Stuff I Dislike: the Home Run Derby

For all its faults, I still enjoy the All-Star Game. Yes, adding the incentive of home field advantage in the World Series does nothing for it but create cautious managers – but for now, I’ll give it a pass. Yes, the day after is the most boring day in the sports world – but the NHL schedules come out that day, so I’m good, I guess.

I love that the sports world in America – and much of the rest of the world – stops to watch the game’s best take part in a historic game. And I love that there are other events around it – the Fan Fest, the Futures Game, and even the Legends and Celebrities Softball Game – to make it more interesting for the host city (which, I’m glad to say, will be New York once more in 2013).

Well, not all the events around it. I can’t stand the Home Run Derby, for a few reasons.

The Home Run Derby is a glorified batting practice session where the goal is to screw up your swing as much as possible. Now, it’s not fact – only because I don’t have evidence – but it’s my unprofessional opinion that the Home Run Derby helps screw up swings. Ever since the Home Run Derby in 2005, David Wright swings with an uppercut. Now, if that’s a cause of his participation in the Derby, we’ll never know (well, we’ll know when stats corroborate or falsify those claims). But the fact that that’s such a prevalent excuse is reason for Wright to never, ever, ever participate in a Derby again. (Though it’s reason for Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Howard to participate every year.)

It annoys me, furthermore, that after coming out from the Steroid Era – and who knows if we’re fully out of it at all! – home runs are still glorified to no end. How it buys into itself as something much larger than it is with over-the-top announcing and ridiculously expensive tickets. But the biggest thing that annoys me is that it messes up the swings and destroys the seasons of some of our favorite stars.

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