It's been a long time since the book of love
I can't count the tears of a life with no love
A-carry me back, carry me back, carry me back
mm-baby, where I come from
I know I've already bitched about my family reunion and that Mondays are usually days I have reserved for my complaining but I can't take it anymore. I can't take all this bullshit about the All Star Game and the stupid little games associated with it. I don't mind the competition for what it is, exhibitions. It's when noteworthy people start complaining about it, then I start to get pissed.
First of all, lets not all have an orgasm over what Josh Hamilton did. It's a great story that he's been able to revive his career after drug addiction but the home run derby is not the pinnacle of his success. They're not going to make a Disney movie and end it with him slugging out 28 homers in the god damn derby. At least I certainly hope not.
Lets get one thing straight,
Josh Hamilton being selected (by the fans) to the All-Star Game = a touching sentiment in his revival back to baseball.
Josh Hamilton hitting 28 home runs in a home run derby with a 71 year old throwing lollipops = entertainment of the night.
All night I kept on hearing about how "amazing" it was. Words like "outstanding", "incredible", and "unbelievable" were being tossed around endlessly. It was as if he carried the game of baseball on his back. I even heard Tim Kirkjian (whom I respect as a baseball writer) say how it was impossible for a guy to hit it 500ft. Ugh, it's not impossible. It's happened before and most notably in Yankee Stadium.
It's not amazing! It's not outstanding, incredible, nor is it unbelievable because it's almost expected when you think about it. It's a 71 year old man serving up complete cupcakes to this All-Star hitter in a ballpark that was made for left handed hitters. I'm actually more surprised that no one could hit more homers than they did. Think about it, the hitters know what's coming to them, they simply wait for the 60 mph cupcake and drive it out as far as possible.
That doesn't take talent! It really doesn't.
Now holding a bat at the plate with a pitcher who has a breaking curve, nasty slider, flame throwing fastball, and a very deceptive change-up is something else. That actually does take talent to try and figure out what pitch is coming and to try and catch up to the 97mph fastball after a series of change-ups and curve balls. It's always impressive when someone can identify a fastball on the fly and nail it out of the park. The cupcakes these guys were hitting though, isn't incredible. It's not even batting practice.
I may not be able to relate to hitting against a 90+mph fastball but I have had an assortments of meatballs thrown to me before. I haven't had much of a baseball career but if I was thrown 30 meatballs, I *might* be able to knock one out of a mlb park (especially with Yankee stadium with a left foul pole at 318ft) and I'm serious about that. If I could hit a home run, then I would expect mlb All-Stars to hit 20 times what I could hit. It's not that hard considering the pitches being thrown.
And lets not forget that these hitters in the derby are not the most prolific home run hitters of our time. No, they were simply the hitters that accepted an invitation to hit some dingers on a Monday evening. Morneau was the last to accept and he's only had 14 on the year.
With all that being said, I do think the derby could gain some greater meaning in terms of charity. Instead of one (or is it three) signs that say "hit it here for $$$$" lets have like twenty various signs. Lets have a large sign in the centerfield "dead area" where you hit it and $5000 gets automatically donated to the Boys and Girls club. Lets have the foul poles represent and automatic donation of $10,000 (or whatever amount) to the YMCA and perhaps a giant sign in right and left center field which would be 530ft out there to represent $3,000,000 to the charity of the hitters choice. Those are only a couple examples but it would be so much fun to see all the money going to charity and you just might convince the major power hitters to take a crack at donating money to charity. That would be an event that would excellent in so many ways.