Robinson Cano Rallies Past Adrian Gonzalez To Win 2011 Home Run Derby

After three hours and five minutes, the 2011 Home Run Derby ended with Robinson Cano defeating Adrian Gonzalez. Your life has changed.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Adrian Gonzalez Puts On A Show, Comes Up Just Short

With a record tying final round in the books, Adrian Gonzalez was assured that the title of 2011 Homerun Derby Champion was all his. Little could he have expected, the freight train that was Robinson Cano would put on a historic performance that would instantly demote the incredible day of work the Boston All-Star had.

Leading into the Homerun Derby, Vegas pegged Gonzalez as an 11/2 underdog despite the fact that the former San Diego Padre knew the ins-and-outs of Chase Field like the back of his hand, having played within its confines a countless number of times. That knowledge paid off immediately, as Gonzalez crushed nine and eleven homeruns in the first two rounds. By the time eliminations rolled by, the Red Sox first basemen sat tied at the top of the leaderboard with an incredible 20 homeruns, most of them towering, highlight-reel shots that stunned the Arizona crowd.

That momentum continued once the final round commenced, as Gonzalez rolled to a record tying 11 dingers. Throughout the performance his blasts scattered across the park in spectacular fashion. Left field, center field, right field; it didn't matter, he touched them all. In the end, no one could have anticipated the force of nature that Cano would become, but that shouldn't marginalize the amazing show the newest Red Sox All-Star put on.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Robinson Cano Wins With An Assist From His Father

On September 30th, 1989, Jose Cano pitched his last game in a big league ballpark. The 27-year old from the small city of San Pedro de Marcoris in the Domincan Republic had spent his entire life trying to reach the Major Leagues, and now he had finally achieved his goal.

Throughout his six appearances that fateful season, Cano gathered a lifetime of memories that he would eventually bestow upon his young son, Robinson. Now, 22 years later, Robinson was offered a chance to repay his father on the grandest stage with one final memory that would top them all.

As the All-Star Yankee second basemen rallied past Boston's Adrian Gonzalez with a record-setting final round to claim the 2011 Home Run Derby title, there Jose was, pitching in a big league ballpark like it was 1989. As Robinson's final titanic blast sailed over the right-center field stands, the two met in the middle of the infield, embracing in a bear hug that meant more than anyone on that field could understand.

"The best thing is not my swing, it's the gentleman that was throwing B.P., my dad," Robinson said, as Jose stood by his side reveling in the post-event glory. "I want to tell him he's one of the best fathers, thank him for the support and making me who I am today."

Sports are inherently about incredible stories. That's what keeps us watching year after year, disappointment after disappointment. Who would have thought that here, at an exhibition event that doesn't really mean much in the grand scheme of things, we would have the pleasure of witnessing such a perfect example of the power that sports can provide. 

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2011 Home Run Derby Results: Round-By-Round Coverage Of Robinson Cano's Win

After what seemed like an endless parade of pre-event hype coverage and MLB posturing, the first round of the 2011 Homerun Derby finally began from Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. Boston's Adrian Gonzalez kicked things off strong, belting nine first round bombs to set the starting mark.

Next up was St. Louis' Matt Holliday, the first National League representative. Sporting a history of Homerun Derby failure, the Cardinal outfielder would again fall victim to his dinger demons. As our own Jeff Sullivan so astutely put it:

His first round ends with five homers. In his previous first round, in 2010, he hit five homers. In his previous first round before that, in 2007, he hit five homers. I think we have collected enough evidence by now to know that Matt Holliday should never be invited back to this thing ever again.

Yankee second basemen Robinson Cano's turn at the plate was next, with his former-major league father, Jose Cano, serving as his derby pitcher. Cano would blast eight homeruns, immediately exceeding the low expectations poured on by skeptics leading up to the event.

After which, Milwaukee second basemen Rickie Weeks took the field to a entertainingly rich chorus of boos from the pro-Justin Upton Arizona crowd. In the end, the negativity may have gotten to the Brewer, as he walked away the sad owner of only three homers, disgracing the good name to second basemen that Cano had just established moments before.

