Tagged: Home Run Derby

Love the Home Run Derby! Go Young, Cabrera, and Holliday!!

So, the Home Run Derby is going on right now. 

I just think that this is a great event.  Can’t help it.  I know that some people whine about it being meaningless or messing up guys’ swing, but I think it is great entertainment and I love watching it each summer.

Maybe I love it because guys’ I have rooted for have taken part in the derby over the years.  Sammy Sosa, Andre Dawson, George Bell, Carlos Pena, and, of course, my favorite player of all time, Ryne Sandberg.

So I’ve had lots to cheer for over the years. 

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Who Ya Pickin’?

I decided to chronicle the derby as it goes along.  Why?  Mainly for my own fun rather than anybody’s real entertainment.

Here are my picks to win it:

            Chris Young

          Matt Holliday

            Miguel Cabrera

I went with 3 guys just because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.

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Round 1

Chris Young            Wow, this guy did not look comfortable at all.  He hit one nice dinger, and that was it.  I think he has a ton of talent and is going to be in more All-Star Games in the future, but this was a dismal display. 

Outcome:  

 

 

Matt Holliday        Wow, that was awesome!  He had 9 outs and 1 dinger.  Then he proceeded to fire up the launch pad!  Wow.  He only ended up with 5, but one of those homers was 497 feet!!  He is in second place right now.  We’ll see what happens. 

Outcome:

 

Miguel Cabrera        He really launched some long balls.  Wow.  He sure showed what kind of a hitter he is: complete.  I loved the long ball in the water that Big Papi said, “In the water…you see that?”  Funny.  Overall, a great performance.

Outcome:

 

Other Ruminations

        Corey Hart put on a great display in Round 1.  Honestly, I did not think he would do well at all.  He blasted 13 homers and boy, oh boy, were they long!  He had a 464-foot shot that was just majestic.  Man, was it annoying to listen to A-rod talk while Swisher was hitting.  I do not respect that guy at all, and to hear him try to talk about respect for the game makes me want to puke.  Hanley Ramirez was great.  I have to admit, though, after his disrespect of the game earlier this season, I was rooting against him.  He sure showed me.

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Round 2

So, all I’ve got left is Miggy.  I suck.

Miguel Cabrera        Damn.  This has been great to watch, but none of my guys did anything!  Right now my wife is rubbing it in that she chose Big Papi and that he might win.  There is a foot rub riding on it!  Miggy really let me down.  Don’t know who to root for now.  Maybe Corey Hart.

Outcome:

 

Other Ruminations

 Ramirez looks good.  Wow.  He is really surprising me.  Not the biggest surprise, though.  Corey Hart’s first round was something else.  I’m rooting for Hart to move on to the finals and win it all.  (Wow, Hart really stunk it up!)

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Finals

Ruminations

Big Papi did not disappoint, that’s for sure.  Man, that guy just launched moon shot after moon shot.  Incredible.  Ramirez just had nothing left in the tank (good!) and he could not find a rhythm in that final round.  What I thought was pretty cool was watching Ortiz interact with his kid.  It was really sweet. 

Well, I’ve got a footrub to administer.  I’m a loser…

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That was a Doosie! Now Time for the Game…. (and late Longo news)

American League's Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays puts his sunglasses on during batting practice for the MLB All-Star baseball game in St. Louis, Monday, July 13, 2009.

 

I know I’m not breaking anything brand new, but I did hear from a friend, ESPN, and, of course my friend at The Watercooler, Evan Longoria will not be playing tonight.

I adjusted this post to include this upsetting news.

This is brutal.

Apparently Longo has an “infected ring finger” that is forcing him to miss the Mid-Summer Classic.  Chone Figgins has taken his place and Michael Young will start at 3B for the AL squad.

No doubt, part of the fun is watching your players actually play in the game, but it is still an honor to know that Evan was able to make the team as a STARTER this season.  He beat out some serious competition to get that starting nod. 

Now we need to focus on two things: 1) Getting Longo healthy for Friday’s game, and 2) enjoying tonight’s game with the Rays we have who are playing.

Sad day, but comparatively the news could be much worse. 

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Carlos Pena

So the Home Run Derby didn’t go exactly the way I would have wanted.  It would have been nice to see Carlos Pena in the finals to give whoever else was there a run for his money.  

It wasn’t in the cards. 

Congrats to Cecil’s “little” boy on giving us all a show–including a monstrous 503-foot dinger that brought the sky down with it.  And I’ve got to give credit to my fave Texas blogger Jonestein for calling his own “shot” and predicting a Fielder win.

There is always next year for the Rays’ first baseman.

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Let’s talk about tonight’s game…. 

STARTING PITCHERS

As everybody knows, the pitchers who will be starting tonight are Roy Halladay for the AL and Tim Lincecum for the NL.  I don’t know that there could be much controversy there. 

Halladay has been the best pitcher in the AL bar none.  Nobody else can match his dominance right now, though the Rays HAVE taken two in a row from the Blue Jay hurler, ahem. 

Lincecum has put up great numbers with his 10-2 record, 2.33 ERA, and 149 Ks.  A robust 1.05 WHIP rounds out the reason why this guy is an All Star and starting tonight’s game.

However, I think an equally strong–and maybe stronger–reason could be given for starting the Diamondbacks’ great pitcher Dan Haren. 

