The Home Run Derby is populated by players not known for hitting homers. Of the 10 players with at least 20 this year, only Miguel Cabrera is scheduled to participate.
And the general reason? It messes up the mechanics of the hitters, sending them into a slump. To which a former manager and ballplayer say: hogwash.
"Anything can happen to get you to go into a funk," ESPN analyst Aaron Boone said. "A bad at-bat for me could have gotten me into a tailspin for a week. So I don't buy it. ... It's kind of bunk."
Former manager Bobby Valentine, also on ESPN (which hosts the event; surely the network can't be happy) agrees.
"Give me a break," he said. "It's a Home Run Derby for guys every day. What do you think home run hitters do during batting practice? They try to hit a home run. ... We're talking about people who don't want to put the effort in on an off day."