My Home Run Derby Predictions

Probably my second favorite day of the baseball season happens today, the Home Run Derby. I’ve always loved the contest from I was a young boy. I remember the ’97 derby at Jacobs Field, the ’98 derby at Coors Field and the ’99 derby at Fenway. Thsoe were the glory days for baseball in my lifetime. I loved seeing a young Griffey drive the ball deep and the B-list players entering the contest. Players such as John Jaha, Brady Anderson and Jeromy Burnitz. They are just afterthoughts in today’s minds but I welcomed them with open arms back in the day.

More recently I’ve followed the derby closely and embraced a new era of players. In 2005 I was overjoyed when Jason Bay was selected to be a derby participant.

 

jay bay.jpgYou can see from the grimace of on his face that he was pretty dissapointed. Bay did not hit a single ball over the fence at Detroit’s Comerica Park. He was booed off the field, but remained in good spirits. This was back when Jason was coming off his Rookie of the Year campaign.  He was fresh on the scene and a young face. It is amazing how far he has come. WIth all the talks on his multi year and multi million dollar contracts forthcoming, I’m proud to say I was there form the start. When he was booed at the derby in 2005 I was still proud. Seeing one of my guys with the gold P, in the national spotlight. It was touching.

While seeing a single player in the spotlight is cool it was even better to see the city of Pittsburgh and PNC Park living in the limelight. In 2006 the All Star festivities came to the Steel City. With everything on display for the entire baseball world to see, the city surely did not dissapoint….and neither did Ryan Howard in the 2006 Home Run derby.

Thumbnail image for howard_trophy.jpg

Howard too was fairly new to the baseball world back then. He was a big body filling in the shoes of Jim Thome out there in Philly. He used his big wood to amaze the sold out crowd at PNC Park. I was lucky enough to be in attendance at this derby and let me tell you, it was the best live baseball moment I have ever seen. Howard, along with other sluggers David Ortiz, David Wright, Miquel Cabrera and Miquel Tejada dazzled the world with their powerful swings. Many balls landed in the Allegheny River and boats and kayaks went crazy trying to recover the commemorative balls. The best jaw dropping scene came when Howard hit a “HIT IT HERE” sign out in left field. If you’ve ever seen the derby you will see  a smattering of these banners around teh stadium. They are sponsered by Mastercard and if a player hits it somebody in the crowd wins a bunch of money. Howard nailed the banner to win the derby. You couldn’t have asked for a better finish to cap off a homerun derby. It was fantastic. As much as I dislike the Philies I was so happy for Howard and myself for seeing such an amazing feat live and in person.

With the derby just hours away I can’t help but feel a little sad. I will be working late for the second year in a row missing the Home Run Derby. Last season I was working and recieved a wave of texts from friends telling me a play by play. I heard all about Josh Hamilton going bonkers and how he ended up losing it. This year I’ve informed my buds not to tell me what is going on. I will have it taped for my enjoyment when I am home and showered up.

Here is the lineup for this year’s HR Derby.

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers

Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers

Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

The National League guys look stacked. It was unique seeing all members of the NL being first basemen. They are the best candidates for the derby and will be sure to put on a show. With Albert Pujols batting in front of his hometown fans, I’m sure he’ll be loaded with an advanatge. He knows the park and knows the atmosphere, however I do not think he will win it.

The American League is the lesser of the two of two in terms of power. Cruz, Pena, Inge and Mauer are doing well at the plate and earn the spot but compared to Pujols, Fielder, Gonzalez and Howard the first basemen blow them out of the water.

When the dust settles I beleiev an underdog will come out victorious in this derby.

gonzalez_adrian.jpg

 

Thats right Adriiiiiiiiian! Not Rocky’s wife, Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres. He’s a cool guy. Playing on a well below average team but he sticks out. He has 24 homers in the first half and has been swinging the bat very well. I remember a game earlier in the year when Gonzo nailed 2 dingers in a game.

I’m very excited for what is to come in this derby. Just make sure nobody texts me the results between the hours of 8 and 10.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments

SO yeah we swept you guys this weekend, but I would trade that sweep to have seen Howard win that Home Run Derby, now I am jealous….since your doing predictions, I am undecided, but gotta go with Howard or Pena, Howard cause he’s a local boy, but Pena ’cause I think he’s swinging a good bat at the moment.
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com
p.s. and the working thing sucks….

Hey, I just made a really good post, please check it out for me. I hope you like it. Thanks
http://balorioles.mlblogs.com/

I know! Parents never seem to understand anything.
& That’s alright. I’m not a fan of the Pirates, but I wouldn’t say I hate them- I like their fight and they never give up. It sort of actually reminds me of the Tribe. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

I know Pujols is the hands down favorite, but I’ll root for the underdog, Carlos Pena, since he was a last-minute replacement.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I have the same prediction. The underdog Gonzalez will come out on top despite the stacked lineups (not including Brandon Inge)
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Seeing that lineup for tonight, I’m very pleased I’m sitting in Right Field for all of it. I expect Prince is going to unload and take this thing.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Thanks for the comment, aww you’re always so sweet…it’s ok that I’m a freak but ‘die-hard baseball fan’ does sound a little better :]

You have to work tonight during the derby? Crapper! That sucks, I’m sorry :[ Heck yeah you better tell your friends not to text you before you watch it!

I'm gonna go with Inge...mostly because I do live in Detroit and I do not support the Tigers whatsoever and feel like this time around I should :]

xoxo
http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

Hey I’m pretty sure Bay wasn’t in the all-star game in ’06, he was just a participant in the home run derby. Freddy was our only representative.

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

actually I think I am wrong about that.

http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

Hey Man,
I think Adrian can win it all. It would be awesome if he could. He’s on my prediction to win it all as well. Thanks for commenting on my blog!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

I think it will be Adrian although Albert does have the advantage. Oh, by the way, I have a soft spot for the Pirates since they have two ex Dodgers, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young. I too don’t think that the Dodgers will fade away. I think they will go all the way.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Wow, everybody is going with Gonzo! What is up with that!? I might have to seriously reconsider my top picks now.

Nice job reminding me of Jeromy Burnitz. That guy had the most violent swing I’ve ever seen. How did not not throw out his back every time!?
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

This is anybody’s home run derby for the taking, I think either Albert Pujols (Cardinals) or Carlos Pena (Rays) will win the derby. Lots of home run power in a nice ballpark.

Matthew T.
http://matt7.mlblogs.com/about.html

I think Carlos Pena has a great chance. And because he didn’t hit any the first time he was in the HR Derby is the reason that JBay said no this year when he was asked! LOL! He was very clear in the local papers that he will not do that again.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I have to agree with Jane. Pujols will undoubtedly be good but I will also be rooting for Pena, just because he’s in the AL and wasn’t supposed to be there at all. BTW, I’ve always loved the derby and am just about to leave work early to catch it. Helps that my hubby’s my boss!
Lori
http://luckylori.mlblogs.com

Ugh. CArlos did not represent the Rays well in this thing. Oh well. At least he hit more than Inge and Gonzo.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Prince Fielder was great, Ryan Howard put on a great show. Zach Duke and Freddy Sanchez will represent the Pirates tomorrow, I think they’ll do great representing the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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