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.