Tuesday Pop Review- 2011 Home Run Derby

Hello all, and welcome back to your Tuesday Pop Review!  I know I still owe y’all a young lawyer tip for yesterday and I will get to it as soon as I can! 

Let’s start with yesterday’s google search of the day that lead someone to this site:  “the one who ripped off shirt after soccer game”  So glad I could help someone settle a water cooler debate over which US soccer player ripped off her shirt in 1999!  I bet more people remember that then the U.S.’s opponent in that final (China)!

Speaking of women’s U.S. soccer, since Sunday I assumed that I would be writing this post about the U.S.’s stunning penalty kick victory over Brazil in the World Cup quarterfinals, one of the top 5 goosebump moments for me in all my years of watching sports.  However, the event has gotten it’s due coverage from folks who know far more about soccer than I, so we’re going in a different direction. 

Last night was the 2011 MLB Home Run Derby, a tradition on the eve of the MLB All-Star game that has been marketed heavily over the past dozen years or so.  In the late 90’s, ESPN, who acquired MLB baseball rights in the early 90’s, transitioned from taped coverage of a daytime event to a capacity crowd, live evening event. 

Four players from each league battle in a 3-round competition, with an eventual individual champion.  The hitters essentially receive batting practice style pitching from about 50 feet, competing against each other for who can hit the most home runs before recording 10 “outs,” which are any swings that result in anything other than a home run.  The players bring their own pitchers to assist.  Over the years, ESPN has really upped the ante technology-wise, now providing instant graphics showing the distance of each home run, and at times using laser technology to show the flight path of the hits.  Corporate sponsors have added some other nice charitable perks to the event, including money donations for all home runs hit on the competitors final out. 

Last night was not about marketing or corporate sponsors, however.  The competition’s winner was second baseman Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees who was among the heavy underdogs in the event.  Cano topped Boston Red Sox rival Adrian Gonzalez in a record setting final round, outslugging him 12-11.

What shined brightest in the competition, however, was that for his pitcher, Cano chose his father Jose Cano.  Jose, a Dominican, pitched one season in the major leagues in 1989.  Watching Robinson get into a groove belting home runs pitched from his dad had to bring back memories for any person who grew up playing baseball with their dad in the backyard, including this guy. 

When Cano tied Gonzalez with his 11th home run, he took a quick break to mop his brow, and approached his dad between home plate and the pitcher’s mound.  Microphones quickly picked up Jose saying “uno mas” (one more), and Robbie Cano hugging his dad and saying “I love you, dad.”  It doesn’t get much better than that.  A moment later, Jose pitched, like he surely did thousands of times in the backyard, and Robbie swung, and that was all she wrote.  Jose flipped the other baseballs in his hand into the air without having to watch the final home run sail over the fence, and Cano’s Yankee teammates carried him off the field.

This year, in an all-star game marred by a slew of players backing out of the event because they feel they have better things to do, Robbie Cano and his dad reminded some of us of why we still watch. 

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One Comment on “Tuesday Pop Review- 2011 Home Run Derby”

  1. toosoxy Says:

    I have found the buzz around All-Star week more interesting than the festivities themselves. So much talk right now about who is coming, who is not coming… I don’t even know if I’m watching. I was sad to miss the home run derby last night…

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