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July 9, 2007
Yep, it’s Home Run Derby time, and I’ll admit I enjoy watching major league sluggers hit baseballs out of the park. I mean, that’s what we go to baseball games for, right? The action, the scoring, the homers.
I’ve been a faithful watcher of this event for the past five or six years, ever since I started working on my own baseball-related series. So I have a few Derbys that stand out in my mind.
My least favorite Derby was the one from two years ago (I think) when they had it divided up by country. Eight guys from eight different countries tried to hit ball after ball out of the park. In my opinion, it was the most boring Home Run Derby ever — names you didn’t know and all country-oriented. I mean, come on. Outside of the World Series and the playoffs, this is America’s big baseball event. We don’t need a mini-Olympics.
My favorite Derby was in ‘02 or ‘03 when White Sox Paul Konerko was robbed by Giambi Juice of a chance to make it to the final round and win the whole thing. (Okay, it wasn’t my favorite because he got robbed, but because a White Sox player did well. It’s always nice to see one of our own players in the national spotlight.)
This year, there’ll be no White Sox player in the derby, but I’ll still be watching. It’s in San Francisco’s very cool ballpark. I’m hoping they get most of the best home run hitters in the thing. And if they do, we’ll be watching ball after ball splashdown in the bay, listening to Chris Berman saying, “Back back back back back — gone!”