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The 2012 Home Run Derby kicks off tonight at 7pm CT (8pm ET) on ESPN. The AL squad features reigning champion Robinson Cano, Jose Bautista, Prince Fielder, and Mark Trumbo. The NL squad – which looks weak by contrast – features Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, and Carlos Beltran.

I’ll confess: I’m a sucker for the Home Run Derby. I remember Josh Hamilton’s ridiculous home run binge (which featured homers on 13 consecutive swings), Bobby Abreu’s blowout year, Sammy Sosa’s deep-distance bombs at Miller Park, and so much more. It’s silly and it’s fun. And it’s special.

Sure, other sports have All-Star skills competitions, but do they really *feel* like the Home Run Derby? It’s just special, isn’t it? Or am I just a homer for homers?

In any event, I’ll be watching tonight, and you should, too. Consider this post your open thread for the Derby, where you can drop your oohs and aahs, and grouse that Bryan LaHair was excluded when Andrew McCutchen hits just one home run.

I like Fielder and Cano to have big nights, and maybe Cargo, too.

Also: State Farm is running a charity promotion, tied to the Home Run Derby. The details are here (and that’s where you go to play the game), but the gist is you can raise money for your charity of choice by playing a home run derby game online.

  • Jim L

    Another event that Chris Berman has ruined for me.

    • Zach

      I totally agree with you. He is probably the worst sports announcer there is, which is hard to do because of Joe buck.

      • Sweetjamesjones

        God. I loathe Joe Buck. Ugh.

        Chris Berman gets under my skin more when he does NFL coverage, so him calling the home run contest is no biggie.

  • cubchymyst

    I’d like to see other skills on display as well. Set up some targets for throwing accuracy or a fastest man contest would be fun to watch.

    • Jim L

      Nah, chicks dig the long ball.

  • tom

    baseball HR contest— BORING BORING BORING !!!!!!!!!!!!! HOCKEY THE best !!!!!!!!

    • richard nose

      whaaaaaaaaat!?!?!?!? I don’t even know what this means.

  • djriz

    Best HR Derby quote of all-time?

    Ryno’s “I was just looking for balls I could drive”

    That alone would have gotten into the HOF.

  • Spoda17

    I do like the homerun contest, but a skills contest in addition to would be cool.

  • Wester

    Chris Bergman just said that Adrian Gonzalez had a monster second half because of winning the home run derby…does anyone know what year that was?

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      apparently some point in the future – AGon never won the derby

    • Shawn

      I am glad you said that. I thought he said that Prince Fielder would use this to propel himself to a monster second half. I am not sure what impact a glorified batting practice session would have on a guy’s second half.

  • Wester

    *berman…iPad typing is hard

  • AK

    NL all the way woohooo

  • http://Yes Dude

    Be fun to watch if Berman wasn’t calling it.

  • Spoda17

    I love the Allstar week, I love the family stuff, the players having fun…. could do without Chris Berman tho…

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    “BACK, BACK, BACK, TOUCHDOWN!!!!… Oooops, I forgot this was baseball.”

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Here we go. I can’t really cheer for Beltran.

  • AK

    Chris Berman can barely breathe, let alone announce this

  • cls

    “It COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. HOME RUN!”

    /Berman’d

    • cls

      Sorry, forgot the: “WHOOP” in a high-pitched almost girlish squeak

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I’m trying to figure out how ESPN managed to miss getting video of one of Carlos Beltran’s home runs. I mean … it’s a home run derby.

    • AK

      Yeah…what? I don’t need to see Matt Kemp’s reaction

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Wow Jose Bautista is killing it. And by it I mean that blue tarp out their in left.

  • TC

    Joey Bats has terrifying bat speed

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    So, 500 foot homers aren’t really going to happen much more, are they?

    • TC

      wait for Prince. He can still do it

    • EB

      If Stanton were in it still, I bet he’d hit one. He hit the longest HR I’ve ever seen last year during BP at Citi Field. It was an absolute mammoth shot

  • http://Yes Dude

    That was funny

  • Chris Berman

    BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      2 hours later he is still saying back

      • Jimmy james

        Try twenty years lol

  • Brian

    Chris Berman is an abomination to sport announcing. Just sayin’.

  • AK

    I’d rather have a golf commentator whispering coverage than Chris Berman hacking into the microphone

    • richard nose

      I thought he had a seizure at one point, think it was during cain inteview, cut cain off with a screaming outburst.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    It was nice for them to not pay a lick of attention to Cargo’s turn. I know Cain is interesting and all, but geez…

  • Assman22

    Ashman pitching to Trumbo, no relation

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I joked, but I’m actually worried that McCutchen will get skunked.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      He’s got a smooth, consistent swing. Don’t be surprised if he puts on a show like Cano did last year.

  • Patrick G

    LaHair should of replaced Mccutchen. I wish they used metal bats too. That would be interesting. Although they might kill one of the kids in the outfield.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      If Lahair was put in the Derby, God help us that his batting practice pitcher wouldn’t be a lefty lol, because the guy wouldn’t be able hit a lick lol

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    SPLASH!!!

  • richard nose

    I wonder if Jose Cano has interest in playing pro ball. He is one giant beast of a man! Robi is huge, his dad makes him look like a little boy.

  • Justin

    Watching the Derby and what do I see? But a State Farm commercial with Kerry Wood and Andre Freakin’ Dawson. I confess, I squealed like a little girl when Wood pulled Hawk out of the ivy. Dawson was my favorite player as a boy. That totally made my night. Sure makes up for listening to Chris Berman for 90 minutes so far.

  • Glotzbach

    Home run derby the last couple years = pathetic.

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      HR derby = pathetic…at least ESPN’s coverage of the derby is pathetic

      • Mrp

        I love how Berman has nothing to do with baseball all season, but drops in to help ruin the derby. Just go away please.

      • Glotzbach

        The ending of the second round and the beginning of this final has been more enjoyable. The last couple years seems like there are more people hitting less than 5 in the opening round.

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