After watching the home run derby last night, I came to the realization that Josh Hamilton has ruined all home run derby's from here on out. His 23 homeruns in the first round of the 2008 Home Run Derby, makes every other performance seem down right mundane and not worthy of my time. Last night, Prince Fielder and Nelson Cruz each hit 11 homeruns in the first round which is usually a big deal, but it no longer is.
As a matter of fact, I bet the majority of baseball fans can't name the winner of last year's home run derby, but they can tell you that Josh Hamilton broke the record for homeruns in any round of a homerun derby. And not only that, but I guarantee you most people will tell you that Mr. Hamilton was the actual winner of the home run derby.
Before 2008, I would have applauded Prince Fielder and Nelson Cruz for putting on a show for the fans at Busch Stadium and raved about how 2009 gave us one of the best derby's of all time, but all I can think about is how each of them hit less homeruns in all three rounds combined than Hamilton hit in the first round.
Since their is nothing that can really be done on behalf of the players and we will not see another performance like that again until the All-Star game is held in a wind tunnel, also known as the new Yankee Stadium, I have devised a plan to make the homerun derby entertaining once again...
Rock N' Jock Home Run Derby. That's right, you remember the Rock 'N Jock Softball games that used to be held on MTV with athletes, former athletes and celeberities. Well, I am stealing a few ideas from them for the purpose of saving the Home Run Derby.
Rock N' Jock used to have a variety of fake farm animals in the outfield, (real farm animals would be more entertaining but we don't want any wilbers or betsys getting hurt, plus PITA would have a field day with MLB) and if one of the players hit one of the standing replica animals in the outfield, they would receive extra bases depending on the animal. Well I say we place about three or four replica farm animals of varying sizes in the stands. A barn being hit would be worth an extra home run, a cow being hit would be worth two, a pig being hit would be worth three, a chicken being hit would be worth four. Don't tell me you wouldn't want to hear Chris Berman scream, "Albert just got into one...Oh man it's a moon shot...could it, could it...Oh my, he just hit a pig, he hit a pig...Albert Pujols has just won the homerun derby after hitting a big on his last swing!" Now that is entertainment at it's finest.
Also, there would have to be about ten sections that were partioned off for beautiful young ladies laying out on a lounge chair with a pina colada in one hand and a glove in the other hand. If one of the participants could hit one of these young ladies a ball and she was able to catch the home run, he would receive an additional five home runs for that round. I know this sounds a big difficult, but just picture the scene from Sandlot when Benny the Jet Rodriguez tells Smalls to stick out his glove and just squeeze. I know it sounds pretty difficult, but that's why they would receive five extra homeruns for such a feat, plus don't tell me Red Sox fans wouldn't like to see a beautiful blonde at the top of the Green Monster wearing a Red Sox hat and a red bikini, tracking balls like Torii Hunter. I know some of you are getting excited just from reading about the thought of this happening.
And of course, last but most certainly not least, we would have to introduce the money ball. The gold ball which comes last and gives money to charity is great and all, but it's not entertaining. The money ball would be, of course, green...maybe neon green to make it easier to see, but a participant would get the money ball thrown to him when he has nine outs. The money ball would be worth five home runs. However, they would only get one swing at the money ball. If they hit a home run, they are done and if they don't they are still done. This would add some pressure to the last swing, in turn, addding some much needed drama to the end of each player's at bat no matter what round they are in.
I know all of this sounds a bit off the all and almost excessively foolish, but don't tell me you wouldnt watch it, or at least take the time to TIVO such an event.