MLB misses an opportunity, or what home field advanatage?by Brad Allis on Jul. 06, 2011, under Uncategorized
Dear Major League Baseball,
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. Once again you mess up and you mess up big.
I like the fact that you tweaked the Home Run Derby. I like the fact that you had two captains pick the squads. Cool idea. I would have made a show out of it. Maybe you did and didn’t promote it. Wouldn’t be the first time you failed to promote something.
Which gets me to my point. How can you have a home run derby in Phoenix, Arizona and not have Justin Upton involved?
God forbid you give the fans a hometown hero to cheer for in the event. I mean, does crowd noise sound bad on television? Do you not want the hometown fans getting behind their guy?
I know you haven’t always had a hometown guy in the event, but more often than not you have.
Was it bad when Lance Berkman advanced to the finals in 2004 in Houston? Was it bad When the Tigers’ Ivan Rodriguez finished second the next year in Detroit?
Did Cardinal fans complain that Albert Pujols messed up his swing when he competed in Busch Stadium in 2009?
It’s not like Upton is undeserving. He has 14 home runs, one less than Rickie Weeks and two more than Matt Holliday (but four more when the teams were picked.) That’s right Prince Fielder selected Holliday in part because he had been in two previous contests and familiarity.
“I know these guys really well, and these are my picks,” Fielder said.
I guess it would be bad to have a new player in the contest, when we can have a player who did not get out of the first round in his last appearance. I guess it would be bad to shine the light on one of the bright young players in all of baseball. Upton is just 23 years old and will be a star in this league for 15 more years. This should be his coming out party. Baseball should feature him as much as they can during the All-Star festivities.
If it was me I’d be featuring the likes of Upton, Weeks and Jose Bautista as much as possible, but you know baseball and its media partners will instead gush over Derek Jeter and David Ortiz like they always do.
“I definitely wanted someone from the Diamondbacks to be in it,” Fielder said.
Apparently you didn’t. All you had to do was say “I pick Justin Upton.”
Again, it is not like he is undeserving. He’s been a better power hitter this year than Holliday. Holliday is having a great season, he deserves recognition, but Upton, who wants to be in the contest, should have gotten the nod.
In the end, Upton should have been the captain. It is his home field after all. Instead it went to Fielder, who bypassed Holliday’s teammate Lancer Berkman, the National League leader in home runs, and also skipped Ryan Howard and Jay Bruce, both who have 18 dingers.
Instead he picked Weeks, a solid player who is tied for 12th in the National League and Holliday, who is tied for 24th.
Upton and two other Diamondbacks have more home runs than Holliday. Berman has nearly double the amount, but somehow Holiday gets the nod.
Maybe Fielder made a great move. Maybe Holiday will win the contest and propel the team. Maybe Fielder really did what was best for the team. He just didn’t do what was best for baseball and the game.