Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Natural

Josh Hamilton put on the most impressive offensive display I've ever seen in the first round of the Home Run Derby. A record 28 home runs, including three over 500 feet (giving him three of the top 10 all-time Derby homers by distance). He crushed the ball... destroyed it. I'm kind of amazed the cover didn't come off some of them. There was one pitch that was a bit inside that he hit with one hand - it went around 450 ft, half-way up the upper-deck in right field. Nobody else hit 28 all night, and the next closest in the first round had 8. It was amazing, with the crowd cheering his name and the players looking on in awe. Unfortunately, he only hit 3 HR in the final round, and lost to Justin Morneau. What people are going to remember though, are all of those baseballs flying deep into the New York night.

[Excuse the poor music backing it, but this is the best video I could find.]

FJM had some interesting observations about the event:
"Not only did Erin Andrews snub Justin Morneau for Hamilton immediately post-Derby, but during the trophy presentation she clearly pronounces his name as "Mar-neau," Executive Vice President of MLB Rob Manfred goes with something like "Myrrh-neau," and Boys and Girls Club Giant Check Giver Guy just flat out insults him with "Jason." We get it, guys: Morneau didn't do heroin. So he's bo-ring!

The lesson, as always: it's better to do heroin and then stop doing heroin and then lose the Home Run Derby after an impressive first round than it is to not do heroin and then keep not doing heroin and then win the Home Run Derby after a pedestrian first round. Of course, I'm not telling you anything you haven't heard a thousand times already."
It reminds he of a Simpsons episode where the family is having money trouble, and Bart says something along the lines of "I'll take up smoking and then quit," and Homer thanks him. It's ridiculous but true - Andy Pettitte is a hero for (eventually) admitting to taking HGH, but Mike Mussina is a scrub until he got his ERA below 4.50, despite being a (generally) smart, upstanding individual.

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