His record is not as strong at 9-5, but his ERA is better (2.01), his walks are lower (16:34), and his WHIP is much, much better at 0.81.

In some circles Haren was thought to be the guy who would start the game, and I would have to agree with that opinion.

However, when you’re talking All Stars, it is hard to quibble.  Aren’t all these guys the best at what they do?

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RAYS RAYS RAYS

Of course I’m going to concentrate on the wonderful representation of Rays at this year’s game.  What kind of Rays blog would I be if I didn’t!?

Everywhere you look tonight you should be able to see a Rays hat.  They will be coaching, managing, and playing. 

Rays hats were even showing up on tv interviews last night!

Good for that guy.

I’m looking forward to the moment when Joe Maddon decides to try to infiltrate the All Star infield with his guys.  It might not happen, but it would be really neat to see

1B–Carlos Pena

2B–Ben Zobrist

SS–Jason Bartlett

3B–Evan Longoria

He might catch some flak for that, but how often do you get to manage the All Star team with your entire starting infield on the team?  I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie Manuel gets his starting outfielders into the game at the same time. 

I say go for it, Joe.  You’re a maverick!

TB Blue for all to see!

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MVP?

It is hard to determine who an MVP might be for an event such as this, isn’t it?  In a playoff series there are certain guys you look at as being the superstar who, barring a strange occurance, will more than likely take home the MVP of that series.

How do you predict an MVP in a single game where everybody is a superstar!?

I’m going to try to.

I can see a guy like Nelson Cruz slipping in there to steal it.  Don’t be surprised to see him knock one deep and riding that high he must still have after his impressive performance last night. 

I find that the most obvious choice is often not the one who gets it, thus my pick of Cruz.

Then again, I have a 1:66 chance of getting this right, so don’t expect much.

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WHO WINS?

That’s easy.  The AL’s offense is just too strong and complete and while I know the adage of “good pitching neutralizes good hitting,” I also know that this is an All-Star game.  Anything goes.

Besides, the Rays need the AL to win so that they can have the home field advantage in October’s Series.  See?  Always thinkin’.

Enjoy the game!

Home Run Derby Time! Who’s Gonna Win It? Your Thoughts…

 

Ok, so this is kind of a FLUFF post.  I’m going to be asking your opinion about tonight’s Home Run Derby.  I know, I know…

I am really looking forward to tonight’s Derby.  I think that most fans love this night because it ain’t just “chicks” who dig the long ball. 

And tonight will be full of plenty of ’em. 

While I don’t think we’ll see the spectacle that was Josh Hamilton knocking 28 home runs in the first round again, I think we will see some serious competition–taken with a grain of salt, of course.

I am quite jazzed about the whole thing because the guy who I thought could do a great job in the derby in the first place made it. 

Barely.

And he happens to be a Ray. 

Mr. Carlos Pena!

I’m hoping that Mr. Pena will provide the fans with something to cheer about and justify Maddon’s bringing him aboard.  He really should have a good chance.  His uppercut swing is tailor made for this kind of competition. 

The other guy I’ll be rooting hard for will be Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers.  I know that Jonestein over at Baseball, Apple Pie, and Lobster is just as thrilled about Cruz being involved in the Derby as I am.  His 22 home runs are not a fluke.

There are lots of big hitters participating tonight, so here is a quick rundown of their credentials so that you can get an idea of who you will be pulling for.

NL

Ryan Howard, Phillies      22 hrs

Albert Pujols, Cardinals    32 hrs

Adrian Gonzalez, Padres  24 hrs

Prince Fielder, Brewers    22 hrs

AL

Carlos Pena, Rays         24 hrs

Nelson Cruz, Rangers    22 hrs

Brandon Inge, Tigers     21 hrs

Joe Mauer, Twins          15 hrs

 

So there’s the lineup.

The Cowbell is pulling for a Pena/Cruz final with Carlos Pena representing the Rays well and winning the trophy.

Here’s the question:

Who do you think will be the final 2 in the Derby and who will win it all?

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Here is an updated list of your votes thus far. 

Ryan Howard, Phillies      1    

Albert Pujols, Cardinals    1   

Adrian Gonzalez, Padres  2  

Prince Fielder, Brewers    1

Carlos Pena, Rays             2

Nelson Cruz, Rangers        0

Brandon Inge, Tigers        0

Joe Mauer, Twins           

 

CARLOS IS IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

If you didn’t figure it out from the headline, the Rays’ Carlos Pena will be making his first All-Star Game appearance in St. Louis this year!!!

Just in this morning is the report that Boston’s Dustin Pedroia will skip this year All-Star Game.  This was expected because of the health of his family, and hopefully things will be fine there.

Although it seemed that Ian Kinsler would be the natural choice to take Pedroia’s place on the roster because of the 2B/2B swapout, Joe Maddon went “favorites” and picked the AL home run leader (as of yesterday) Carlos Pena to round out the roster.

How great is that!? 

Not only will Pena appear in the game, and I am all abuzz about this next part so get ready for it,

HE WILL BE THE FINAL PARTICIPANT IN THE HOME RUN DERBY!

I think I’m going to faint.

What a great start to a great Sunday!

We were hoping that one of the game’s truly nice guys was going to be able to be in the game.  We got our wish!

So Rays fans, get ready to enjoy the greatest All-Star Break in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays.

YES!