Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks Booed at Home Run Derby

The 2011 Home Run Derby was pretty enjoyable, but there was one key element missing from the competition: Justin Upton. The young Diamondbacks outfielder is a reserve for the NL All-Star team but was left off the Home Run Derby team despite wanting to participate. For the first time, the Home Run Derby selected team captains from each League and allowed them to choose their teammates.

Prince Fielder was the captain of the NL squad and he chose Matt Kemp, Matt Holliday, and teammate Rickie Weeks to participate. Holliday only has 12 home runs on the season compared to Upton’s 15, so one could argue that was a stretch. But Diamondbacks fans were more upset that Fielder showed favoritism by picking Weeks, who is not known as a power hitter (though he does have 17 this season).

Arizona fans, who as we learned are much more hardcore than we ever thought, let Prince and Weeks hear it with boos. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says fans booed Prince during afternoon batting practice and throughout the Derby.

Weeks also was booed throughout the Derby. He didn’t know why he was being booed, and he didn’t care for it. “You don’t want anybody booing you,” said Weeks. “I didn’t know what it was about at first. I guess I understand. It is what it is.”

As I said, Diamondbacks fans are much more hardcore than we ever thought, and this is just one more example. But they have a right to be upset. The Home Run Derby is a time to showcase some of the best power hitters in the game. Upton hits some of the longest home runs in baseball. With the game being played at Chase Field, he was a natural fit. Prince and MLB blew it with this one and the boos make sense.

Fan Keith Carmickle Nearly Falls Over Railing at Home Run Derby (Picture)

Five days after Shannon Stone died falling over the railing at a Rangers game, some unwise fan at the Home Run Derby in Arizona did this:

Now I know what you’re thinking right now … did he make the grab?? Turns out that the man in question, Keith Carmickle, and his friends already had caught three balls and were hungry for more. Luckily his friends caught his legs before he fell over.

Here’s another look at the picture, from an up-close angle via Big League Stew:

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Man Law: Guy Catches Home Run Derby Ball, Saves Beer (Video)

We’ve seen some pretty sweet grabs on foul balls at baseball games, but there are very few catches that will earn the respect of men the way this will. Some guy in the pool at Chase Field in Arizona made a leaping grab on an Adrian Gonzalez home run ball and still managed to save his beer. Check out the video via Jose 3030:

I was impressed when a one-armed military vet caught a foul ball at a Yankees game recently, but the beer save was pretty sweet. Help us out here: which was better, the guy saving the beer, or this grab?

Robinson Cano Wins Home Run Derby with Father Jose Pitching to Him

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby at Chase Field in Arizona, crushing 32 home runs. The three-time All-Star was an unlikely winner; he entered the competition with the second-fewest dingers on the season (14), and he had the second-longest odds to win according to most handicappers.

But there he was, hitting a record 12 home runs in the final round despite making just six outs. And he did it all hitting off his father.

Jose Cano, a former pitcher, was Robinson’s Home Run Derby pitcher. Jose pitches to Robinson during the winter and pitched batting practice to him at Yankee Stadium Friday. The elder Cano tossed 23 innings in his Major League career, going 1-1 for the Houston Astros with a 5.09 ERA in 1989.

Cano said of his father he’s “The one that knows me really well, the one I practice with the whole season.” Robinson also acknowledged he was a little worried his dad would be nervous, but that was not an issue.

Looking back at it, perhaps it’s no surprise Cano won it. He has a simple, smooth swing — the kind that generally leads to success in the derby. While other batters may be able to hit balls farther than him, he can do it on a more regular basis.

This also gave us the coolest father-son sports moment since the U.S. Open.