Tuesday, July 10, 2007

That Time of Year Again

I know last year I had a huge list of reasons why I love the Home Run Derby, but watching last night's slugger show-down gave me even more. First off , I love that it's all about the families. The narrowly third place finishing Matt Holliday's pitcher was introduced as his brother and there's something just way too cute about seeing big-shot ball players hanging out with their kids. The look on Albert Pujols, Jr.'s face as his dad won a hit-off to qualify for the second round was indescribably adorable. And equally awing was the older Albert celebrating with his pint-sized biggest fan. I also love the casual atmosphere that surrounds the event. I joked that you could take an interesting survey of favorite Gatorade flavors from the scenes of the athletes hanging out "drinking" with each other. The cameras are pretty much unable to capture faces that aren't smiling and joking and for a season marked all too often by anger and fighting (for the Cubs, especially) it was a refreshing change. Some might even argue that winner Vladimir Guerrero took the trophy because of a bat kissed by slugger David Ortiz. After Vlad's first three outs, Ortiz made a hilarious show of presenting the new bat to Guerrero who proceeded to enter the next round with five homers - including a crushing 503' shot! It's still every bit the competition, but it's nice to see players and fans unwind, let loose and just truly enjoy baseball.

Congrats to Vladimir Guerrero - winner of the 2007 Home Run Derby!

As much as I would have loved to see a Cubbie in the race, or to have Pujols take the win as a "nyah-nyah" to everyone who hates the NL Central - I can't say that I'm at all disappointed by the outcome of the night. I mean, I gotta cheer for Guerrero, right? ;) I see the picture above and, to me, it captures everything that the HRD is about: A swing, a hit, and a huge smile.

1 comment:

Greg said...

This is funny... I totally forgot about your enfatuation with the Home Run Derby! Oh well, whatever floats your boat. (Or corks your bat as the case may be.)