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Home » July 2006 Game CommentsJuly 2006 » Clout Contest

Clout Contest

HRDerby2006Home Run Derby: July 10, 2006
Lance Berkman
Miguel Cabrera
Jermaine Dye
Troy Glaus
Ryan Howard
David Ortiz
Miguel Tejada
David Wright

Round 1
This Home Run Derby stuff is serious business. Ramon Henderson, the man who lobbed 41 meatballs to Bobby Abreu last year, was recruited by both David Ortiz and Miguel Tejada even though he’s Ryan Howard’s hitting coach.

The 2004 derby champ Tejada only hit three in the first round, as did Lance Berkman, who is the only switch-hitter to join in this event. Berkman hit left-handed to take advantage of the shorter distance to the left field stands, which are 375 feet compared to 389 for the right, as well as his greater power potential, which is .648 lefty and .500 righty for slugging.

Troy Glaus just doesn’t seem to be able to perform under the spotlight. This year he managed a single homer, which was an improvement over the goose egg he laid in 2001.

Miguel Cabrera, a derby rookie, impressed with nine roundtrippers. Although technically in this event no trips are taken.

Remarkably, David Wright, another event newbie, defied the odds and exploded for 16 longballs in the first round. Cliff Floyd is on record for saying that Wright would only hit two.

During Jermaine Dye’s lackluster showing of seven circuit clouts, A.J. Pierzynski showed off his little girl and proved that it is his one worthwhile contribution to the world. While trying to be funny, the White Sox catcher joked about corked bats and juiced balls. He was one HGH comment away from being censored.

A huge highlight for me was the guest appearance by Yale physics professor emeritus Robert K. Adair, author of The Physics of Baseball. His demonstration of the required speed and angle of elevation to propel the ball into the Allegheny River put the Fox Scooter animations to shame. I would give more kudos to ESPN if Chris Berman weren’t part of the broadcast.

David Ortiz was the first hitter to reach the river on the fly. Ortiz hit ten in the first round and was shown relaxing with his son D’angelo after his stint at the plate. It seems Papi really, really likes D’angelo’s sandwiches. Maybe the child got a cookie for his birthday, which was last night.

Ryan Howard was the second slugger to reach the river on the fly. His eight home runs knocked out Dye.

Round 2
This year ushered in a new rule: homers from first round carry over and are added to the second round shots. Is that a huge sigh of relief escaping from the lips of Wright?

Perhaps it was just extreme exhaustion. Wright walloped only two more homebaggers and was actually robbed by one of the bully big kids shagging flys in the outfield. The kid was booed not just because he Toriied Wright but also because he faked a throw of the ball into the stands.

Jonathan Papelbon appeared as special guests during Ortiz’s second display at the dish. The closesr phenom said he had 100 large on Papi and as an incentive Papi would get 50 percent of the take. But Ortiz only managed another three homers for a total of 13.

Cabrera, younger, fresher, and perhaps carrying some of the Venezuelan mojo that elevated Abreu last year, knocked Ortiz out of the finals with his six second round dingers.

Somehow, however, Howard went out of body to launch ten four-baggers to tie Wright at 18 and join his NL compatriot in the finals.

If you weren’t a Phillies or Mets fan, the finals were a bit of a bore. Ortiz acted as Wright’s cut man, giving the youth encouragement and a quick rubdown. Papi’s ministrations fell short, however, as Howard’s five taters topped Wright’s four yard jobs.

If you have any other terms for home run that I missed, please do leave a comment. I think, like Wright, I’ve pretty much depleted my store of them.

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