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Home Run Derby is Not Fun Anymore

By Jack Cobra  |  Comments (22) | Hype It Up!  |   Filed Under: Baseball | Jack Cobra Archive

In 1985 when the Home Run Derby first started during the All-Star Break there were only a few superstar players who could launch monstrous bombs from one stadium to the next. Watching Dave Parker and Mike Schmidt hit home runs was exciting. It was kind of like that new car you bring home and get all excited about. At this point, that new car has 90,000 miles on it, you can't even remember what the 'new car smell' smelled like and there are Burger King wrappers all over the floor board. 

The Home Run Derby during the All-Star Break is way past its prime. Back in the day, not too many guys could knock the ball out of the ballpark consistently and it made the Derby, and home runs themselves, a lot of fun. Fast forward to 2007, and nearly every player can do that. I even saw Mike Fontenot hit one out of Wrigley Field the other week. The Home Run has lost its edge and so has the Home Run Derby. I was so psyched up for the Home Run Derby in San Francisco this year that I didn't even watch it. I'm actually writing this while the competition is going on! There is nothing special about watching some guy hit the ball 400+ feet. Nearly every player in baseball can do it, and if you gave me two weeks to prepare with a wooden bat.....I think I could too.

All of that being said, MLB needs to change up its All-Star Break activities. The Futures Game is good, we can leave that; but the rest (whatever the rest is) need to go. Here is what I want to see next year.

Crawford Second Base to Home Plate Racing -I want to see Carl Crawford and Jimmy Rollins battle it out to see who can get from second base to home plate the quickest. It's one thing to be the fastest guy in a 40 yd dash, it's another to be the quickest from second to home on a single.

Catcher Throwing Accuracy, with Quickness -The stolen base is coming back into style and I want to see which catchers have the best accuracy. It's not all about the accuracy though. We'll time to see who can get the ball out of his hand the quickest and add/deduct time based on that. Let's get Pudge Rodriguez out there against Russell Martin and see if the torch gets passed down.

Ichiro Throw from Right Field to Third Base -Let's see who has the best arm in all of MLB. Throw Vlad Guerrero out there against Ichiro and see who can throw the best laser to third base.

Quickest Turn Competition -We don't want to leave the middle infielders out, so let's see who has the quickest hands at turning the double play. Want to find out who the best shortstop is in New York City? Throw Derek Jeter and Jose Reyes out there and we'll begin to see.

All MLB has to do is give $10,000 to the winner and a nice little trophy. Athletes are egomaniacs, so I can guarantee they'll be all over these competitions. You don't think the fans will have fun watching guys make throws and running bases??? You are wrong. Also, this is a good way to get younger players involved in the All-Star Activities since only a select few power hitters are involved in the Home Run Derby. The NFL and NBA have their own variations of these activities and it's time for MLB to do the same.

You can contact Jack Cobra by emailing him at jackcobra@blogsbyfans.com 

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Cpt Morgan said

I love it how they get a guy to translate for Vlad (I think it was Vlad, I was in the other room listening) and the translator himself speaks broken english...are you kidding me? ESPN can't find one guy that speaks both fluent English and Spanish?

I also just heard that Vlad has 9 children...dear god...9 kids! How many wives does he have?

Jack Cobra said

Obviously he is just too much man for one woman to hold him down.

Maybe he adopted a bunch of those kids like Anjelina Jolie?

Kid Canada said

Vladimir Guerrero was one of nine kids, he doesn't HAVE nine kids.

Cpt Morgan said

Thank you for the correction.

CG said

They used to have a skills competition something like you're describing, but then Barry Larkin blew out his elbow making relay throws, and they stopped doing it.

Erin said

In that second base to home race, you should throw in the Red Sox prospect Jacoby Ellsbury, who, when he was called up last week, scored a on a wild pitch. From second base.

Jack Cobra said

whoa, big difference in being one of 9 kids and having 9 kids. Still, Vlad is the Man.

I'm going to look up this jacoby ellsbury, I like his style.

Yeah, CG is right - that's why baseball doesn't have anything fun like that anymore.

But they can do something else HR-related... maybe move the fences back to 450 feet? Then 500 feet? Then the HR derby gets fun again.

They don't actually have to move the fences to do that, either. They can either back home plate up, or just designate a zone that is the minimum distance traveled required.

Jack Cobra said

I hate to disagree, but I'm just tired of the HR Derby. I don't care how far they move back the fences. Did you see how hard Vlad was swinging last night? Someone could get injured doing that just as easily.

Brian said

The problem w/ the HR derby is that it's toooooooooo loooooooooooooooooooonnnnng. Cut it in half, or make it like a lightning round of BP. The AL has a lineup and the NL has a lineup. You hit a HR you keep hitting, you make an out, the next guy comes up. Three outs per inning. NL vs. AL. Actually I like that idea a lot.

I wish they'd replay those HR derby shows from the 50s/60s, that was entertainment.

I like that idea, Brian. The lineup idea adds a nice touch. Instead of a cleanup hitter, you would probably save your top guns for last.

Cpt Morgan said

I am also a fan of the lineup version of HR derby. Cobra doesn't like derby because when we would play in the past, he would always try and challenge the Captain, and I would continuously launch bombs more often and much, much farther...

Jack Cobra said

I think you've been spending too much time on your boat Captain.

Brian said

I think we're going to have to organize a Blogs By Fans Home Run Derby.

Cpt Morgan said

I agree...and then Jack will admit what he has known for a long time...he stands no chance in derby with the Captain...hell, I'll go out on a limb and say that noone else in blogs by fans does either...

Jack Cobra said

It's easy to talk loud from that little island you are standing on.

Bruce Paine said

In Jack's defense, he has been hitting 300' plus bombs all year in our softball league with the deadest ball wilson makes. To weeks ago in a game against our arch nemesis he blasted one out into a 5 or 10 mph wind. Granted, those were all outs in that league and we were down and he had runners in scoring position and it nearly cost us the game and definitely cost us our momentum. (P.S. We came back to win in the bottom half of the last inning and Jack was an important part of that comeback and an important element to the post-come-from-behind-win celebrations.)

Jack Cobra said

Thanks Bruce, that sounds like a William Wallace-type story. Making outs by hitting them over the wall hurt me more than you guys realize.

Bruce Paine said

yeah, I know exactly how you feel about those you arrogant shit, still, that was an awesome comeback and a great shooter you gave that woman.

Cpt Morgan said

Ahhh yes....Classic Cobra...

Jack Cobra said

Uh, it needs to be said that, A)that was not a 'true' shooter as it was only for photographic purposes and the woman was well aware of it, as was her husband, before hand. B)yes, i can be an arrogant shit. we all know that. C)that might have been the greatest comeback ever.

Shooter Mcgavin said

It was definitely the best comeback ever and what made it better was who it was against. I think we need to repeat the post game celebrations this week(who knows we may even see shooter doing "the shooter") Back to the skills challenges. How about setting up targets spread out across the field that players have to hit with correspondig points.

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