Barry Bonds was heavily criticized for declining to participate in last year's Derby at his home park. A-Rod deserves the same heat for the same offense, and let's not hear about how the Derby might disrupt his precious swing.
Yes, several recent Derby participants — Bobby Abreu, David Wright, Alex Rios — had their home-run production decline after they competed in the event. But those dropoffs might have occurred anyway. These are the best hitters in the game. They can't adjust?
I'm not following. Abreu, pre-derby, was considered one of the best hitters in the game. Wright and Rios are certainly still thought of that way. All three had power problems following the derby. Is Rosenthal saying that they simply chose not to adjust? Because obviously they didn't, and right or wrong, people attribute that to the derby.
And what's with the sarcasm on the "precious swing" line? It is precious. The Yankees are relying on it like they're relying on nothin' else to get back in the race. If Rodriguez were to do the derby and started out on a 3-29 slump in the second half, don't you think he'd catch hell for it?
I have no idea if the derby actually does cause problems for its participants, but to believe that it does is something more than mere superstition. It's simply not natural or typical for a guy to take power hacks at 100 (or however many) BP pitches in the space of an hour or two. I get tired just watching it, and I'm sure the players get tired doing it. If I'm a Yankees fan, I have no problem not seeing A-Rod taking his hacks tonight.