The MLB's current homerun king, Jose Bautista, was the next to take his place at the batter's box. Unfortunately for those eagerly sitting on the edge of their seat, two years of pent-up resentment aimed towards the derby selection process resulted in just four dingers for the All-Star Blue Jay.

Next up for the National League was Dodgers stud Matt Kemp. Though, his round would end quickly, as the outfielder amassed nine outs before knocking in his first homerun. He finished with the derby-low total: two.

Defending champion -- and American League captain -- David Ortiz was up next, taking the field to a smattering of anticipation.While the Red Sox slugger failed to catch fire, he did belt five dingers, a mark good enough to move him into contention for the second round.

Finally, the last remaining contestant, National League captain Prince Fielder, entered the batter's box to another incredible chorus of boos. The Arizona fans clearly weren't happy with the Brewers, and they were making sure their voices were heard. However, unlike his Milwaukee teammate, Fielder refused to succumb to the whims of the crowd, crushing five homeruns to force a swing off between David Ortiz, Matt Holliday, and himself to determine the two that would be joining Cano and Gonzalez in the second round.

The results of the swing-off, courtesy of live-blogger Jeff Sullivan:

Two home runs for Matt Holliday, further proving that he absolutely sucks at this

Four home runs for David Ortiz, who moves on

Five home runs for Fielder. Five home runs on five swings, with a few of them being impossibly massive. Fielder's swing-off round is probably the most impressive and entertaining round we'll see all night so we might as well call it quits now.

Following the completion of the first round, Prince Fielder (5), David Ortiz (5), Robinson Cano (8), and Adrian Gonzalez (9) were all still alive in the competition.

David Ortiz kicked off the second round slowly, belting just four homeruns during an extended performance that included a music shift from Katy Perry to Nicki Minaj at the slugger's request. Robinson Cano was up next, and after a round packed with towering shots across the yard, he walked away the leader with 12 homeruns to his name.

Adrian Gonzalez followed with another dramatic performance, smashing 11 dingers throughout Chase Field, tying him with Cano for the lead with a total of twenty. Facing a tall order 15 homeruns to advance, Prince Fielder failed to come out strong, only hitting four homeruns to eliminate himself from competition.

With the conclusion of the second round, Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano headed to the final. Or as Jeff Sullivan so accurately pointed out:

One way or another, ESPN always ends up showing the Red Sox vs. the Yankees.

Adrian Gonzalez opened the final round with a bang, crushing eight homers with his first five outs. Though, his pace inevitably slowed, and his round ended with with a total of 11 dingers, still tied for the most in a final round in All-Star history.

So you would think a record tying round would win the competition, right? Well not this time. Needing a historic round to claim the 2011 Homerun Derby title, Robinson Cano put on a show for the ages. With his father by his side, Cano belted out 12 homers, nailing the capper to deep right-center field for a walk-off win. A joyous celebration ensued, and the Yankee second basemen emotionally embraced his father at midfield before receiving the championship trophy.

So there you have it, Robinson Cano is the 2011 Homerun Derby Champion. If you picked it right, you're probably a rich man right now (and a New Yorker), given that the Yankee was a 17/2 underdog. Congrats to you and your incredible powers of foresight.

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Home Run Derby 2011: What We've Learned

The 2011 Home Run Derby is behind us now, and it feels like only three and a half hours ago that it hadn't even begun. Over the course of the broadcast, we watched players hit home runs, and we watched players not hit home runs, and a gay old time was had by some number of viewers and participants.

Robinson Cano deafeated Adrian Gonzalez, needing just six outs in the final round to best Gonzalez's total of 11 dingers. With 12. In the final round, Cano hit 12 dingers. It gave him a three-round total of 32, which is only 105 fewer homers than he's hit in his career, said a lot of people who don't understand how home runs work.

A few closing thoughts before I pack up and go home, by which I mean close this tab and search Google for penguins sliding on ice:

(1) The home run derby can pretty much involve whoever it wants
Robinson Cano hit 32 home runs and Jose Bautista hit four home runs in a home run-hitting competition. I warned you about those Chase Field park factors!

(2) Weird
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Here is Cano holding up the home run derby trophy handed to him by former manager Joe Torre, who is wearing a sling. Note that there are three arms holding up the trophy. Considering the trophy was handed to Cano by an old man in a sling, I do not think it requires three arms to lift, unless Cano and his father are just that tired.

