|Image courtesy of Daylife via Getty Images|
The 2011 edition of the Home Run Derby wasn’t quite Jose Bautista’s coming out party, but I think a lot of folks south of the border took notice of the Blue Jays slugger.
As the Major League home run leader, Bautista was the odds-on favourite to capture the Home Run Derby title, instead he failed to escape the first round as he watches his teammates put on a show.
This was Jose’s first trip to the Derby, and for his first appearance I’d say he fared okay. Typically, he’s not used to having 50,000 fans and hundreds of cameras during an ordinary batting practice, so that can take some getting used to.
Also, for those hitting in later rounds, sometimes you’re sitting for an hour or an hour and a half before coming back up to the plate once again. That can’t be very conducive for hitting lots of home runs.
I don’t doubt this will be the last time we see Jose Bautista in the Home Run Derby, and besides … that means he won’t suffer from the dreaded Home Run Derby curse now anyway!
Dustin made a very good point during the Getting Blanked Home Run Derby liveblog, the Derby is something that’s better suited to be on in the background and not in the forefront.
I myself found the liveblog to be more entertaining than the Home Run Derby itself, as the prospect of signing Prince Fielder sparked a good debate amongst the commenters.
The Derby just gets really old fast, and Chris Berman doesn’t exactly help. I’d be more than happy to see the Home Run Derby cut down to a 2 hour broadcast rather than a 3 hour plus event.
Even if they took out the first round and only had 4 hitters from each league, I don’t think people would mind so long as it cut down on time. Unfortunately, it’s all about the benjamins and sponsor time, so there’s no way that will ever happen.
The Highlight of the Home Run Derby
For me, the highlight of the entire Home Run Derby was this amazing catch by a fan by the pool. Not only does he manage to hang onto the ball while in the pool, he keeps his beer above the water the entire time!
Luckily his beer afloat was rescued by bikini-clad women as he tried to gain his balance and rise back from the water. Somebody sign this guy to a contract in centre field, ASAP.