Home Run Derby Takeaways – Fielder, Brett, Trumbo and Booing Cano

Robinson CanoLike most fans who watched the Home Run Derby last night, I had a few takeaways.

Prince Fielder is a powerful slugger, George Brett is a good interview, Mark Trumbo‘s swing reminds me of a young Mark McGwire, and Kansas City fans really don’t like Robinson Cano.

Fielder was much the best last night, and could win this competition again and again. He seems to actually enjoy it, and his natural swing plane is perfect for launching bombs.

George Brett is a baseball storytelling machine and I could listen to him for hours. His best commentary of the night came as he described the players he managed in the Futures Game. He was excited about the next wave of talent about to arrive in Major League baseball.

When pressed for a explanation, Brett  eloquently reasoned, “Put yourself when you’re 20 years old, 21 years old, playing in an All-Star Game in a major league stadium with 40,000 people there — this game was sold out [Sunday] — you’d have the little poopies in your pants, wouldn’t you,” Brett said. “These guys didn’t have it. They didn’t have it.” That was an instant classic !

Mark Trumbo just missed qualifying for the final, as he lost in a swing off to José Bautista. However, for more than a few swings, Trumbo reminded me of a young powerful Mark McGwire.

Trumbo did not win, but made a good account of himself.  The 14 home runs he hit in the derby averaged 434 feet, including one estimated at 465 feet.

The event,  and it was an event,  that many baseball fans and journalists are discussing this morning,  is the unbridled passion the fans of Kansas City displayed in booing New York Yankee Robinson Cano.

Fans were upset with Cano over not picking Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby. Cano was booed more intensely at every opportunity throughout the night.

Last year’s champion of the Home Run Derby when homeless in this year’s competition.

Some, thought the crowd went too far, and went on to suggest that a rule change was in order to help stop this kind of behavior in the future.

It was suggested that a player from the host team for the All-Star game be the captain of the Home Run Derby team.  Really? Rule Change?

Apparently fans in Kansas City had an opportunity to reestablish itself as a vibrant baseball city.

So it was foolish for Royals fans to let any negativity seep into Kauffman Stadium — even if it was directed at a member of the loathed Yankees. Jon Paul Morosi

So now it has become not politically correct to boo and his and opposing players and teams, and this will deter future free agents for wanting to play in Kansas City.

The fans enjoy the Home Run Derby because it is an event designed especially for them. The fans in Kansas City did nothing that doesn’t happen to opposing teams and players in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, on a nightly basis.

Booing players of opposing teams is as much a part of baseball as the bat and the ball.

Asking a baseball crowd to start behaving like a golfing gallery, or implementing rules that will tone down that level of enthusiasm, is counterproductive.

To his credit Cano seems to get it. “I expected that (reaction),” Cano said. “I was criticized even before I got here. When you play for the Yankees, everywhere you go you get booed.”

About the Author

Don Miller
Don is a lifelong baseball fan and loves to look inside the game for stories not everyone sees. He served as a Tampa Bay Rays correspondent for ESPN Fantasy Baseball. His style has been described as direct , and he wont likely change.