(3) Santa Claus lives in Phoenix and really likes Pepsi
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(4) The home run derby isn't so bad if you liveblog the whole thing
So you guys can think about that for next time.

(5) It is seemingly easier to hit home runs to Katy Perry than it is to hit home runs to Nicki Minaj
This evening didn't go completely for naught, and we'll just have to watch and see whether David Ortiz changes his training regimen, now that we've discovered some science.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Robinson Cano Sinks Adrian Gonzalez With Walk-Off

Wait a second, none of these players are wearing helmets! They haven't been wearing helmets the whole time! Everybody's always talking about safety and the impressionable children, but apparently safety doesn't matter during the home run derby. What if there are kids watching? Do we not care, because this is a meaningless exhibition instead of an actual game of significance? Does that mean players can take steroids for the derby too? Because that would probably make the derby way better.

Anyhoo here's Robinson Cano now, needing to hit 11 homers to tie Adrian Gonzalez and 12 to beat him. He's hitting to Katy Perry's Firework at the moment, so apparently he learned something from the David Ortiz experience. He will continue batting off his father, who has become dead.

...Cano's off to a strong start, with four outs and five homers. Said the broadcast of a Cano home run:

I don't think they can measure that!

Yes they can.

Cano's in a good groove now, with six outs and...ten home runs. My girlfriend just walked in and I looked at her and said "yeah I think this guy's going to win," with the same tone I use when I'm talking about a thing that matters. It took three hours but the derby finally tricked me into acting like it's relevant. This time it counts!

There's the tying shot. And...there's the line drive homer to win it. Only took Cano six outs to hit 12 dingers. We have a new champion! A new champion of home runs!

Average major league game: 2 hours, 50 minutes. HR derby: 3 hours, 5 minutes.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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Home Run Derby 2011: Adrian Gonzalez Does All Right In Final

Everybody talks about the way fatigue starts to build the deeper and deeper you get into the home run derby. If Adrian Gonzalez is fatigued, he isn't showing it right now as he leads off the final round. As of this writing, he's got three outs and six dingers, and that's despite the curious distraction of having to see himself directly above the guy throwing baseballs at him.

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"That's me, but purple!"

Gonzalez now has eight homers on five outs, which should do hold on wait a second I thought the final round was only five outs, not ten. When did this change? Did this change? Am I just making up a rule that didn't exist? Probably the worst thing about the home run derby is watching the home run derby and finding out it's even longer than you thought it was going in. It's like if I took the SAT without knowing there were 2400 possible points now. What do you mean there's more test!

Larry Fitzgerald sighting in the front row. This is what the players have been reduced to during the lockout. Watching the home run derby, in person, sober.

Gonzalez's final round ends with 11 dingers, which ties the most prolific final round in derby history. ooohh

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Home Run Derby 2011: Prince Fielder Chokes, Eliminates Self

Prince Fielder steps up needing to hit more home runs than he's going to hit, and Pedro Gomez takes this opportunity to interview the pathetic Matt Kemp on the sidelines. In case you've forgotten, which would be warranted because this is stupid, Matt Kemp hit two home runs in his entire first round, which has been the worst performance of the day. Kemp owns 22 homers so far in the regular season, meaning that today he either hit one-eleventh that many home runs, or half that many home runs, if you are a more visual person.

Kemp claims that hitting in the derby is "harder than it looks." What's interesting is how that principle applies to everybody, and Kemp was the worst. Matt Kemp and Matt Holliday should just go live in the woods. Matts are the worst at baseball. Has there ever even been a good Matt? Sign a Matt and you are throwing money away.

