Posted by: mdegeorge | July 12, 2010

Home Run Derby: the best fake spectacle ever

There’s nothing better than whiling away the second Monday in July with the contrived, overindulgent, pseudo-sporting spectacle that is the Home Run Derby. A few observations from the blessed event:

– Oh boy, what a field! What, Jeff Francouer wasn’t available over Nick Swisher? We couldn’t get Matt Diaz instead of Chris Young? At least Jose Ortiz is doing well. Seriously though, if you had to pick the ideal field of eight, maybe two or three of the guys there tonight would have made it (I’ll give you Cabrera, Ortiz, and Hart, but that’s about it).

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– So if the players can’t summon up the interest in this showcase beyond sending their kids to give Gatorade or other corporately-placed products to participants they happen to share an agent with, why should we as fans care? The theme of the week is supposed to be, “This one counts”.

– I think Matt Holliday had a dinner reservation to get to. He hit five homers and made ten outs and couldn’t have seen more than 22 pitches. (As a Cardinal fan though, I’m glad he was out early, since a Cardinal hitter has either been hurt or gone into a major slump after participating in the Derby every years since 2001.)

– Back, back, back, back, senility!– Can we get more of those Sports Science segments with spikey-haired Brett Hull? It’s amazing that with all those graphics and two minutes to showcase what bat speed does to a home run, he can still say absolutely nothing of consequence.

– At least Erin Andrews was there celebrating her new ESPN contract. I guess now that she has a contract she can not memorize anything and read off a notepad every time she’s on camera.

– I think Nick Swisher was there for the “Ground Out to Second Base Derby”. It’s always nice when the Derby is headlined by the last guy included on the team.

– Oh man, Hanley Ramirez’s kids are getting annoying.

– I heard Corey Hart talk for 30 seconds and thought he was from a foreign country. I guess Bowling Green, Kentucky qualifies.

– Hey, did you know that Joe Morgan played in the Majors? That he was a two-time NL MVP and a Hall of Famer? He hasn’t mentioned it in at least three swings.

– This scintillating home run display is being held in the 20th best home run park in the Bigs.

– Who at ESPN schedules this program to last two hours? When has it ever lasted two hours? There’s at least two hours of Chris Berman ego-boosting alone.

– I wonder if it’s possible to get a kid out there shagging fly balls in the outfield who can actually track a fly ball. They’re terrible, except for the freakishly lanky 18-year-olds who are probably sons of CEO’s for Angels’ sponsors.

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