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Matt Kemp wants Giancarlo Stanton on his HR Derby team

     Giancarlo Stanton could make his first trip to the All-Star Game in Kansas City on merit alone as a member of the N.L. team. Stanton is having an All-Star caliber season.

    Stanton  But even if he doesn't land on the N.L. squad for the "Midsummer Classic" on July 10, it appears Stanton could be making the trip to K.C. anyway. That's because the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who has been picked as captain of the N.L. Home Run Derby team, said he wants the Marlins' big bopper participating in the slugging exhibition the day before the All-Star Game.

     Kemp mentioned Stanton -- whom he referred to as "Mike" during an ESPN broadcast today -- and Dodgers teammate Andre Ethier as two players he'd like to have on his Home Run Derby team of four.

     ESPN's John Kruk wholeheartedly agreed with the choice.

     "You have to have him," Kruk said of Stanton. "The guy hits the ball 890 feet."


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A no brainer...who wouldnt want Stanton on his HR team.


I know everybody is going to think I'm nuts, but I'm probably the only guy north of Proxima Centauri who hates the idea of Stanton competing in the home run derby. We've seen too many guys (Bobby Abreu is one that comes to mind first) who perform in that thing and then watch their numbers drop off drastically through the rest of the season. To me, it's a bunch of silliness that has nothing to do with baseball, is boring as hell to watch, and is very taxing on the competitors. The better you do, the more taxing it is, because the more swings you get in (and we know Stanton will do very well). And it's all for naught, because within two days, the glory is gone and 90 percent of the fans can't even remember who won the damn thing. I say let the veterans compete in that nonsense if they want to and let Giancarlo rest up to carry the Marlins through the remainder of the season. How silly would it be to let a 22-year-old kid who's trying to perfect his swing and become more than a home run hitter go out there and mess things up for something that means absolutely nothing.


Gotta admit LB I worry about it too. I think he's going no matter what though.

Stan III

I figured my father would be the first to chyme in on this, as he is always against any and all Marlin participants in this contest. I still think what Josh Hamilton did in the 2008 HR derby was one of the greatest sports moments I have ever seen, and he didn't even win. It is a silly contest, but if I were Mike/Giancarlo, I'd do it.


I was under the impression that you had to be a member of the All-Star team to take part in the home run derby. Am I wrong yet again?


I don't think it's a requirement. Then again, I rarely watch the Home Run Derby or All-Star Game. I managed to dredge up this bit of info, though, from last year's MLB press release announcing Prince Fielder and David Ortiz as the team captains for the 2011 Home Run Derby, and it says you don't have to be on the All-Star team to be invited to the home run contest: "Fielder and Ortiz will each determine the other three participants on their teams and will personally extend the invitations. All players are eligible to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby, not only those named to All-Star rosters." So unless they've changed the rules....-- Clark


Thanks, Clark. Guess you're right and I'm wrong. Imagine that.


Just did some quick checking on whether the Home Run Derby had any impact on Miguel Cabrera (2006), Dan Uggla (2008) and Hanley Ramirez (2010) the years they were participants. Looking at the first half/second half splits, Uggla had a significant drop off offensively the second half of '08. But there was really no change with either Cabrera or Ramirez, or at least none that would lead you to think their second-half hitting skills eroded due to the slugfest. Robinson Cano won the thing last year, and his second half was better than his first. -- Clark


Also, it's good to know that there are other baseball fans who have trouble mustering any interest in the All-Star game. To me, the All-Star game is the dog poop of Major League Baseball, and the home run derby is the fly on top of the dog poop.

Bubie Kuhn

the All-Star game has lost it's luster and the HR Derby is a joke. Useless crap to entertain mindless fans.


Maybe I'm making too big a deal about the dangers of hitting in the home run derby, but I've heard a lot of horror stories — Abreu dropping from 18 homers in the first half to 6 in the second half, Garrett Anderson from 22 homers in the first half to 7 in the second half. Uggla's OPS went from .978 to .739 the year he competed, Brandon Inge (2009) from .876 to .547, Justin Morneau (2007) from .944 to .702. Somebody (don't ask me who now) ran the stats on players who competed in the derby from 2000 to 2010 and found that 57 percent had a significant drop in OPS after competing. A-Rod said it definitely hurt his swing (of course, A-Rod has said a lot of things) and Jim Presley, when he was Marlins hitting coach, said, "It will wear the player out. Those guys are dead tired when they get done with that. It can have an adverse effect."
Anyway, it just seems silly to take the risk for absolutely nothing. Having Stanton compete in the home run derby is like using your Ferrari to haul concrete blocks. It's OK if you've got a lot of Ferraris, but if it's the only one you've got, you should save it for special occasions.

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