Speaking of throwing things away, Fielder just threw away ten outs while hitting only four home runs, which was not as many as the 15 home runs that he needed to hit. So Fielder is gone, setting us up for a title showdown between Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano. One way or another, ESPN always ends up showing the Red Sox vs. the Yankees.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Adrian Gonzalez Erupts, Ties Cano

Adrian Gonzalez steps up with nine homers, needing to hit just one to officially eliminate David Ortiz from final round contention. Gonzalez proceeds to make four consecutive outs before finally dashing Ortiz's hopes for a repeat. Given that Ortiz was thus beaten by a teammate of his, this is some pretty good sportsmanship:

Ortizgonzalez

Unless that Gatorade is poisoned. Gonzalez is on fire now, by the way, with nine home runs on his last ten swings. I guess that Gatorade was not poisoned. Somehow Chris Berman has resisted the temptation to call him en fuego although it's possible that he did say it and I was just typing too loudly. I find this unlikely, because I think it's impossible to type louder than Chris Berman's voice.

Gonzalez is hitting them out everywhere. Right field. Left field. Center field, which is not easy in Arizona. He nearly just murdered a cameraman, which I would have .giffed for you guys in short order, but alas.

Gonzalez's round ends with 11 dingers, tying him with Cano at 20 combined. Prince Fielder will now need to hit at least 15 home runs in order to stay alive. He'll probably want to stay away from Matt Holliday. And Matt Kemp and Rickie Weeks, too. Boy did Fielder choose a terrible group of guys. They all suck! They all suck at this!

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Home Run Derby 2011: Robinson Cano Making This Somewhat Worthwhile

I don't know if Robinson Cano is going to win this thing, but he might be putting on the best show. Stepping up in the second round, he's hit a few more balls way harder than you would've figured he was capable of, and just when it looked like he might be wearing down, he found his second wind. Alternatively, maybe it was Cano's father who was wearing down, and it was Cano's father who found his second wind. I don't want to introduce the wrong narrative.

From the looks of things, though, Cano's father has not actually found his second wind:

Canodad2_medium

So perhaps this was all Robinson. Either way, his round concludes with 12 homers, bringing him up to a combined total of 20. A year ago Corey Hart hit 13 homers in one round and zero in the next, so based on that, my prediction for Cano in the final round, assuming he gets there, is that he hits holy crap I don't care how many home runs I just want to have dinner

Cano, by the way, kept stepping out of the batter's box asking for water, while his father stood there on the mound, dying before our eyes. If Cano does advance, I know where the next pitch is headed.

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Home Run Derby 2011: David Ortiz Kicks Off Second Round, Poorly

Just minutes after participating in the swing-off - the first home run derby swing off since 2009! - David Ortiz steps up to begin the second round. After a home run and two outs, he places a request to change the PA music, which sounded like it had been playing Katy Perry. I could be wrong, but I could also give a hoot. Now it's playing Nicki Minaj. Way less distracting, Nicki Minaj. It's apparently easier to hit home runs to Nicki Minaj than it is to Katy Perry.

Here's Adrian Gonzalez on the sidelines now, confirming to Buster Olney that Ortiz needs to hit to "the right kind of music." Apparently he listens to a certain kind of music when he's hitting in Boston and it gets him amped up. These are the intangibles you never read about on Fangraphs.

Ortiz's second round concludes with an unimpressive four home runs. Or, if you prefer:

Music 1: 2 outs, 1 home run
Music 2: 8 outs, 3 home runs

By changing the music, David Ortiz made himself worse! It is not easier to hit home runs to Nicki Minaj than it is to Katy Perry, or whoever the first musician was! Somebody needs to alert David Ortiz, because he could be way better by making a very simple adjustment!

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Home Run Derby 2011: Prince Fielder Forces Swing-Off; Fielder, David Ortiz Advance

Our first round concludes with National League captain Prince Fielder, who immediately starts launching ceiling shots that make me legitimately concerned for all the pre-teens and teenagers running around the outfield. They clearly have absolutely no idea how to track and catch a baseball, and now they have a gigantic slugging first baseman sending balls 200 feet directly over their heads. One of these balls is going to fall and cave something in. Something that should never be caved.

I desperately had to cut a run to the water closet - fruit punch Gatorade! - and while I was away, Fielder's round concluded with five home runs. Which means we have drama! Because Fielder, David Ortiz and Matt Holliday have now tied for third and fourth place. The three of them will thus enter a swing-off, which is like a mini-round in which they each get five swings. Gotta do this by the book.

