2017: A Home Run Derby To Forget
This year’s Home Run Derby was a colossal disappointment. Yes, it was as fun as you would think to watch Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge hit the ball a billion feet, but the derby lacked excitement. Everyone was hoping for those two to square off in the finals, but with Stanton getting bumped in the first round, that wasn’t possible. No one was shocked that Judge won, it was expected, if he had been challenged in the final round, it would have provided a much more entertaining and memorable experience. Although, Judge was challenged early on by Justin Bour who made a name for himself hitting 22 home runs. However, Bour was still no match for Judge who hit 23 dingers. Other than that, the derby was a bust.
2015: A Home Run Derby To Remember
When was the last time you truly were into the Home Run Derby? It was probably in 2015 when Todd Frazier put the derby back on the map with the walk-off win. That was the first year with the new format, and it looked promising.
However, there are a few differences between this year and 2015. One difference was the match ups. The final round saw Todd Frazier up against Joc Pederson, and they were a perfect match for each other. The second difference? Chris Berman was the announcer, as he had been for so long, but now Berman is gone. Some miss him, and some don’t. This year with Berman gone, the commentators lacked excitement, lacked an identity. It seemed at times that the announcers weren’t even watching. Side conversations were taking precedent over the actual long balls being hit, but there was still another difference, the crowd. In 2015, Cincinnati provided a great crowd. Granted, the crowd was great partly because they were pulling for the hometown kid, Todd Frazier, but nonetheless, the crowd was awesome. In addition to this, it almost had an October baseball feel to it.
It’s Time To Return To Fenway Park
This year the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game are in Miami. Miami is a city in which baseball is barely surviving. The crowds are not into it like they used to be and the team is sub par creating an environment that is not suitable for a home run derby.
If you’re looking for an environment suitable for an entertaining home run derby and all-star game, look no further than Fenway Park.
The All-Star Game needs to return to Fenway Park, plain and simple. Fenway Park is the most historic and cherished ballpark in baseball, and 1999 hosted one of the most memorable home run derbies and All-Star Games in history. You had names like Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark McGuire hitting moonshots into the Boston sky.
You had guys like Pedro Martinez, the hometown hero, putting on one of the most dominant displays in All-Star Game history; in the height of the steroid era no less.