BY MIKE WOLVERTON SPORTS GUY I’ll admit I haven’t watched the All-Star Home Run Derby in a couple years. It’s kinda boring. But I sat through it last night as a service to you, and because everyone knows that reading about the All-Star Home Run Derby is even MORE fun than watching it, I wrote up this running account. You’re welcome. And here’s what happened:
Hosted this year at Candlestick Park AT&T Park in San Francisco, the Derby started with a live performance from (Lord have mercy) Counting Crows, singing their marginal hit “Accidentally in Love.” Sorta undermines the notion of “All-Star” right off the bat, don’t you think? (and yes, Mr. Jones is still rockin’ those white-boy dreads! Wigga, please!).
Eliminated In The First Round: Magglio Ordonez, Prince Fielder, Justin Morneau and Phillie Ryan Howard. Howard, the defending champ, started slow and by the time he got it going it was too late. Worst performance went to Ordonez. “He’s not a real, what-you-call, a power hitter,” commentator Dusty Baker said about Magglio. Hey, maybe next year they’ll invite the power hitters to the home run contest. Best moment: after Vlad Guerrero failed to hit a home run on his first few swings, David “Big Papi” Ortiz interrupted him, threw his bat away and brought out a long case which held a special piece of lumber. Ortiz kissed the bat and gave it to Vlad, who then went on to win the contest. I love Big Papi.
ASSORTED LOWLIGHTS FROM THE 3-HOUR BROADCAST:
First Get Smart reference from Chris Berman: 12 minutes in
Second Get Smart Reference: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Unbelievable Third Get Smart Reference: 2 hours, 22 minutes. Get Smart has been off the air for 37 years.
Most Inappropriate-Sounding Home Run Call: “Let’s take a look at this one over the pole, babe.” — Chris Berman
Fakest Laugh: Dusty Baker cracking up over Bermans saw-it-coming 20 miles away “Rios Grande” line. Baker even added, “That was a good one.”
Best Half-Dig At The Phillies: After an interview with Ryan Howard, Chris Berman noted that with the Phillies win on Sunday they had “staved off” their 10,000th loss. Baker wasn’t impressed, saying, “They can stave off all they want to, it’s coming pretty soon.”
Most Astonishing Home Run Derby Factoid: Tickets were $175!!
The Saddest Barry Bonds Quote: Asked what the hardest thing for him to do these days, Barry said, “Trying to last the entire game … that’s the hard part.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Wolverton spent two seasons as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Atlantic City Surf and has also had stints as an official scorer, public address announcer and two years as a hockey broadcaster. This year he is play-by-play announcer and official scorer of his newborn son. In between, he will be writing about sports for Phawker.