I'm just warning you all ahead of time, the lovefest that is about to happen in St. Louis tonight is going to make some of you queasy. And for good measure, as the league's preeminent force is about to take center stage this Monday night as the NL's 4 best sluggers and the AL's 4 reject sluggers duke it out for bragging rights in the 2009 Home Run Derby.
The National League boasts a quartet of hitters that are unquestionably about to do damage in Busch Stadium. The four hitters are all first baseman too, so all they know how to do is slug. Here is the lineup.
1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers - 22 HRs, 78 RBIs, .315 AVG
1B Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres - 24 HRs, 52 RBIs, .250 AVG
1B Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies - 22 HRs, 57 RBIs, .257 AVG
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals - 32 HRs, 87 RBIs, .337 AVG
Now, lets check out the American League participants. Not nearly the names that you see from the NL, but some great hitters and boppers coming to participate.
OF Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers - 22 HRs, 53 RBIs, .263 AVG
OF Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers - 21 HRs, 58 RBIs, .268 AVG
C Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins - 15 HRs, 49 RBIs, .373 AVG
1B Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays - 24 HRs, 58 RBIs, .228 AVG
In previous years, there have been some mammoth performances in the HR Derby and they've truly been a sight to see. Watching Josh Hamilton from the Rangers go off last year and hit 28 HRs in Round 1 was truly amazing. Even more so was the obvious (or for some of you, not so) fact that he used to be addicted to the crack cocaine. Cocaine is a helluva drug, and he came back to becoming the #1 overall pick everyone knew he could be. ESPN's been showing all of the previous HR Derby's and they've been phenomenal to watch. To watch Ken Griffey Jr. beat all the "steroid boys" aka Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, etc. and rock the backwards hat and the custom Nike's while launching bombs over the Green Monster in Fenway Park was amazing. Go watch Bonds in his skinny days back in '96, beat McGwire then. Truly amazing.
So here's my pick for tonight's contest, I'm letting it be known right now that I'm going with my boy Prince Fielder to win this competition. His daddy, Big Cecil tried to win it some years back but baby boy Prince got it for the Brew Crew. Of course, if Pujols knocks off about 25 in round 1 I'm changing my choice.
WHO YOU GOT IN THE HR DERBY? YOU GONNA WATCH? LET US KNOW!