Tuesday, July 10, 2007


So the Home Run Derby was last night in San Francisco, which means two things: first, the 2-hour time slot was, at best, wishful thinking (three freaking hours long!!!). And second, that Chris Berman, the smartest person in sports, gets to take center stage with his cliches, knowledge of local geography, nicknames and, of course, his now patented "BACK BACK BACK..." call for each and every home run. This annoys the shit out of me and the rest of the world, I'm sure, but it is comforting in a way that words can't describe. So, like everyone else I watched the derby last night and expected, considering the lineup, to hear the word "back" upwards of 250 times (literally). And, just like Seaward's last two girlfriends, I went to bed unfulfilled. My list of concerns with last night's event are as follows:

- We're coming off of pretty good years of HRDs (Home Run Derbies) with Ryan Howard and David Ortiz trading shots into the Allegheny River last year, Bobby Abreu's 41-dinger night and Miguel Tejada slugging 27 the year before that. This year's winner, the incomparable Vlad Guerrero didn't break 10 in any round and won with a score of three. Lame.

- The performance of the night was Alex Rios belting 16 in the second round (he finished with 27, but misplaced his good round, like so many have done in this competition's history) but we're talking about Alex Rios, not your typical home run golden boy, not yet anyway. Which brings me to my next point

- The golden boy performances everyone was waiting for were straight up duds. Defending champ Ryan Howard hit three, failing to get out of round one. Prince Fielder matched him and sat for rounds two and three. Even Albert Pujols had to go into a slugoff to clear round one against Justin Morneau just to make it past round 1. Golden boys? Hardly.

- About Pujols, one of the guys I was most excited to see, was basically preempted by an interview with Yankee man-boy Alex Rodriguez. This is the national league's premier player and instead of doing some commentary for his at bat, you do the next worse thing by interviewing a player on a sub-.500 team. Screw the fact that he's a Yankee, probably going to win the AL MVP and is having one of the best offensive seasons in recent history. This is a home run derby. Show the dingers, not the idiots in K-Mart suits at the podium.

The Home Run Derby has an interesting history and you can definitely tell when the juiced ball era officially began (Cal Ripken, Jr., of all people, won this thing in the early 90s, to give you a lay of the past home run land). In fact, there were consecutive years when Fielder's or Howard's 3 jackjobs would have won the thing. Now we're two years removed from a 41 home run performance. Either the players are just that much better at belting meatballs out of the bark or there's something in the water at MLB ballparks.

And I won't give The One With Whom Leather Was zero mentions, for he did have one of his worst cliches ever last night. On the topic of Colorado's Matt Holiday, Berman did say that if he were to win, it would certainly be a "National Holiday". It doesn't get any better/worse than that. The chicks love it, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where did you get that picture? That's stupid, just stupid.