Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And That Happened

Justin Morneau 5, Josh Hamilton 3: You think MLB isn't a little irked at its Home Run Derby format this morning? Josh Hamilton put forth a legend-making performance last night, smacking dinger after dinger in the first round, energizing a packed Yankee Stadium to the point where they were chanting his name Rocky-style . . . but he lost. To the guy who wrongfully beat hometown hero Derek Jeter out for the MVP a couple of years ago. And if you think the folks in Yankee Stadium weren't aware of that last fact as it was happening, you're crazy.

What's to blame for this? The multi-round system which, from what I can tell, was designed to maximize the length of the thing, which in turn maximizes the number of commercials. At the risk of appearing as though I care about the Home Run Derby (dear God, I don't) I'll suggest that, in the future, MLB limit it to a single round avec tiebreaker round if necessary. To make up for the lost time, increase the number of participants. Indeed, if they only stand to hit for a single round, more players may want to participate.

Anyway, here's hoping that the derailing of The Story of The All-Star Game leads to some sort of change.

12 comments:

Sara K. said...

I personally blame Alex Rodriguez. Doesn't everybody?

Ernesto said...

Didn't watch this last night but it sounds just like the '99 derby at Fenway. This was probably the coolset baseball event/game I have ever seen in person. McGwire put on an incredible show with about 13or 14 moonshots in the first round and ended up being knocked out in the next round. Griffey won.

Matt said...

I think the only way we can save the Home Run Derby is to make sure that from here on out, This Time it Counts(TM). I propose the league that wins the home run derby hosts the following year's all star game which then determines that year's World Series host. It's so convoluted and stupid Bud Selig couldn't help but love it!

Rob said...

10 outs?!? They need 10 outs?!?

tadthebad said...

Removing Berman and Morgan would certainly help make the event more viewer friendly. And how about 6 outs/round? As it stands, the homerun derby is as tired as the Slam Dunk contest for the NBA.

Alex said...

I watched some of the first round, and I must say, there were far fewer commercials than I expected. I was counting on a 5 minute break after every batter, but the frequency and length of ads was actually reasonable and tolerable, which impressed me. Good work, ESPN, for lowering my expectations!

Peter said...

tad: Boy, that sure was the ESPN All Star team last night, huh? Berman, Morgan, Kruk...though it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Berman was much less obnoxious than usual...it's amazing what elminating that annoying "back, back, back" and (most of) the nicknames will do. And Morgan was actually in his element talking about the event from the player's perspective.

Anonymous said...

APBA Guy-

Definitely agree that one round is the way to go, with more participants. The whole "show" clocks in at 3 hours, longer than many games, though not those at Yankee Stadium.

DCS said...

One round seems awful lame to me. It's just the way sports is done--or any entertainment, for that matter. We need to habitually narrow the field before declaring a winner.

I would like to see a 'legs' style tournament, where you have to hit more homers than the guy who hit before you, or you lose a leg. I'd give each contestant five legs, and no outs.

Deaner said...

I like the idea of adding more participants and just do a single round. It always seems that one person dominates the earlier rounds and wears themselves out for the final.

JDS said...

Jayson Stark has apparently proposed an idea that there is no second round -- the top two from round 1 go to a final round, played in the old Home Run Derby style (nine "innings" of three outs each).

What is weird is that even though this event routinely clocks in at over 2:30, ESPN still only blocks off two hours of programming time. After losing the last round of the event last year because my DVR only recorded the scheduled two hours, I made sure to also record the celebrity softball game time slot so I got to see the end.

Another way to eliminate the "upset" from last night is to simply count all the home runs and not start from zero in round 3.

Mr. Thursday said...

Last night, at 7:45PM, I started watching Hard-Boiled, which is a 15 year old John Woo movie in which a villain rides into a warehouse on a motorcycle, shooting a machine gun. He then turns on the motorcycle, sends it into a skid, steps up off the bike, and shoots two guys. No special effects.

Needless to say, I do not regret missing the home run hitting contest. Not even slightly.