By: Shaun Smith

In what turned out to be a pretty decent Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder came out victorious facing stiff competition from his fellow American League competitors.

Fielder, who got off to a slow start with just five home runs in the first round and barely squeaking into the second round, went crazy in the second and final round scoring a total of 33 home runs.

This is Fielder’s second Derby title, first winning back in 2009, and passed Mark McGwire on the all-time Derby home runs list at 6th.

This is the first time a player has won multiple times in the Derby since Ken Griffey, Jr.

It’s time to rundown the pros and cons of the event:

PROS:

Robinson Cano being booed out of the stadium

  • It was news to me that Cano decided to pick Trumbo for this AL Derby team instead of Royals All Star DH Billy Butler. Apparently the Kansas City crowd did not take this well and cheered for every out Cano made. A lot of people are going to hate on KC for reaction against Cano but I feel it’s all in the spirit of fun. Freedom of speech, right? Plus the man had to play four games in the last three days and a late game the day before. I give him all the credit for trying.

Joey Bats shows up

  • After last year’s disappointing showing, Jose Bautista not only had the most 1st round home runs but also made it to the final round. I was skeptical when the thrower for Bautista was lying in cutters, maybe causing the first five outs. But I’m glad Bautista did well, it’s about time.

Trumbo goes beast-mode

  • Mark Trumbo made a good showing and hit ridiculous bombs out of the stadium (until Fielder turned it on). Trumbo hit the ball the hardest of all the batters and even had a home run almost leave Kauffman Stadium. It’s a shame he got tired late into the second round because it would have been an awesome showing to see Fielder and Trumbo go head-to-head.

George Brett’s ribs and a Surprise Appearance by Adam Jones

  • Apparently Brett makes amazing ribs. Looks like John Kruk has finally found what he is good at, eating meat.

CONS:

The Commentary

  • Having Chris Berman try to announce baseball is a choir in itself, let along having Kruk down there. Nomar is a future Hall of Famer but ESPN can do better than this. Hell, have Terry Francona down there. He has more charisma than Nomar and Kruk has combined. Not to mention they seemed to be more interested in stupid side gags instead of the Derby.

Wrong Measuring

  • Most of the home run measurements seemed to be pulled out of ESPN’s ass. You’re telling me Trumbo didn’t get anything over 450 ft? There was even one instance where the footage was less than the sign right next to it.

Twitter

  • We get it, baseball players have Twitters. If I wanted to hear about it I would check out their feeds.

Odd Production Problems

  • Did anyone else wonder why there was a weird underwater-sounding echo when the hitters went up to home plate? Clearly each of them had lav mics on but the sound guy was lost at points. Speaking of lost, the director of these things needs to be reevaluated. There were at least four home run shots missed because the director took a random shot of nothing. You would think after all the years ESPN has run the Derby that they would have a concise formula for their production staff.

Kemp’s Performance/Selections

  • It’s unknown if Matt Kemp’s hamstring played a part in any of his struggles in the Derby. Clearly he wasn’t trying to pull the ball and tried to hit home runs in deep center field. At least he hit a home run; Cano got a fat goose egg. Also the AL hit three times the number of home runs than the NL, leading me to think that Kemp should have rethought some of his selections. Maybe throw in one of the NL first basemen in there instead of all outfielders?
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Comments
  1. Danny says:

    KC fans (and I’m one of them) booed and cheered Cano (and MLB) for many reasons that a big market baseball fan wouldn’t understand.. What disappoints me more than anything is that MLB continues to ignore the obvious “right decision.” The derby is for the fans right? So shouldn’t the fans from a small market who are paying > $125 a ticket be given a hometown hero to root for? It’s not AL VS NL until the ASG. Was Cano under pressure to provide better TV? Hmmmm… Trumbo (LA share) vs Butler (KC share). Not sure but someone should’ve bowed out or perhaps MLB could’ve just made the change themselves. A commissioner has the power to do so. As Royal’s fans we shouldn’t just be content with being given an ASG… We deserve respect and that would’ve been Butler in the Hone Run Derby.

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