The swing-off results:

  • Two home runs for Matt Holliday, further proving that he absolutely sucks at this
  • Four home runs for David Ortiz, who moves on
  • Five home runs for Fielder. Five home runs on five swings, with a few of them being impossibly massive. Fielder's swing-off round is probably the most impressive and entertaining round we'll see all night so we might as well call it quits now.

But we're not! We're going to the second round, with Fielder, Ortiz, Robinson Cano, and Adrian Gonzalez. We are at least now beyond the midway point. The standings:

Gonzalez: 9
Cano: 8
Ortiz: 5
Fielder: 5
Holliday: just quit, you embarrass everyone

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Home Run Derby 2011: David Ortiz Disappointingly Unspectacular

As David Ortiz steps up to conclude the American League team's first round (ed. note: remember there are teams, which is important), Andrew McCutchen is sitting at the ESPN broadcast booth, chatting with Chris Berman. McCutchen says it was a great feeling when he found out he had been named to the All-Star team, and I'm sure it was, but I have to imagine it's like being named Marshall's starting quarterback because their previous starting quarterback died in a plane crash with everybody else. I'm pretty sure we have enough All-Stars to make three teams. Can you imagine a three-team All-Star Game? The innings would take forever! And the field would look different. That would be a very unusual baseball game.

Ortiz hasn't caught fire yet, and he just huddled with his teammates, who were presumably telling him he needs to get better because he is killing them. Aaaaand the round is now over, with Ortiz hitting five home runs. It was nice to get that little huddle break. It was like the home run derby equivalent of a coaching visit to the mound, and I know how much we all love coaching visits to the mound.

Ortiz is in position to make the second round for now, as Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista and Rickie Weeks have been eliminated. But Prince Fielder will close the first round with a chance to do some super important, earth-changing damage.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Matt Kemp Sucks

Here's Matt Kemp, who has 22 home runs on the year. However, Kemp went through nine outs before he slugged his first dinger in the derby, and his round finished with two. Two home runs, which is a new low for the day. A year ago, Vernon Wells hit two and Chris Young hit one, so Kemp isn't all by himself in the basement, but that was pretty terrible and I spent most of the round preparing a .gif of all home run derby fielders ever:

Derbykids

Kemp's kid or kids were on the sidelines watching as their father flailed away, helplessly bad. These kids are also on the sidelines:

Kids_medium

I'm only giving you these images because I don't know what else to put here. Matt Kemp hit two home runs. Nothing happened. I have already written 70 or 80 more words than that first round of his deserves.

Oh hey here's Andrew McCutchen on the broadcast while David Ortiz walks up. "So Andrew, how's it feel to be an All-Star, kind of?"

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Home Run Derby 2011: Jose Bautista's Time To Shine

Over the past calendar year, Jose Bautista has 62 home runs. The runner-up has 42 home runs. Here is Bautista's chance to prove himself on the biggest stage he'll ever play on. Bautista was of course famously left off the 2010 Home Run Derby roster, and he's surely upset.

Pitching to Bautista: Blue Jays bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos. Not pitching to Bautista: Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos. I'm sure the two get confused for one another less often than you think.

Berman on Bautista's first home run: "There's the swing that's terrorized American League pitchers for...(waits for ball to clear fence)...a year and a half!" It's as if Berman didn't want to look bad in case the ball didn't leave the yard. It was still hit really hard, and the swing was the same. If that was the swing that's been terrorizing American League pitchers for a year and a half, commit to it! Commit to your observation, do not concern yourself with results!

Bautista's round is over now, with four home runs. That is one-seventh as many home runs as Josh Hamilton hit in the first round in 2008. I don't want to call anything in the home run derby disappointing since the whole thing is stupid, but if anything were to be disappointing, it would be Jose Bautista hitting four home runs in a round. At least he hit a charity ball out. Great news for charity.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Rickie Weeks Is Bad

One second baseman is followed by another, as dreadlocked Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks steps in after Robinson Cano. By the time I am done typing this sentence, Weeks' first round is up, as he's through all ten of his outs having left the yard three times. That means the National League has eight home runs, and the American League has 16 home runs. Turns out that interleague play discrepancy also carries over to individual talent shows. Based on the science we have collected, the AL is two times as good as the NL, and that's even in an NL ballpark, where you'd think they would have the home-field advantage.

