp Flops at Home Run Derby
Prince Fielder defeated Jose Bautista last night in the Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium by belting 12 homeruns in the final round, and 28 altogether. Mark Trumbo also put on a power display, but Fielder by far hit the most impressive homeruns, sending several into the fountains in right-center at 450+ feet. It was Fielder's 2nd Derby win in the last 4 years, as he also won in 2009 at Busch Stadium as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. The National League really missed his bat in the lineup this year.
For the past few years, home run derby participants have been selected by a captain in each league, and Matt Kemp's NL squad this year was pretty embarrassing. A guy who hits at Coors Field, a guy having a great year but not known for his power, a 35-year old, and also Kemp himself was injured. First of all, hey Matt Kemp, way to participate in the Home Run Derby before even doing a rehab assignment, no wonder you barely made it to the warning track. Maybe you should, you know, heal your injury and put your own team (who is in a pennant race) first before messing around in an exhibition contest. And secondly, way to not select the NL leader in homeruns and reigning MVP to be on your team. "I didn't ask him because I heard he didn't want to participate"...that's baloney. We all know you're still sore about losing the MVP award. You might think you're better than Ryan Braun, but you're not. It was only 2 years ago that you were hitting 7th in Joe Torre's lineup and everybody in LA thought you were an underacheiveing arrogant jerk, you're not fooling me with your 1 1/2 good seasons that - what a surprise - you started after you got your huge contract. Braun is putting up MVP numbers again and you're on the DL, and you need to stop pouting about it. Take a lesson from Braun and have a little class. And hey, nice gold shoes and white blazer, way to dress like a guy who doesn't know what to do with his millions of dollars. You can take another lesson from Braun and learn how a guy who makes far less than you dresses in style.
I also don't even understand why there are "captains" if there is no sort of contest pitting the NL versus the AL, and if they are never going to pick a hometown guy. And there is also a spot on the all-star ballots to vote for Derby participants, do the captains just say screw you I'll pick who I want? Why is that even on the ballot then? The Derby is really fun to watch, but it is too long and there is too much politics in it. It needs another facelift or it will go the way of the NBA Dunk Contest, and I would hate to see that happen. Maybe they can follow in the footsteps of the Eastern League Home Run Derby and add targets and a party onto the field.
STANDINGS AND UPCOMING SERIES AS OF ALL-STAR BREAK:
Brewers 40-45, -8.0, 4th in NL Central (3 v. Pirates)
Reds 47-38, -1.0, 2nd in NL Central (3 v. Cardinals)
Twins 36-49, -11.0, last in AL Central (3 v. Athletics)
2012 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 15
Peter - 24