1. Vlad Guerrero Jr stole the show but not the championship trophy or the million-dollar prize money. Which is okay. Josh Hamilton didn’t win it in 2008 but his performance is all anyone remembers from that night.
2. Guerrero didn’t make the All-Star team and is not going to be Rookie of the Year in the American League. Not even close. But he has the name recognition and that’s why he was asked. It is, after all, just an exhibition.
3. Pete Alonzo won’t win Rookie of the Year either, even though he is having an amazing rookie season. That will go to Fernando Tatis, Jr. He won’t win the MVP either. Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich will see to that.
4. The ball is definitely juiced. The players say so. And now, even Commissioner Rob Manfred agrees. To a point. Yesterday he acknowledged the ball is different. But said it wasn’t the league’s doing. Okay. If you like home runs, welcome to baseball in 2019.
5. The three-swing tie-breaker is great. Maybe the entire Home Run Derby should be that way. In fact, maybe that’s what a baseball game should be. You get up, you get three pitches, if you hit a home run, you get a run. If you don’t, you’re out. Three outs an inning. Nine innings per game. Only trouble is, with the juiced ball, game played this way might be a bit longer. But how fun will it be to have a 108-107 game?
6. Joey Gallo would have really put on a show. I hope he is invited one day.
7. The million-dollar purse adds a lot of drama. These guys were serious about it.
8. I don’t buy the notion that this messes up their swings. These guys take batting practice nearly every day of their lives. This is just an intense batting practice session. The million-dollar prize money will suddenly make that excuse go away.
9. The pitcher is an underrated part of the Home Run Derby. Having said that…
10. If I am ever asked to participate in the Home Run Derby, I want Drew Smyly to pitch to me.