Home Run Derby

I’m not a big fan of the All Star game (who is?). If you ask me, the best part of last night’s game was having Mike Trout miked up when he was supposed to be fielding. I guess it’s an honor to be picked for an All Star game, but I always wonder how many of those guys would rather have two days more vacation than having to play in a game that doesn’t matter.

Since I watched the game, I’m also only getting two days vacation from baseball this week. So I’m seeing Monica on Wednesday and Joyce on Thursday. That means I don’t have forever to write this. I gotta be showered and on time for Monica so she can keep me waiting.

What I do enjoy is the Home Run Derby. It goes on too long – you’re basically watching the same guys do exactly the same thing over and over again – but it’s exciting for a while. I’m not saying that the thing was fixed and Max Muncy got robbed…but, c’mon, anyone who didn’t see Bryce Harper winning it before it started has got to be delusional. I’m cool with it, and I’m glad he won it in his home park. The crowd certainly loved it.

But one thing: that headband he had on. Totally gayass. I got good hair too, man. But I’d have worn a ball cap.

It was great to see Max Muncy have an awesome first round. He just ran out of gas after that. Until you’ve tried something like a home run derby, you don’t realize how much physical work they are. Ball players aren’t designed to swing as hard as they can 30 times in 2 minutes. Muncy said he wasn’t going to mess with his swing, and he didn’t. That was real smart of him.  But it’s why he didn’t send any balls flying 440 feet and get bonus time for it. I couldn’t hit 500 feet home runs either…but one of the things Sumter taught me was that you score the same if you hit it into the first row of the stands or over the scoreboard.

Keaton asked me if they have all star games and home run derbies in the minors. The answer is yes. In A-ball, each league has its own, so, for us, in the South Atlantic League, the northern division’s best players play the southern division’s. And even less people care about it than they do about the MLB All Star game lol. (In case y’all are wondering, the Crawdads are in the northern division. Of the South Atlantic League. Hickory may be north for the south, but it’s still the south.)

I didn’t make the All Star game or the league home run derby – if I had, I’d probably still be playing pro ball lol. But I have been in other home run derbies. We had one in high school every year, although they only had us hitting for 90 seconds. Our teenage arms would have fallen off if we’d had to go 4 minutes like they did Monday night. I was never a super slugger – I was more the dude you had bat first because he was good at getting on base – but I did win the Maryville High Home Run Derby in 2010. I came in second to my future brother-in-law Jared in 2011. Y’all need to know that he had 60 pounds on me and was built like a linebacker…because he was a linebacker when he wasn’t a 3rd baseman.

So we got two Home Run Derby trophies in the family.

I’ve been in my share of home run contests too. If you put a bunch of young ball players together, sooner or later someone’s gonna say he can hit more home runs than you. Happened to me a few times in high school and at MT. It’s usually pretty fun, and a chance to make a few bucks off a dude too. It’s also fun to compete against your teammates for a change. Especially the stuck-up ones. (Still, the most stuck-up dude we had on the MT team totally kicked my ass at hitting home runs one afternoon. So that did nothing to make him into less of an asshole lol. Plus I lost 25 bucks.)

Ok, so it wasn’t very hard to get me into one of those home run contests. All you had to do was say something like “Block can’t slug.” First of all, Block can slug…but that’s not usually what they meant. (Although that was another good way to get me into a contest lol.) Maybe guys thought I couldn’t hit home runs because I learned early on that the way to get your OPS to go up isn’t by swinging for the fence. Throw me a meatball and I can send it out of the yard at least as well as the next dude. But there’s a lot more to hitting than that.

Even though I lost to that stuck-up dude in college, I didn’t usually get my ass kicked when I had 2 minutes to hit more home runs than the other dude. That may explain why they’re talking of disqualifying me from a mini softball derby the team’s been talking about – with a Dog Haus gift card as the prize. Something about my amateur status.

I know I’ve played pro baseball, but I’ve never played pro softball. So I ought to be eligible.

Besides, I could use a Dog Haus gift card.

Shit.  I’m gonna be late for Monica and I’m gonna hear about it.  Hold on.  I’m hearing Keaton’s voice in my head:  “serves the bitch right.”

I reckon he may be right.

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