I have never and probably will never enjoy a Home Run Derby as much as I did last night. The exhibition had everything that I could have asked for. There were gigantic blasts to various parts of the stadium. There was a drunk guy falling out of his chair. George Brett said "poop." And the fans paddled the Boo Cano(e) further than anyone could have imagined. On top of all that, we offended the delicate sensibilities of the national media. Nice work Kansas City!
Let's start with the Boo Cano(e). First, as Craig said, it was glorious. But it's not the boos which were awesome, it was the cheers. When Cano fouled off balls in the Home Run Derby, the fans went ballistic. This is baseball at it's best. Everybody in the park knows what's going on, everybody realizes it's an exhibition and everybody was having fun. Cano took it like a man. Frankly the most embarrassing moment was when Granderson and Sabbathia decided to show their team-mate up and inject themselves into the situation. Regardless, it was an epic moment that won't soon be forgotten.
more after the jump...
The Cano moment was really a beautiful sporting interaction between an entire city and a temporary villain. It is exactly why we have sports. So we, the tribe of Kansas City can band together to share our pride and our defeat. We've been sharing defeat for nearly 30 years. Then, finally we get a chance to cheer one of our own on a national stage and one man, a Yankee deprives us of that opportunity after saying he would give it to us. Cano threw us the meatball, we just hit it out of the park.
Then, some lazy sportswriters and commentators, who apparently think there is a certain dignity to a glorified batting practice where hundreds of kids are running around the outfield, and who after likely fainting and getting the vapors from the disgusting display decided to write the functional equivalent of "Well, I never!"
I am part of the groundswell to change the Boo Cano(e) into a Standing Can-O tonight at the All-Star Game, though. Mostly because it will be hilarious. I would like to thank Robinson Cano for playing the heel and doing it so marvelously. He handled it extremely well, especially the part where he hit 0 home runs.* If you still want to boo, you have every right and I won't care. But a large ovation would be a perfect cap to the event. Also, it would completely blow the simple minds of the lazy and stupid out there who think that some fans booing at a batting practice can somehow embarrass a city.
*By the way, had Cano hit 1 home run, this would have been different. Where is the "Cano folds under pressure" type articles. We got to him, he cracked. That is the great story here.
Alright, enough of Cano. There were other things that happened last night.
After looking at the distance numbers, I had a feeling that Mark Trumbo would be the guy you wouldn't want to miss. He did not dissapoint and provided one of the great moments of the night:
Ok, there's so much going on here. Let's take it step-by-step. First, it's gigantic home run, which to me is more important than the amount of home runs. Then there is the police officer catching it bare handed. But WAIT, there's more! We have a guy falling out of his chair! This is why we watch the derby. Long home runs, drunk people being drunk and odd landing spots. Trifecta!
Another classic moment was when George Brett joined the ESPN crew for a bit of commentary.* We've seen a lot from the All-Star Ambassador this week and I have to imagine he's exhausted. I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Number Five, but he crushed it. Some highlights
- He brought ribs for the crew, which was standard. But gave us images of Kruk and Adam Joes destroying ribs. Worth it.
- He reprised the pooping in the pants story. Well, not really, but he did mention pooping in one's pants and he knew everyone at home was thinking of his story.
- He corrected Berman when he said a ball was going to Omaha.
- He didn't seem to even watch the home run derby, he just kept talking which prevented Berman from talking and made it enjoyable. I wish we had four hours of George Brett getting increasingly inebriated as commentary for the entire evening. Ratings. Bonanza.
Here is a brief snippet:
*Berman's backbackbackback's were fewer this year, right?
Eventually Prince Fielder was crowned* the victor of a comptetition where nobody cares who wins. Really, does anybody care who wins? It's about the show, not the results. Tick off you favorite moments of any Derby, I bet none of them involve somebody actually winning it.
*Get it, crown, because the Royals are hosting and royalty wear crowns!
In the end, it really was a specil night at the stadium. It was an atmosphere and an environment for and by the fans. We made it our own and we should be proud. I can't wait to it back in my chair tonight and enjoy another exhibition and share it simultaneously with the rest of you in my tribe. Maybe it realy is Our Time.
- Nick Scott