Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Josh Hamilton goes nuts in HR Derby

I'll be the first to admit that going into last night's Home Run Derby I had very low expectations. It was a group of guys that were thrown together, reminisicent of the way the NBA's Slam Dunk contest has fallen in recent years. Obviously the fact that a lot of the big names didn't want to participate is a huge factor in the decline of both competitions, but this one was at Yankee Stadium, one of the most famous venues in all of sports, and should have been matched with names of that caliber.

But I wasn't disappointed.

After watching Josh Hamilton launch baseball after baseball to the upper deck and almost beyond, I can't really complain about the lack of stars in the competition. Granted, Hamilton was the only one who put up a good performance. (Evan Longoria had three... THREE... home runs.) But Hamilton alone was enough.

Hitting home runs wasn't the issue for him; it was how far they would go. You could see he was consistently aiming for the corner spot just next to the right field bleachers, trying to jack one out of the Stadium. He came close a few times, in the midst of his 28 first-round home runs.

Hamilton didn't win the Derby, but that didn't even matter. He put on a show for the fans, and that's what counts. Years from now, no one will remember that Justin Morneau was the winner. They will remember, though, Josh Hamilton's home run barage.

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