This is a bit of a rant. if it doesn't make sense, apologies all around.
For starters, let's look back to a more innocent time and place, the 2004 home run derby.
That year, the results were as follow:
First Place Miguel Tejada
Second Place Lance Berkman
Third Place Rafael Palmiero
Fourth Place Barry Bonds
Fifth Place Sammy Sosa
What an illustrious collection of ballplayers, so many memories. But now, lets flash forward to 2009. Below are the participants in the 2009 state farm home run derby at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, July 13:
NL, Bats, Age, 2008 homeruns, Career homeruns 2009 HR Total
Lance Berkman, HOU, S, 32, 28 (T-7th in NL), 281 currently 17 (look he's back!)
Ryan Braun, MIL, R, 24, 23(T-4th in NL), 57 currently 16
Dan Uggla, FLA, R, 28, 23(T-4th in NL), 81 currently 15
Chase Utley, PHI, L, 29, 25(T-3rd in NL), 122 currently 17
AL, Bats, Age, 2008 homeruns, Career homeruns
Josh Hamilton, TEX, L, 27, 21 (T-2nd in AL), 40 currently 6 (multiple injuries this season)
Evan Longoria, TB, R, 22, 16(T-14th in AL), 16 currently 16
Justin Morneau, MIN, L, 27, 14(T-21st in AL), 124 currently 19!
Grady Sizemore, CLE, L, 25, 23(1st in AL), 101 currently 10
Looks like a good clean group of guys (fingers crossed). And let's hope so, and that it stays clean. even if the home run totals drop and people stop paying attention and they ultimately drop the whole event.
Now compare this list of participants with the current mlb home run leaders (those all stars not participating the the home run derby are in bold type):
1 A Puljols, St. Louis 30 (hey isn't that where the all-star game is?) and i believe he received enough votes to be on the team. why not entertain the home crowd with that awesome slugging? WHY!!! wants to protect his elbow?
2 A. Gonzalez San Diego 24
3 C. Pena TB 23
4 R Ibanez Phi 22 Another all star apparently chooses not to participate. AWW
5 M Reynolds Ari 22
6 P Fielder Mil 21
7 R Branyan SEA 20
8 A Dunn Wash 20
9 R Howard Phi 20
10 M Texiera NYY 20 Yankee fans disappointed. BOO
So what does it all mean?
a the home run derby was, maybe not intentionally, created as a showcase for feats of performance enhanced strength. it's a dirty contest.
b. the players in bold stick out like sore thumbs and draw more suspicion on themselves by not participating.
c. wouldn't it be just as fair to fans if one player from each team were allowed to destroy their bodies, so long as their identity were public property?
d. cheating helps the bottom line and mlb franchises have made, let's be honest, billions off the steroid era.
e. juan pierre sits on the bench and good guys everywhere who care to notice this feel betrayed. (wait wait, torre put pierre in for manny! good guys keep hope alive!)