The Billy Butler snub by Cano got me thinking: I don't usually pay much attention to the HR derby; why is that? Well, besides the obvious answer (it's not "real" baseball anymore than the NBA slam dunk contest is "real" basketball - and the NBA slam dunk "jumped the shark" so to speak, a long time ago anyway...), this year made another reality dawn on me. Maybe, just maybe, I would be interested if a player from a team I follow was involved. This lead to the idea below, after the jump.
Step 1: ALL THIRTY teams get to enter a player in the HR derby. I don't particularly care how they do it (by team leader, by a team HR derby, or even by lot is fine by me - just let each TEAM decide who)
Step 2: First round consists of 8 swings for each player (and players have only 10-12 pitches to take their 8 swings). Winner of each division (6 total) advance
Step 3: Semifinals are by league, with each division winner getting 10 swings (out of say, 15 pitches max)
Step 4: Finals (AL winner vs NL winner) can be conducted the same as now, with unlimited pitches, and a maximum of 10 "outs" ending the players turns.
Advantages of my proposal:
1) A fan of ANY team has a rooting interest. Even after the first round, rooting for your division winner, should your guy not advance, (or rooting AGAINST him!) would still be better than the current format
2) Upset/underdog possibilities! For example, what if Seattle decided to send Ichiro as their representative? Or if Houston decided to send Jose Altuve? Kind of compelling, huh?
3) Given the limit on pitches in the first and second round, I would argue that the drama could easily be heightened from the current format (which, one could argue, tends to make the whole thing kind of drag on at times)
OK, there you have it. Begin ripping it to shreds (or recommend it if you like it!)