Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Annual Home Run Derby -- WHO CARES?

They held the annual MLB All-Star HR Derby last night in Pittsburgh, and I found it to be so meaningless and boring that I turned it off halfway through. Which says a lot, because there were no other sports on TV. Ryan Howard from the Phillies won it, beating the NY Mets' David Wright to give the Phillies their second straight HR Derby victory (Bobby Abreu won it last year.) After homering into the Allegheny River (fans in boats were retrieving the balls, just like they do here in SF at AT&T Park's McCovey Cove, but that river looked so polluted I wouldn't go near it!) Howard's fifth and deciding homer banged off a sign saying "Hit it Here" above the rightfield stands, meaning some lucky fan got 500 free round-trip air tickets. So, basically, major league baseball has turned the event into a game show. Where's Bob Barker? Where's Vanna White? What's behind door #2? Can I buy a vowel? Lobbing baseballs to these guys and watching them smack batting practice home runs is boring. If they want to make it realistic, put a AAA minor league pitcher in there and at least make these guys hit live pitching. Because the way they do it now is tedious. I would rather watch curling or tennis than watch this garbage. Change the format, change the event or do SOMETHING different, because right now even an avid baseball fan like myself can't sit through it without switching to the Cartoon Network.
For complete coverage for those who missed the HR Derby and still care about it, www.mlb.com has some good coverage, which they always do when it comes to baseball.

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