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All-Star Home Run Derby More Fun than the Game

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I’ve been thinking this every year for a number of years now: the All-Star Home Run Derby held the night before the All-Star Game is actually more fun — and probably more meaningful — than the game itself. That might not sit too well with MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who wanted to make this game matter so much that he decreed that the winning side could host the World Series, but the truth is the truth.

Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees Last night’s home run hitters came in all shapes and sizes, from a svelte Matt Kemp of the L.A. Dodgers to a Babe Ruthian Prince Fielder (the son of slugger Cecil Fielder), but it was Robinson Cano of the Yankees who managed to come out on top. This was a feel good moment as his father Jose (a former major league player with the Houston Astros) served as pitcher. The crowd enjoyed it, seemed genuinely enthusiastic, and the other players on the sidelines offered support for the sluggers in the contest.

All of this going on at Chase Field in Arizona seemed like so much fun, the Christmas Eve being almost better than Christmas Day kind of thing. The truth is that today’s All-Star Game will be a letdown. It always is, and all of Selig’s horses and all of his men can’t put back together a game that has lost its significance — even when King Bud has tried to enhance that by making the game “count” in deciding home field advantage in the World Series.

I guess I will be like you and watch some of the All-Star Game tonight, but I probably won’t get beyond the third inning. I never do. It is too long, and being a NY Mets fan, I’ll tune in just to see Carlos Beltran in the starting lineup; otherwise, I will be waiting to change the channel and watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, which I will have no trouble doing after watching the tepid baseball game previously.

Let’s face it. Many stars don’t even want to go to the game even when they are voted in. Derek Jeter — Mr. 3000 — is blowing it off, and a number of others are too. Why? Because they know that the game doesn’t matter anymore. King Bud, are you listening?

Photo Credit: AP

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • Charlie Doherty

    I didn’t start to actually enjoy this year’s HR derby until the three-way swing-off between Matt Holliday, Fielder and Ortiz. Overall though, it wasn’t really all that exciting – and the fans weren’t all that into it. Maybe the Arizona heat got to the players and fans (who only started to get loud early on when booing Brewer Rickie Weeks, who Fielder chose for his NL derby team over home town favorite (Diamondback) Justin Upton, apparently).

    I’m a baseball fan for life, so I’ll always watch the derby. That said, even though the swing-off and final round was great (between Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez, adding another small chapter to the Bo-Sox-Yankees rivalry) this year’s contest was one of the weakest ones in recent memory, IMHO.