Home Run Derby open thread

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Bats, baseballs, Chris Berman. New format. Again.

Most of us have lost some amount of interest in this event over the years. Still, it's produced some memorable moments in the past. Robinson Cano, hitting bomb after bomb from the arm of his father. Josh Hamilton, reaching the upper most decks of Yankee Stadium. Dave Valle, pitching to Garrett Anderson and Jason Giambi.

As obnoxious as Chris Berman can be while calling just about anything, you can't deny that his calls add to part of the charm of the Home Run Derby. It's tradition, and the first three or four times he busts out "back, back, back" are nostalgic for something. For a while. Then there's the whole "that one's all the way to (insert city 35 miles south/north/whatever of left field)" call, one that he'll certainly bust out at least a couple of times. It'll be annoying by 5:30, but it will be familiar.

The continual tweaks with the format of the derby have ruined a lot of the other traditions. This year, they're going with some sort of bracket format. That seems to be an actual improvement given how the past few years have fallen apart by 6:30, but we'll see. Now there's only seven outs per round instead of ten.

The players with the most home runs at the end of the first round skip right to round three - one from each league/team. The others go against each other head to head style in round two, with the winners advancing to round three. It's a little convoluted, but the general point is simple. Everything after the first round is head to head, eventually ending with a winner after round four. That sounds...fun?

The winner doesn't really matter, at least not to me. I'm tuning in to watch Giancarlo Stanton hit a baseball 550 feet. To watch Yasiel Puig bat flip an opposite field winner. To see if Cespedes can do it again. This year, it might actually be worth my time. Then again, I convince myself of that every year.

Info:

TV: ESPN

Radio: N/A

Lineups:

American League

RF Jose Bautista, TOR
3B Josh Donaldson, OAK
2B Brian Dozier, MIN
CF Adam Jones, BAL
LF Yoenis Cespedes, OAK

National League

SS Troy Tulowitzki, COL 
3B Todd Frazier, CIN
1B Justin Morneau, COL
RF Yasiel Puig, LAD
RF Giancarlo Stanton, MIA

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