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Giancarlo Stanton home run leaves fan’s hand swollen and nasty

Giancarlo-Stanton-homer-fans-hand

The Home Run Derby is the only event of the MLB season where the outfield bleachers are the best seats in the house. You know a home run ball is coming your way at some point, you just have to be willing to make a play on it. Jordan Jacobson did just that, and his hand paid the price.

On Monday night, Jacobson got his hand on one of the Giancarlo Stanton home runs that didn’t travel over 500 feet and almost leave Target Field. He was left with a swollen mess and no souvenir.

“It was extremely painful at first, then went numb after about 15 minutes,” Jacobson told Page Q Sports. “It probably would have felt better if I would have gotten the ball.”

We know grown men bringing gloves to the ballpark is frowned upon, but it would be slightly more acceptible if it’s the Home Run Derby and you’re in Stanton’s path of destruction. Jacobson knows that for next time.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Jacobson actually has a birth defect and did not try to catch a Stanton homer. He admitted on Twitter Thursday morning that he was lying.

H/T Deadspin

Pirates fans booed David Wright over Pedro Alvarez snub

David WrightNew York Mets third baseman David Wright was booed by Pittsburgh Pirates fans on Friday at PNC Park, and it’s all because of a Home Run Derby snub.

This year’s All-Star Game is being played at Citi Field, so Wright was named captain of the NL Derby team. He chose Bryce Harper, Carlos Gonzalez, and longtime Virginia friend Michael Cuddyer as his teammates. Wright initially omitted Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez from the team, even though Alvarez was tied for second in the NL with 22 home runs at the time. Wright did add Alvarez to the squad after Gonzalez pulled out with an injury, but Pirates fans did not forget the initial snub. They let Wright hear it with boos on Friday, though Wright said he didn’t mind the noise.

“It’s kind of cool that they’re that passionate about their players,” Wright said after the game, via the New York Daily News. “I am not going to lose any sleep about getting booed a couple of games in Pittsburgh, that’s for sure.

“But it seems like [Pirates fans are] knowledgeable about what’s going on. And it’s kind of cool. Like I said, they’re that upset about it and passionate about it. It made for a nice atmosphere.”

Pirates fans may have had it in for Wright at first, but I’m sure the team’s 11-inning win over the Mets was all the revenge they needed.

Like Wright said, you’ll never be able to please everyone when selecting Derby teams. Someone is always going to be left out, leaving the captain will take the heat. Last year it was Robinson Cano drawing the ire of Kansas City Royals fans, and this year it’s Wright with Pirates fans.

David Ortiz on Home Run Derby: ‘I’m done with that’

David-Ortiz-rips-Buster-OlneyBoston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has been a fan favorite in the Home Run Derby for several years. Ortiz won the event with 32 total home runs in 2010 and has always provided the fans with some monstrous big flies and comic relief. Unfortunately, it appears we have seen the last of Big Papi in the competition.

On Wednesday, Ortiz said he would decline the invitation if American League team captain Robinson Cano asked him to participate.

“If he asks me to do it? I wouldn’t do it. I’m done with that,” Ortiz told WEEI.com. “I can’t do it no more. I can’t even do it in batting practice. Watch me in batting practice, I might lose a couple of balls but that’s it. I can’t do it. It wears me out. Wears me out. And you know the Home Run Derby (can’t) be taken lightly. You have to be young with a lot of energy.”

Young, he is not. At age 37, Ortiz has reached a point in his career where his health needs to be a top priority. He is off to a tremendous start to the 2013 season, and Boston is hoping that will continue after the All-Star break. Despite missing the first 15 games of the season, Ortiz’s power numbers still rank near the top of the AL with 13 homers, 48 RBI and a .608 slugging percentage.

The last thing Papi needs is to aggravate his heel or any other injury that has nagged him over the past couple of seasons. Without Ortiz in the middle of their lineup, the Red Sox offense would struggle tremendously. Taking a pass on the Home Run Derby is probably a wise decision. Sorry, Bobby V. — no Jose Ortiz this year.

