Tonight's HR Derby features Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Matt Holliday, and Matt Kemp on the National League Side, and David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, and Robinson Cano on the American League Side. I keep waiting for the real lineup to be given. Maybe right before it starts tonight they will, I can still hope. ESPN describes it as 8 top sluggers swinging for the fences, a bit optimistic I'd say.
Out of the top 5in HR's in the NL, only 2 were picked, Fielder and Kemp. The HR leader, Lance Berkman, wasn't picked, neither was Jay Bruce, Ryan Howard, or Albert Pujols. 4th, 6th, and 8th respectively in HR's. However Rickie Weeks who is 11th and Matt Holiday who is 23rd, that's right 23rd, were picked. Fielder point blank said he picked Weeks because they are friends. Don't get me wrong I have no problem with Fielder picking his friends, I have a problem with the system that lets him.
In the AL only one of the top 5 in HR's were picked, and I bet Bautista wouldn't have been picked had he not had 6 more then second place. Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and Paul Konerko, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively were left off the roster. Of course Teixeira and Granderson are both Yankees, yet Cano, who was 14th was picked. Ortiz is currently 7th and Gonzalez is 12th in HR's this year.
Arguably the most exciting All-Star event in any sport, the HR derby has been turned into a joke this year. There is appearently no HR hitting ability needed, not that these guys have no skill, but it didn't seem to play much of a role here, with the exception of Bautista. I know there are many players who deserve to be there, and of course there will always be some players that deserve to be there that aren't picked, just like the All-Star game itself, but unlike the All-Star game there is an easy fix, just pick the top 4 HR hitters in each league, and if there is a tie, go to last years HR totals. It is an unbiased way to see the best HR hitters each year, and if the same person is there every year, they deserve to be there because they hit the most HR's so far that year.