Hopefully, Yasiel Puig can out-slug the competition like how Germany manhandled Brazil this afternoon. Doh!
It has just been reported, via a tweet from Ken Gurnick, that Yasiel Puig has accepted an invitation from National League team captain Troy Tulowitzki to be in this years All-Star Game Home Run Derby.
Puig accepted home run derby invite.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) July 8, 2014
I don't know how Puig will do, but I do believe he'll make the event more interesting. As you know, the guy has a uncanny ability to rise to any occasion. Furthermore, several top end sluggers have already bowed out of the event; i.e. Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, so they need some big-time name recognition in order to really sell the event.
On the other hand, the derby is often considered harmful to a batters swing. Per Mike Axisa at CBS Sports, Miguel Cabrera, for example, said that he doesn't
"want to mess with my swing anymore. I've got enough issues."So, I don't want Puig going through a swing adjustment just for the derby. It could have longstanding affects for the remainder of the season.
Personally, I'm agnostic about the whole thing. All-Star weekend is just a big mid-season vacation for the players, and an opportunity to have a little fun before the season gets into a real grind. The fact that the game counts is something that I find terrible. Is the All-Star Game really so important that it has to matter when it comes to the playoffs? It's just an idiotic exhibition game, and treating it as anything but that is just plain stupid.
Anyway, as you know, each side will have 5 sluggers in the derby. For the National League side, only Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton (along with Puig) are confirmed participants. For the American League only team captain Jose Bautista is slated to be there, so far. (UPDATE: Adam Jones of the Orioles is also confirmed, Justin McGuire at The Sporting News) Go here for more details about how the derby will operate.
UPDATE: BTW, Puig had this to say about his inclusion and potential worries about the derby, via a tweet from OC Register reporter Bill Plunkett:
#Dodgers Yasiel Puig was asked if he was worried about HR Derby affecting swing: "Why? My numbers are already going down." And laughed.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 8, 2014
UPDATE II: Via a Dodger press release:
Eight of the 10 participants for the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby were announced today. The A.L. competitors who will join Bautista include 2013 Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics, outfielder Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles and second baseman Brian Dozier of the host Minnesota Twins. Joining Tulowitzki as representatives of the N.L. will be Puig, N.L. home run leader Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and third baseman Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds. The final competitor in each league will be announced on ThursdayPic at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.
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