July 15th, 2014

Reflections From Minneapolis-Home Run Derby

My seat last night during the Home Run Derby was directly behind 3B in the Auxiliary Press Box. Usually the auxiliary box is in the outfield. These seats were outstanding. I’m hoping to claim the same seat tonight for the All Star Game.

The rain came and went three different times. Fans were getting restless and wondering if the Derby would ever begin. But the end result was worth the wait.
Mother Nature made a cameo appearance to make up for the rain delays. The rainbow was spectacular. Full arc. I’ve seen lots of those in Arizona, but this was very fitting as sort of a “consolation prize” for the long wait.

I did a poll on twitter asking who would win each league and who would win the overall competition. I had tons of entries, but only one was correct. The fly in the ointment was Todd Frazier. Surprisingly, several people picked him to win the NL. But two people had him winning the entire competition.

Be honest with me here-were you among those that cheered when Yasiel Puig took a donut? The crowd in the stands was kind of pleased.

The ovations for Justin Morneau were spectacular. I expect to hear similar volume tonight for Derek Jeter.

I’m not sure the new format helps the first round winner. They didn’t remain in a groove and both seemed to cool off with the time off.

Lots of people on twitter told me they were bored watching the lengthy Derby. I was only bored during the rain delay. However, I wish they had an umpire and that a called strike would count as an out. That’s how it was in the 1960’s original Home Run Derby television show. It would speed the process tremendously. Lots of pitches are taken that are down the middle of the plate. But then again, all the sponsors and network wouldn’t have the time to get their needed revenue.

I wish we could have seen Big Papi, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Cabrera just to name four big boppers. Then I think it would have been a much more competitive and exciting event. A truer Home Run Derby.

Most everyone in the contest looked exhausted at the end of the first round. Not just from the physical standpoint, but from the mental wear and tear as well.

Did you like the new format?

I want to see a “Baseball’s Fastest Player” contest replace the Home Run Derby. For example, imagine seeing Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon settle the issue from home to first. Each club would get to send one player. Elimination rounds would go quickly.
Injury worries? Maybe. But these guys are in great shape. I don’t think there would be more injury potential than in the Home Run Derby. We could settle the speed questions once and for all. is Mike Trout faster than Peter Bourjos? I like it. I really do.

I would like to see the All Star Game players wear their regular uniforms during the week’s activities. Whites for the home club, grey for the visitors. Simple. Clean. Many fans in attendance never get to see those uniforms. Even if there are duplicate numbers, the uniforms would be different.

I thought Jose Bautista would win it all.

Cespedes hit the longest shot at 452 feet. Cespedes was also second at 447 feet. And um, he was third at 446 feet. Giancarlo Stanton went 430 feet in the first round.

Stanton and Cespedes are the two guys I try not to miss during batting practice. At Chase Field, Stanton hit the restaurant at the top of the left field bleachers this month.

In my twitter contest, not one person picked Troy Tulowitzki to even win his league. Imagine, Frazier was picked several times. Not Tulo.

The infield wasn’t covered with a tarp during any of the downpours. I thought that was odd. Maybe they wanted the rain to soak into the ground and soften the infield. Anyway, during the Derby puddles were evident.

The Derby was a sellout.

Yasiel Puig not only has a form of a mohawk, he has a star cut in as well.

Tomorrow I’ll provide my reflections of tonight’s All Star Game. I feel very fortunate to be here for Derek Jeter’s last All Star Game. As usual, he is handling this event with calm and cool. Almost like it’s just another game. The players, the media and especially the fans know it’s different. By the way-he’s the only guy to come to the media interviews in a suit and tie. I’m just sayin. He’s just different. In a positive, special kind of way. Some people dislike Jeter because he plays for the Yankees. I think that’s silly.

With Ken Griffey, Jr. being the last guy to win back-to-back Home Run Derby contests before Cespedes, people are wondering if Cespedes can be the first to win three in a row? I wouldn’t put it past him.

I didn’t have time to visit the candy store yesterday. I could almost feel the lack of carmel corn with nuts ruining my entire day. I’ll try to make up for that today.

Thanks for reading my articles on MLBPipeline.com and MLB.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff. Your support is always appreciated.

That’s it. I’m done. For today.