By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director
Monday night’s Home Run Derby was one of the most uneventful contests in recent years.
The kids in the outfield continued the tradition of looking ridiculous when shagging fly balls. I couldn’t keep track of all of the youngsters settling under the baseballs only to watch them fall next to them. Then there was the kid who jumped up to catch a ball on the warning track in leftfield. No replay was given to show if the ball would have been a home run, but the action is unintelligent in itself. Let the ball go!
How about the pitchers? They were the worst group of pitchers I’ve ever seen in a Home Run Derby. One of threw sidearm and had sinking action on his tosses. Most tried to throw as hard as they could. A few pitches came close to hitting the batters. What were they thinking? Hello, lob the pitches over the plate, so the batter can hit them out.
Most of the contestants deserved to participate. We all knew Brandon Inge and Joe Mauer wouldn’t do much since they aren’t home run hitters. There should have been more home runs hit in that ballpark. It’s only 375 feet to right-center and left-center in Busch Stadium.
For first time since I can remember, nobody owned the derby. Josh Hamilton was the star last year by setting the record for the most home runs hit in a round with 28, Vladimir Guerrero and Alex Rios battled in 2007, Ryan Howard and David Wright shined in 2006, Bobby Abreu’s 24 first round homers sparked 2005 and the list goes on. In this year’s derby, the most home runs in any round was 11, the lowest since 2000 when Sammy Sosa blasted 11 in the second round.
Though I was disappointed, I’m sure Bud Selig thought it was one of the best in history.
WSOE Sports Director