You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy™
the Major League baseball home run contest.
I love this event. It’s a spectacle.
It’s the hot dog eating contest with a bat and a ball. It’s fireworks on a baseball diamond. It’s hot sauce chased with jalapenos.
It is the reason we like baseball.
They say it’s hard to hit a round ball with a round bat square. These sluggers make it look easy.
The stands are packed. Every fan with a mitt and a dream is on his feet hoping a bomb lands nearby.
The rules are simple.
Hit a home run or it’s an out. 10 outs and you are done. Whoever hits the most homers is the winner.
ESPN treats this event like it’s Halloween Mardis Gras and the Super Bowl all at once.
The network has cameras all over the field and crazy graphics that trace the ball.
The best announcer on the network, Chris Berman is at the anchor desk and he is doing play by play.
He doesn’t need to say much.
“Back, back, back, it’s outta here.”
There are a gaggle of little league kids in the outfield shagging high flies.
The children look like marbles on a dash board banging in all directions. Rarely is a ball caught.
“back back back back gone”, Berman screams.
“412 feet. 420 feet.”
The numbers are absurd, like a Hulk experiment gone awry.
In a game, the pitcher is throwing 90 miles an hour. If you swing even meekly, the ball is going to hop off the bat.
But in home run derby, the pitches are fat. They cross the plate slowly like a woman getting ready for a night out.
The power comes in the rapid exchange of energy from batter to bat to ball. The player torquing, striding, uncorking massive arms, the bat exploding into the meandering rawhide sphere, then jolting it like 3 alarm chilli into the upper deck.
Cue the home run tracer graphics.
Bang, a red rainbow pops on the screen following the ball out of the park, a journey into someone’s hands, and a memory for the rest of time.
Citifield is not exactly a hitter’s park. So the batter has to jack it out.
The winner gets a brand new truck, which is parked on the other side of the fence.
Every ball that even comes close creates a stir. Who doesn’t want to see a baseball break a truck window, right?
Back Back Back Gone.
Like the most interesting man in the world says; “I don’t always watch baseball, but when I do, the home run derby is what i watch.
It’s just pure power. It is just one guy swinging for the proverbial fences. Yoenis Cespedes is the ultimate winner. He is brought in just for this contest. He is an Oakland A. Most of America, including myself, has never heard of this guy.
They will after this night.
He is a Cuban born Paul Bunyan jacking balls 450 feet in the third deck. That’s a football field and a half.
can you say: “Back back gone!”
There are a lot of things wrong in baseball; PED’s. A 162 game season. A knuckle ball that doesn’t knuckle.
This exhibition is not one of them.