MLB All-Star Game: Home Run Derby Showdown

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Who’s ready for the MLB All-Star festivities to begin? Photo Credit: Eric Kilby, Flickr.com

Prepare for the most exciting time in July after the fireworks go off! It’s the Home Run Derby!

The tournament takes place July 10th on ESPN at 8 p.m. EST. It features All-Stars going to war against each other. Four from the American League and National League go at it to see which will hit the most home runs. Only one will emerge as the Home Run Derby Champion.

What’s fascinating is the bracket. It’s a great setup filled with amazing backstories. Two are rooted in current bragging rights in their respective divisions. One could be marred with controversy, while another reignites a rivalry for fun.

The divisions warring with each other will be the AL Central and the NL West.

The AL Central will have a pair of third basemen doing battle. Kansas City Royals’ Mike Moustakus takes on Minnesota Twins sensation Miguel Sano.

The NL West features a duo of outfielders vying for glory. Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers will take on Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies.

Our next matchup features an old rivalry with two young guns.

New York Yankee breakout star Aaron Judge draws Justin Bour of the Miami Marlins. If you recall, the Marlins defeated the Yankees in the 2003 World Series. Here is a case of that renewed feud with two of today’s top talent battling each other on the home run stage.

Our last battle is the most intriguing for the right and the wrong reasons.

Giancarlo Stanton, franchise star of the Miami Marlins, will attempt to defend his HR Derby championship title against New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.

The matchup isn’t the issue. A second matchup between the Marlins and Yankees at the Home Run Derby is also not the problem.

Apparently, Gary Sanchez being in the derby is causing quite the commotion.

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Why would anyone have a problem with Gary Sanchez? Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr.com

Logan Morrison of the Tampa Bay Rays questioned Sanchez’s appearance, stating that Sanchez didn’t deserve to be in it over anyone else. Sanchez disagreed and is not backing out of the derby.

Morrison does make a point on how Sanchez’s stats don’t match his accolades of last year. Sanchez became the fastest rookie catcher to reach 20 home runs since Boston Braves’ Wally Berger did it in 1930. This season, he only has 13.

Sanchez did suffer a biceps injury earlier this season and hasn’t been the same since. It hasn’t helped that his spot in the order fluctuates thanks to the Yankee lineup.

However, maybe the folks at MLB are smarter than all of us. After all, the act that we’re talking about this should want you to feel intrigued.

Does Gary Sanchez truly belong in this year’s HR Derby? Can he dethrone Stanton in their matchup? Imagine the backlash Morrison would get if that ever happened.

In fact, this isn’t the only time a New York Yankee caused controversy at the derby.

Former Yankee Robinson Cano didn’t pick former Kansas City Royal Billy Butler to join his American League team at the 2012 HR Derby, which took place in Kansas City. Cano was mercilessly booed during his turn at the plate. He didn’t even clear the fence, which had the folks at Kansas City erupt in jubilation.

Regardless, Stanton vs. Sanchez won’t take away from the Derby. It only makes fans want to watch it more.

Who do you think will win the Home Run Derby this year? Does Stanton go back to back? Will Judge emerge with the trophy? There’s only one way to find out, and let’s just say Monday cannot arrive fast enough.

Remember to check out the Facebook page for the Update. You can also check out my professional website for my other works and accomplishments. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and keep on reading. Until then, watch sports you knuckleheads!

Yours Truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright @ 2007

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