Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Home Run Derby Recap - Who is Todd Frazier?

I got tired of the Home Run Derby.  So many players taking pitch after pitch.  So many players complaining that the Derby was ruing their swing.  Way too much Chris Berman yelling "back, back, back."  There was very little drama and very little excitement.  Everyone would go in turn, the first round took an indefinite amount of time.  We rarely got past the First Round before everyone fell asleep. 

But this year promised to be different.  It would be head to head, rather than against the field.  Order of play was based on some random seedings (but who cares).  It would be timed, rather than based on outs (which led to 20 minute at bats for the more patient hitters).  Runner up last year, Todd Frazier would be in the groupings along with Josh Donaldson (one of C's favorite players), Prince Fielder and the honorable (yet steroid free) Albert Pujols.  We also had Kris Bryant, one of G's Favorite players.  We still had Boomer to listen to, but there seemed to be more excitement based on the fact that the timer makes things more needy for the hitters as time gets long. Mom and DLG almost immediately left the room, although to her credit, she did ask about how many home runs you had to hit to win.

The new format was immediately a hit, as the urgency was palpable and the interminable at-bats were long gone.  So what if Fielder and Manny Machado were gone?  Joc Pederson and Frazier were still in.  And the home runs were flying out of the park.

In the second round, it would be Frazier against Donaldson and Pederson against Pujols.  C was particularly excited because his favorite player was now flip-flopped to Pederson.

"Dad, have you heard a name like "Joc" before?" C asked me, clearly excited about his new hero.  I had never heard of the guy before, so my answer is "No."

G was not as excited about the Derby as C and I were, particularly when Pujols, one of his favorite players was knocked out by Pederson.  As Frazier beat Donaldson on a walk off last second wall scraper, the Derby became fun again.

Pederson went first and clubbed 14 home runs, including some of the longest home runs hit that night.  What was funny was the pro-Frazier crowd booing every home run and cheering every out.  Wow.  Frazier then came up.  He struggled at the beginning and took his time out.  After the time out ended, his roll began.  Although he needed extra time to do it, his first pitch in bonus time led to his win.

C and I were disappointed since we both wanted the other guy to win, but we were still interested.  Can't wait for next year, Hanley...

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