Monday night will be the 30th All Star Derby. Represented will be older veterans like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder alongside youngsters like Kris Bryant, Manny Machado and Joc Pederson.
And, I struggle to really care at all. Yet for some reason I keep going back back back back backbackbackbackback to it and watching it every year. Same with the All Star Game itself. I know exactly what's going to happen: I'm going to feel a little bit of genuine excitement for this (I don't know why, but it somehow gets there) and will actually watch the first few batters.
During that time, the jokes on Twitter will be fresh and funny -- haha, that Chris Berman does say things like that! -- and the home runs will be pretty impressive. After probably the first two or three batters (who am I kidding, the first few swings from the first batter), I'll start not caring at all and will only be watching to see some little leaguer fall on his face trying to catch a fly ball. That won't happen, so I'll just have it on as background noise while figuring out how to use airline points or something. I'll see if there was anything funny on Twitter, but by that point most jokes will have become as stale as Berman himself.
And it'll be over, and that will be a relief. Because for me, it feels like an obligation more than something I actually want to do. FOMO, y'know? I like baseball, so of course I should watch this.
Except it's just not interesting, and it lasts for nine hours, and it's flipping batting practice. It still does big numbers both because of people like me who tune in because of the feeling of obligation and the probably-even-more people who actually find a good deal of interest in the derby.
There are lots of fun ideas for the derby that are never gonna happen and are probably only fun to think about but would be terrible in practice. All-pitcher derbies. Craig Counsell/David Eckstein type guys derby. Having...like...the kids in the outfield hit instead. I don't know. MLB tries to change it up to make it more interesting -- it's a BRACKET now guys! -- but it's just a concept that's not going to hold interest for that long of a time.
It's also a concept that works, because you better believe there are people tuning in to watch moonshots once a year. It's a spectacle, to be sure, it's just one that, in my opinion, loses it's luster very quickly after starting. And, of course, it might not even happen this year. If you don't have a Twitter account, people are basically live-tweeting weather reports right now that say a hurricane is about to hit Cincinnati. Or something like that.
The Home Run Derby isn't going to go through any drastic changes anytime soon and, as much as I know it's going to bore me, I'm still going to end up watching it and probably complain about it. That's weird, right? Why would I watch something that I almost certainly won't really enjoy? I don't know. I can't explain it. And that's the Home Run Derby.
Do you have any interest in this year's Home Run Derby? Do you ever?