The Chase Field crowd was giving it to Weeks most of the time because they wanted Justin Upton instead. They booed Prince Fielder for choosing Weeks earlier, and they booed Weeks just now for not being a different person. I understand the first one, but I don't understand the second one. it's not Rickie Weeks' fault that he's not Justin Upton. I mean, I'm sure he's tried. Transmogrifiers aren't real.

Also:

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That is not Rickie Weeks, but I forgot to embed this image earlier. It's only a matter of time, umpires.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Robinson Cano Better Than Expected

Here comes Robinson Cano, and before he bats, Curtis Granderson tells Buster Olney that he's glad David Ortiz picked Cano instead of him. Granderson is hurting on the inside.

Pitching to Cano, by the way, is his dad. The broadcast focuses on how good a shape he is in. And he does appear to be in good shape, for an old man. But (A) he is thankfully not naked, so we can't be sure, and (B) the subsequent suggestion that Cano's dad should be in the derby instead undersells how difficult it is to hit a baseball for a home run. There is a lot more to it than being physically fit!

Cano is swinging now, and Cano is killing it. I can't be the only person who figured that Cano stood a good chance of sucking a lot. His average home run this year has traveled 378 feet. All of them have gone to right field, and only one has been longer than 414. But here he is, and he's mashing. He's hit a bunch well beyond 400, and he annihilated one 472 feet to dead center. A good show from a surprising source. Maybe they should invite unusual selections every year. That way nobody can disappoint, and all can only meet or surpass!

Cano's first round ends with eight home runs. Matt Holliday should probably just stop playing baseball.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Matt Holliday's Turn

Here's Matt Holliday to lead off for the National League, and his pitcher is none other than Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. It is not former Cardinals pitcher Ryan Franklin, so one instantly questions the wisdom of Holliday's decision.

Holliday's first home run is 384 feet to left, barely scraping the back of the wall. That's why we watch. We watch for the wall-scrapers.

After seven outs, I am unimpressed by Holliday's performance. Too many high flies, and too many line drives. Does he even know how to hit a home run? Has Matt Holliday ever hit a home run, aside from that one? Why was Matt Holliday selected for the Home Run Derby if he can't hit home runs?

So Holliday has actually left the yard, immediately killing the previous joke, which didn't make sense to begin with. His first round ends with five homers. In his previous first round, in 2010, he hit five homers. In his previous first round before that, in 2007, he hit five homers. I think we have collected enough evidence by now to know that Matt Holliday should never be invited back to this thing ever again.

Time for second basemen. You know this is a potent field of contenders, because there are multiple second basemen in it.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Underway With Adrian Gonzalez

A preview trailer leading up to the broadcast said that, when you think Arizona, you think heat, snakes, cacti - and All-Stars. When I think Arizona, I think heat, snakes, cacti, mesas, broken-down rusty trucks, and basically a lot of things you associate with heat. Dry creek beds. Cow skulls. Scorpions. Hard taco shells, which are so much worse than soft taco shells. "Yeah I like my food to collapse completely as soon as I try to eat it." You eat wrong.

By the way, if it feels like there are more All-Stars this year than usual, you're not wrong. After all the injuries and ineligibles, they were really left scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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Chris Berman has done an embarrassing job of trying to get everybody in the stadium excited, by asking every possible section if they are ready. He didn't so much ask them as he did scream at them. The response was tepid.

The participants were then announced soon thereafter, and each of them drew audible boos. I don't think the people who paid for tickets even want to be watching this. Arizonans have so much disposable income they literally don't know what to do with it.

And now we've begun, with Adrian Gonzalez leading off for the American League team. Gonzalez is currently playing for both Team American League and Team Adrian Gonzalez. If you think about it, all of these participants are multitasking.

David Ortiz just ran up and interrupted Gonzalez's set by offering him a drink of fruit punch Gatorade. I am drinking a fruit punch Gatorade! Just like the stars!

Gonzalez finished his first round with nine home runs, which would've been sufficient for him to advance to the second round a year ago. Six also would've been sufficient. So that's it, right? The derby is over now?

