Prince Crowned King of Home Run Derby

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By: Melissa S. Wollering

When a former Milwaukee Brewers prospect faces a current Milwaukee Brewer who eats Texas Toast, ribeyes and BBQ for lunch, said former Brewer loses.  Prince goes yard 23 times measuring 415+432+431+367+343+480+466+395+ 497+397+460+459+434+453+488+503+429+461+416+453+423 feet.  Grand Total=Dominance. Who does he partially have to thank?  Ryan Braun for his bat.

 

Nelson Cruz showed up Monday just to baffle everyone with 11 in the first round. He stuck it to one of his former teams, the Milwaukee Brewers, then hit the front of the Big Mac sign in left center with his second homer to flip the Red Birds the proverbial bird. His appearance in the first round also produced some of the Best of Chris Berman.

 

“This ball just pegged to [insert left/right field].  Gone.”
“This one to Big Mac Land. Gone.”
“This one OVER Big Mac Land. Gone.”
“That’s his jet stream!  Gone!”
“It’s the proverbial SKYSCRAPEHHHR…gone.”
“That’s a short-term long-termer.”  [What?]

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Best of the Best of Chris Berman:

“Fielder?  No fielder is going to catch that one.”
“Once upon a time we had Julio ‘Won’t You let me take you on a Sea Cruz’.  We have Jose ‘Can You Sea Cruz’. This is Nelson ‘sail around the world Cruz’!

 
By the way, did Chris Berman’s haircut and glasses make him look smarter?  Don’t answer that.

 Home Run Derby Baseball

Prince Fielder goes yard for 415, 432, 431, 367, 343, 480, 466, 395 and 497.   Then he decides he’s not done with the first round until he cracks off a 397 and 429 plus cash-money in State Farm donations.

 
 By coincidence, ESPN interviewed Al Pujols during Prince’s batfest and allowed Pujols to analyze Fielder’s swing.  Pujols likes it but says Prince gets in trouble when he tries to manufacture power.  Pujols has observed that Prince shortened his stroke, now knows how pitchers approach him and says that as Prince learns to be more consistent he will become more successful. Prince certainly found more success in this Derby, having hit only three homers in his 2007 appearance.

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Brandon Inge?  Small guys can’t win with the long ball. There is some awkward complex-reference in there. I’m going to Inge-nore it.  Chuckle.

 
Carlos Pena’s pitcher was a McNulty.  Is that the first time an Irishman’s pitched for a player from the Dominican? I bet they’ll swap Anejo Brugal Rum and Jameson with each other before this week is over.

 
Ryan Howard chose Aaron Spink, his high school baseball coach as his pitcher. St. Louis hometown love was oozing as Howard took several years off that man’s right arm. Spink’s wife will have to teach him to eat left-handed for the next eight months.

 
Joe Mauer only has 15 homers this season due to his late start, but he was very enjoyable to watch Monday.  He had a 458-footer with Chris W. from Des Moines’ name on it. And the announcers didn’t call him Justin Mauer.  Or Joe Morneau.   Bonus.

 
Pujols says 397 +  416 + 389 + 400 + 410 = Quality Over Quantity. I say it put me closer to winning lunch on a Fielder/Pujols bet that I didn’t initiate.  Pony up Jim!  Shall we go for a veggie burger? Nope, Fielder’s over that.  It was temporary.

 
The swing-off is allright. Berman decided it should be re-named a bat-off and added to Webster’s dictionary. Then he verbally tried out another version of a double swing-off, apparently called a bop-off. The former sounds like a fight between Batman and Joker; the latter a mafia murder. The graphics and scoring guys in the truck probably wanted to punch Berman in his grill, considering their “box” on the top of your screen is pre-fabbed to say “SWING OFF” and can’t be rebuilt once the game starts. Way to insult your tech crew.

 
In Round 2, the foul pole moved in order to sabotage Pujols.  He jacked six more to tie Cruz and Fielder’s first-round totals, but it wasn’t enough. Ryan Howard looked tired in this round but tacked on 8 to bring his total to 15. Cruz extracted one more “Sea Cruise” reference from Berman to advance to the final round as a huge surprise. Meanwhile, Fielder goes 460 + 459 + 434 + 453 + 488 + 503 (longest of the night).  One of our readers, Jim, is now buying me lunch AND tells me he started cheering for my boy he’s so convinced Prince in King in one more round. Sure enough, winner tabulates 429 +461 +416 +453 +423 having used his teammate Ryan Braun’s bat! Prince’s little boy was also there to see the whole thing, which warms my heart because baseball is a family pasttime.

