Ever since Century 21 handed the controls of The MLB's Home Wrong Derby over to State Farm, that event BLOWS.
Seriously ... could this list of 8 fence-busters BE any more Caucasian?
BERKMAN, BRAUN, HAMILTON, LONGORIA, MORNEAU, SIZEMORE, UGGLA, UTLEY ...
No Steve Balboni?
No Rob Deer?
It can be argued that "it just worked out this way" ... that there is no representation by players from Latin America or Inner-City America.
Then again, the best white-boy HR guy of the past decade -- Adam Dunn -- isn't involved either, so ... yeah, we're blowing it off, here in the La-Z-Boy Lounge.
(Note: The super-whiteness of Berman and his orgasms of "back, back, back!" are the icing on the cake which Cracker Nation baked).
This is the first All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium since 1977 -- and the final one in what will soon be the Old Yankee Stadium -- and this is the best that Selig's MLB could give us?
A Home Wrong Derby which features a Y2K version of Ron Cey vs. Richie Zisk?
Why not conduct a ground-rule double competition -- after all, any ol' schlub can hit a ball over the fence nowadays, given the equipment combo of baseballs filled with enriched uranium and bats filled with weapons-grade plutonium (now that "the juice" has been banned, wink wink).
The REAL skill, dear friends, is the ballplayer who can rip a shot to the gap which has enough topspin to kangaroo-hop over the fence on one bounce.
What we have here is the equivalent of a 3-point-shot competition in basketball.
Lots of people can heave a b-ball into the basket from 20 feet -- the artful player is the one who can sink 10 consecutive 15-foot bank shots by kissing the ball off the backboard.
ALAS ... the abolition of the 15-foot bank shot in basketball coincided with the African-American youngster quitting baseball in order to play some college b-ball before embarking on a pro career in Madrid or Brussels.
And, here's something amusing:
In the lead-up to this historic game at Yankee Stadium, the EspyTime Sports Channel oftentimes spent 15 seconds of a Sunday night baseball game airing grainy footage of the '77 Classic in the Bronx, although the one scene was always the same: Joe Morgan leading off the game with a home run against Jim Palmer.
The sad part of that highlight was that America only caught a split-second glimpse of Morgan receiving a hand-slap from the guy in the on-deck circle ... the Pirates' Dave Parker, wearing a yellow helmet, black shirt, black pants and white spikes.
Now, THAT was a sharp look (back in the days when Pittsburgh had a major-league team ... and a damn good one, too ... before the Double-A Pirates moved into the Steel City in the mid-'90s ... ).
The other sad part of that let's-promote-Joe-Morgan HR clip was that America never saw the second homer of that inning ... the MONSTER, 2-run blast which Luzinski hit off of Palmer which put the N.L. ahead, 4-0.
People forget how good a hitter The Bull was ... just as they forget that Luzinski was MVP runner-up in '75 (to Morgan) and in '77 (to George Foster and his insane 52 HR season ... before the HR became the hGH-HR ...).
Nowadays, the Bull would not stack up favorably against today's better, stronger, more-talented, faster, better, stronger more-synthetic specimens such as up-n'-comers such as Grady Sizemore and Josh Hamilton, a pair of potential Triple Crown winners who have graced the cover of S.I. in the past year (apparently because of some sort of alleged mad-skillz-set).
Last year's Sizemore cover story was a real hoot, given that, for all of Grady's amazing talent, he's yet to finish a season with a batting average above .300.
Great ballplayers hit .300.
For those of us who began watching baseball more than three weeks ago -- and for those of us who won't allow Pete Gammons to seize control of our brains -- we'll need to see Grady Sizemore finish a season above .300 before we'll even CONSIDER him for the all-time Tribe outfield which exists in our hearts and in our minds.
Right now, he's neck-and-neck for a bench spot next to Cory Snyder.
Ask Gammons this: If Grady Sizemore can finish a season with 30 stolen bases in 35 attempts, then why can't he steal 100?
WHOA! Nobody's sayin' Grady's a pussy.
His numbers say it for him, notwithstanding kiss-ass treatment from S.I., Gammons, whomever ...
In Sizemore's defense, the stolen base was outlawed from the MLB at roughly the same time that the black player was banished.
Proof: Vince Coleman used to roll outta bed and steal second and third.
Now, when Grady reaches first base (as his lifetime average jumps from .275 to .276, woo woo!), he remains there ... camping out ... so that the gals in the Grady Sizemore Fan Club (the ones who weren't murdered by their jealous boyfriends) can use their Cool Pix cameras to get some quality butt shots to add to their MySpace and Facebook sites under the heading of "Oh-mi-gawd-I-went-to-the-game-last-night-and-Grady-looked-right-at-me-oh-gawd-I'd-let-him-do-me ..."
So, that's how we arrived here ... at another vintage move for The MLB (read: hoax).
So many prolific home-run hitters in the game who have achieved milestones recently (Manny, Griffey, Thome, Howard, A-Rod, Pujols ... ) and, because these precious flowers don't want to mess up their "mechanics," we (well, those who'd waste time with this) get an updated version of longball thrills between Nick Esasky and Bruce Bochte (or, if it's a '90s update, possibly Ryan Klesko vs. Jay Buhner).
UPDATE!!!! Just saw the highlights ... Josh Hamilton's tatts had a terrific Round One, but it was Justin Morneau (from Canada) who won the crown.
How 'bout that? Now Justin can put his bogus Home Wrong Derby hardware next to wherever it is he keeps Joe Mauer's 2007 A.L. MVP award which was mistakenly awarded to the wrong Twin.
The sport has no guts, no backbone, no testicles -- which proves how difficult it is when you've got an 0-2 count.
That's to say, it's hard to succeed when you've got no balls ...