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Home Run Derby 2011: Some Last-Last-Minute Thoughts

Hey it turns out this thing isn't starting on time. I'll be damned! But what this minor delay has given me the chance to do is track down the proper link to MLB.com's free online broadcast of the derby, right here. The upside is that the MLB.com broadcast appears - for now - to be different from the ESPN broadcast. The downside is this:

Mlbcomderby

Additionally, you remember that "Derby expected to be a blast" headline from earlier? Turns out MLB.com enjoyed that wordplay so much they basically repeated it elsewhere.

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This is like those Coors Light bar exam commercials. What a funny spot! We should make another spot just like it because jokes can never be run into the ground! Jokes are like the Himalayas. They only build build build!

In case you were curious, Chris Berman has picked Adrian Gonzalez to win the derby. Nick Swisher has picked Robinson Cano. Sam Fuld has picked Jose Bautista. Some guy at the ESPN desk picked Prince Fielder. I dunno you guys, can't find a consensus.

Now here's Jason Aldean and some band playing music to get everybody amped up for the festivities. You might know Jason Aldean for his popular contemporary music. I do not.

Gotta go for now, Chris Berman has the mic, and he is speaking into it!

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Home Run Derby 2011: Some Last-Minute Thoughts

The moment is almost upon us now, as the 2011 Home Run Derby will begin in 15 minutes. It will actually begin 23 minutes from when I am writing this sentence, but I am forecasting how long it will take me to complete this update, because I am a slow writer and I don't like going back to fill in blanks when I am otherwise finished with something.

Interestingly, a little while ago, MLB.com provided a link to a video where you could watch Monday evening's derby participants take batting practice. The home run derby basically is batting practice, so that was an opportunity to watch batting practice before batting practice. Because the home run derby isn't long enough as it is. I will never get over people's fascination with watching athletes practice.

Expect to hear a lot tonight about the theory that participating in the home run derby can ruin a player's swing for the rest of the season. This theory has been debunked on countless occasions, none of which I will link here, because hopefully you trust me enough to take my word for it. Just think about it, though. The home run derby takes place on one day. Including batting practice, a player will swing a few dozen times. And that's supposed to ruin everything? Years upon years of muscle memory? If you are a player, and your swing is ruined by participating in a home run derby, you are terrible! What is the matter with you!

Something to keep in mind is that Arizona's Chase Field is very home run-friendly, particularly for left-handed hitters. Matt Holliday, Rickie Weeks, Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp are our righties tonight, so they're screwed. Really bad job picking the NL squad by Prince Fielder. It's as if the man gives no weight to park effects.

Finally, Jon Heyman informs us that MLB players will be allowed to Tweet while the derby goes on. Given the average MLB player's Twitter feed, I expect a steady stream of eloquent first-person insight and analysis.

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Home Run Derby 2011: Time, Participants And More!

It's Monday, July 11, and we're getting awful close to the start of the 2011 Home Run Derby, to be held in Phoenix's Chase Field. The temperature is hot, and the players are even hotter! Or, we hope that the players will be even hotter, in the derby. Although I guess if the players were even hotter than 100 degrees, they would likely underperform on account of having debilitating fevers. The temperature is hot, and the players are present!

If you're looking for details, here's what I have to offer you:

Time
8pm Eastern

Broadcast
ESPN

Alternative Broadcast
Apparently MLB.com?

Participants (with previews linked for each)
Jose Bautista
David Ortiz
Robinson Cano
Adrian Gonzalez
Prince Fielder
Rickie Weeks
Matt Kemp
Matt Holliday

Duration
Forever

Rules
Who cares

Hype
Mlbderby_medium

It's expected to be a "blast" because "blast" can refer to both home runs and things that are enjoyable! In this context, "blast" has two meanings. A more accurate headline would read "Home Run Derby expected to feature blasts, but not be one." That is because the home run derby is really bad.

So you should follow our liveblog! I'll be posting updates throughout, because one of my job's responsibilities is to watch this thing, and I've found the quickest way to make it end is by spending three hours writing about it instead of spending three hours watching it. If you share my enthusiasm for the festivities, stick around! And if you actually care about the derby and are offended by my dismissiveness, you are free to let me hear about it in the comments, if you are able to deduce how to log in and comment, which you are not, because you are someone who cares about the home run derby. Poor you :(

45 minutes to go!

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