If you go by my facebook account, it would seem that Pirates fans are angry that Pedro Alvarez was not chosen for the Home Run Derby. However, if you then logged into my twitter feed, you would see that most of my Pirates friends think it is idiotic that the Greg Brown and Steve Blass are making
such a big deal about it. I figured that everyone would want my input.
I do not give a shit about the Home Run Derby. Not a bit. I hate the format. I hate Chris Berman. I hate the fact that a guy can win and not hit the most home runs (Justin Morneau, I am looking at you). I hate that people get upset when someone is not chosen. Ugh, the whole thing is stupid.
I usually watch it for a little bit because there are things that make me smile about the Home Run Derby. I love watching guys crush baseballs. That is always fun to see. I also enjoy watching the young kids out there shagging flyballs. Every once in awhile you see one of those kids make a nice catch. I also enjoy the contest of a fan winning a house (or however that works).
So how should they change the Home Run Derby to make it more enjoyable? Here are my ideas.
1. Simple Format
American League versus National League. Eight players per team. The first guy up gets five pitches. You total up his home runs and outs. Then you move on to the next guy. You keep doing this, alternating between AL and NL players. Once they hit 10 outs, they are eliminated. Eventually you will wind it down to two guys, and they keep going until one of them gets 10 outs. If the guy who is remaining does not have the most home runs, he keeps hitting until he either has his 10th out or the most home runs. You keep the battle between leagues, and you keep the drama of the rounds, but you incorporate what you did in the previous rounds. Totals matter.
2. No More BACK BACK BACK…
Chris Berman was great 33 years ago. Now, his schtick is stale. I want someone new to call the Derby. I get that there is only so much you can say during an event like this and that is why we get stuck with all of the interest stories. I actually do not mind those, but maybe you get someone funny to call the Derby. That would be interesting.
3. Easy to Choose Roster
Want to eliminate people complaining about the Derby roster? Keep it simple. The top eight home run hitters in each league. If you have a tie for the eighth spot then you make criteria such as total distance of home runs, batting average, or most offensive nose hair. They can work those details out. These are what the teams would be this year:
Carlos Gonzalez (24)
Dominic Brown (23)
Pedro Alvarez (23)
Paul Goldschmidt (21)
Carlos Beltran (19)
Jay Bruce (18)
(Three guys have 16, so the tie-breakers would need to eliminate one of these guys: Dan Uggla, Troy Tulowitzki, or Justin Upton)
Chris Davis (33)
Miguel Cabrera (29)
Adam Dunn (24)
Edwin Encarnacion (23)
Raul Ibanez (22)
Nelson Cruz (22)
(Three guys have 20, so one of these guys would need eliminated: Robinson Cano, Adrian Beltre, Jose Bautista)
Naturally, by the time the All-Star Break comes, some of those guys might be in different spots, or someone else might be tied with them, I think Mark Trumbo is at 20 as well.
This is what people want to see. They want to watch Chris Davis battle against Carlos Gonzalez. Who doesn’t want to see Adam Dunn and Pedro Alvarez try to launch balls out of the stadium, but also swing ‘n miss a few times? That is what the Derby should be about. Guys who actually hit home runs. You should be rewarded for leading that category with contest that is about that category.
So what do you folks think about my changes? Should MLB hire me as the Home Run Derby Czar? I think so.