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Favorite distraction: Erin Andrews interviews, adorable child charity plugs and tossbacks to “Boomer/Boom/Boomey” with wonderful sweetness. But we just can’t refrain from talking about Roy Halladay’s trade potential, allowing the man to pimp himself during Joe Mauer’s bat, can we Erin?  Perfection…so close…

 
Favorite New Toy: the Home Run Tracker was unveiled, allowing the Eastern SeaPort Network to track the distance of pitches. It turns from yellow to green once it verifies it has enough distance to clear the wall.  I love it.  I just with the MLB Network had debuted it instead…

 
Speaking of the MLB Network, I loved their Home Run Derby Batting Practice coverage.  Real interviews with people like Reggie Jackson unscripted, Tony LaRussa talking candidly about how he thinks the Home Run Derby is a complete load of waffle (and WHY in detail) and Matt Vasgersian being intelligent and natural.

 

 

Well-Spoken Player of the Night: Curtis Granderson.  He speaks eloquently and had great things to say about a charity he’s working on.  I was so enamored with him I have no idea what the charity is for… male Erin Andrews, ladies.

 
Do you ever feel like announcers use Home Run Derbies and the All-Star Week to brag about how many baseball greats they’ve met, which ones they’ve played with, what they occasionally talked about while schmoozing with them and how the rest of us mortals are pieces of Grade E ground beef?  I love stories about the greats.  So tell the stories, tell them all.  Just don’t make it a who’s who contest between the people behind the on-field desk.

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Prince Fielder becoming the first in Milwaukee Brewers’ history to win the Home Run Derby is fitting and well-deserved.  He has shed light on one of the smallest markets in the Major Leagues, he’s been a consistent force at the plate, he’s been a leader for members of his team and his combined efforts make him worth the trouble his agent Scott Boras brings.  Well, worth it until now…  The stakes just got higher.  503 feet higher.

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Comments

  1. I seriously wanted to jump thru my TV and punch Chris Berman in his voice box… dude is terrible… his schtick has run drier than my passion for the Cubs… that Nelson “Around the World” Cruise… stab my eardrums with an ice pick… please…

    congrats to Prince tho…

  2. The Notorious I.N.G. … um, and E?

    I’m going to take the Detroit homer stance an say Inge’s performance wasn’t due to a Major Leaguer essentially pooping his pants on national television. Inge was being a smart ball player. Everyone knows the winner of the home run derby becomes power impotent in the second half of the season. It’s like a reverse Viagra.

    Inge is just saving himself for when it really matters. So, sorry Rangers and Brewers fans. You’ve just lost your best power source for the second half of the year.

    Tigers ’09: “Just flip the number and we’re just like Tigers ’06”

  3. mswollering says

    I hope Prince doesn’t lose his power…it carries us on a regular basis! But I know what you mean.

    Dave–don’t stab yourself with an ice pick. I do not want to rush you to the hospital, then learn sign language to communicate with you. Plus, you’d regret it. But this isn’t about you—it’s about me. :)

    Berman’s suit and glasses were a slight improvement. Slight….

  4. mswollering says

    I like how a few comments (not on this site) think I was complimenting Berman because I sarcastically wrote BEST OF…to “title” his quotefest. See, I’m not going to bash him. You read it and you can easily come to the conclusion I’m either delusional or sarcastic. And trust me…in THIS case, I’m sarcastic… Haha.

  5. JonKeimig says

    Don’t any of those suits at ESPN realize that Berman is AWFUL and that sports fans hate him?

  6. I did enjoy how Prince un-tucked his jersey after winning in ST. LOUIS… the team that bitched about the Crew doing that… the ultimate FU in the Lou…

  7. mswollering says

    I respect the stamina. If I ever hear Sea Cruise on the radio though….

    Yes, St. Louis booed the Prince untucking his jersey. He was wearing a RED uniform though…so….deal with it.

  8. Deadspin founder Will Leitch made a great point about Berman. Sure, the guy makes you want to blow out your ear drums, but who else on God’s less and less green earth can keep up that intensity for three hours of home run derby? I myself can act like an ass for an hour and a half, two hours max.

    The man is annoying but you have to respect the stamina.

  9. David K. says

    HJBosch… you have not met Peter Christian or myself… we could easily keep up the energy for at least three hours… of course, we may have to be sensored several times and ESPN would possibly be fined millions of dollars by the FCC, but still, we could do it… no question…

  10. Peter Christian says

    I think we could do that, then announce a marathon, followed by an Ironman Triathlon and still have enough energy to go out to the bar toss back beer while creating new top 5 lists.

    Good God, why don’t we know more people who can hook us up with these gigs?

  11. Baseballchick says

    I remember the hearing the Cruz line from Berman and thinking…what the f*(# is he talking about?!?!?!

    He’s one of those fine wines melissa…he keeps getting better with age ;)

    I need to ask this because I still don’t understand what the big shebang is about erin andrews. Yes she is cute, but superhot and extemely attractive?! I just don’t see it! I’m not trying to hate and I didn’t drink any haterade…I just want to know what the big deal is about her looks…

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