Buck Showalter: the Home Run Derby is ‘Unwatchable’, Has Juiced Balls

Is there any out there who really, truly enjoys watching the Home Run Derby? Sure, some of the player antics can be entertaining. It’s fun to watch the camaraderie between some of the game’s best sluggers, but that’s pretty much where it ends. Obviously most of the players across the league are not fond of the event, which is why it seems like more and more hitters turn down the invitation every year.  I don’t think any of them hate the Derby as much as Buck Showalter.

Showalter, who has never been afraid to voice or show his displeasure with something, had some harsh words when asked about the Home Run Derby on Thursday.

“It’s hard to watch the home run hitting contest,” Showalter said. “Obviously, the balls are juiced. Those aren’t normal balls that they’re hitting. I’ve been in Arizona for a long time and you don’t hit balls where they’re hitting them. Trust me. And that’s not a well-kept secret that those aren’t the normal baseballs. But they can’t do anything to baseballs to make them go further, right?”

“I was looking at some of those places they were hitting those balls and I was going, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ But it was entertaining I hear. Did anybody watch it from start to finish?” he continued. “I didn’t think so. It’s unwatchable.”

Easy, killer.  It’s just a game.

2011 Home Run Derby Gold Balls to be Made with Actual Gold

Those of us who have watched the Home Run Derby in the past are familiar with the concept of the gold ball. When a batter is down to his last out, the gold balls are put into play and every homer that is hit with a gold ball means a certain amount is donated to charity. This year, State Farm will donate $18,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for each gold ball homer that is hit.  Along with benefiting charity, the gold balls will also be a great snag for the lucky fans who catch them considering they are made with actual gold.

The balls will be infused with 24-karat gold leather and are worth about $150 each.  I wonder if this will lead to more agressiveness in the stands.  People opt for sitting in the outfield at the Home Run Derby for the chance to catch a home run ball.  The mystique was already there to begin with, but what will the nut jobs do now that its actual gold they’re trying to get their hands on?  Maybe a couple swings will be thrown.  To Bud Selig’s credit, it’s one more reason to tune into an event that most find to be extremely boring and by no means a must-see.

H/T to Big League Stew for the picture.

Justin Upton Wants to Participate in the Home Run Derby

This year’s MLB All-Star Game will be played at Chase Field in Arizona, home of the Diamondbacks. While the captains for the Home Run Derby teams have already been selected (whatever the heck that means), the rest of the rosters have yet to be determined. So who will join Prince Fielder and David Ortiz in the Derby in two weeks? Home town favorite Justin Upton would love to be a part. The youngster who infrequently updates his twitter account posted this note Thursday evening:

With so many athletes who whine that the derby messes with their swing, it’s great to see an athlete who wants to participate to entertain the fans. And you know what? Upton would be the perfect addition.

Justin has hit the second-longest home run of the season, a 478-foot blast at home. He routinely hits some of the farthest home runs we’ve seen this year, right up there with Prince Fielder and Mark Trumbo. According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, Upton has clubbed four of the longest 22 home runs of the season, far more than anyone else in that top group.

Though it’s a different sport, we saw what happened when a top youngster participated in the Slam Dunk Competition at NBA All-Star weekend and how exciting that was. Justin Upton could add a similar spice to the MLB game.

What’s Wrong with the All-Star Game?

Even at a time of year when there’s no basketball, no hockey, and no football to watch, people aren’t tuning in to the MLB All-Star festivities. Despite Marlon Byrd’s efforts, Tuesday night’s 2010 MLB All-Star Game registered the lowest overnight ratings of any Midsummer Classic in history. The previous evening, the Home Run Derby’s ratings hit a five-year low and were down 22 percent from 2009.

What’s going on here? The answer with the Home Run Derby is a simple one; no one wants to participate. It was fitting that a high-profile slugger like David Ortiz took home the crown this year, but look at the rest of the field. I don’t care how many home runs they’ve hit at the All-Star break, fans don’t want to see players like Corey Hart, Chris Young, and Vernon Wells hitting the long ball. They want to see Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, and the rest of the game’s elite home run hitters belting moon shots.

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