Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Derby aspirations

Today, Alex Rodriguez said that he was not going to participate in this year's Home Run Derby, claiming that the event would mess with his swing.

In honor of this decision, I'm going to list the 8 players I would most like to see in this year's festivities, but probably won't be present. (Note the death of the royal "we." Leitch is gone, so I guess I shouldn't use that anymore).

American League

Ichiro: This guy has possibly the sweetest swing in baseball, and I've surprisingly never seen him play in person, but rumor has it he does nothing but hit bombs in BP. He put on an offensive show during the World Baseball Classic, so we know he has some untapped power in him. Who knows, maybe participating will rejuvenate his meager .293 batting average.

Bobby Abreu: He's probably not going to make the All-Star team, but that doesn't necessarily disqualify him for the Home Run Derby. This is the first year that he has really put together a good season since he last participated, so why pass up the opportunity to ruin his swing another time for the sake of nothing more than our entertainment?

Marcus Thames: This guy does nothing but hit jacks, as he was second to JD Drew in June with 10 home runs despite only having 19 hits in the month. I'm curious as to what he'd do if he didn't have to worry about things like moving the runner along and working the count.

Jack Cust: The truest Three Outcomes guy in the biz, this guy knows how to take a pitch. Believe me he'll know which pitch to send into the stands if you give him the chance. Let's not forget how he came into the league last year also, hitting 6 home runs in his first 7 major league games.

National League

Ryan Braun: Who am I kidding, if he isn't in the Derby, something is wrong. I saw him at Fenway for the first time earlier this year and the ball just exploded off his bat. I haven't seen a swing like that since Manny.

Alfonso Soriano: For no other reason that it would mean that he is healthy again and ready to be activated on my fantasy team.

Cody Ross: See Marcus Thames

Ryan Howard: Yes, he's definitely there, but what I really want to see is if he whiffs at a 70 mph BP fastball.

Clearly, I don't really care about the National League.