I'm Derby Drunk

"How the hell did he hit 28?"
-Justin Morneau

Let's face it, the vast majority of us baseball bloggers out there are cynical assholes. Even if we're really not, it's the ornery bastard attitude that gets people riled up and interested. But god damn it feels good to cast off the pissy demeanor and just enjoy the unbridled baseball goodness that is the home run derby.

This year the Derby brought a lot of new faces to the mix. Some weren't so happy about that, saying A-Rod and Manny should've been there. Whatever. I agree that maybe someone from the Yankees should have represented in their home park. But A-Rod? Blah, he's as exciting as a bowl of oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal with a penchant for manly chicks. I could honestly care less if the old regime of guys participate. This Derby marks the changing of the guard. The last few remnants of the Steroid Era have been pushed aside and tonight we got to see the next generation of superstars. Utley, Braun, Hamilton, Morneau, Sizemore, Longoria. Maybe you don't know all their names yet, but you will.

The festivities kick off with a bang queef as Three Doors Down open with one of their songs. Wow, this band is a true testament of hanging around for years by playing it safe. This sounds like the kind of band that 80% of the Houston Astros enjoy listening to in the clubhouse to "pump up" before a game. Hell the lead singer looks trailer trash enough to play 2B for them. Seriously this band brings nothing to the table. I could hear them in a local bar in Shitsplat, Iowa and think they were just some ordinary local band. In fact I think they're playing the Shitsplat County Fair next month.

Dan Uggla kicks things off. Holy shit, that dude is built like a brick shithouse. A small one at that but still. He must subsist on a diet of potatoes and small children. He's like a compact Jim Thome. Alas his 6 homers won't get him out of the first round.

Oh yeah, what the hell was that intro about? With Yankee Stadium "talking"? If you DVR'd it, replay that opening and listen to that faint yelling in the background. That would be Shea Stadium saying, "It's my last year too you know? Assholes!"

My over/under for Berman saying "Back, back, back, back, GONE!" was 262. I took the over. I think I was close.

Grady Sizemore wins this year's David Wright Mancrush Award. Granted he got bounced in the first round, but his swing looked virtually effortless. Much like Alex Rios in last year's Derby.

Flash to the Baseball Tonight desk, we got Ravech, Kruk, Rick Reilly, and (gasp) Peter Gammons! That's the four we need for BT every night. Get rid of all these other clowns. And how about that, they actually let Peter at the desk. I figured they'd have him stuffed away by the urinals talking over the incessant flushing about why he likes Grady Sizemore to win. Seriously ESPN, Gammons is one of the few treasures you have left. Show the man a little respect.

Minutes later we're treated to the desk on the field of Phillips, Morgan, and Berman, or Douchenozzles Row as I like to call them. All the ESPN guys are picking who they think will win. I picked Utley to win, but then become disenchanted when Morgan and Berman pick him too. So much for that.

Also John Kruk picked Utley because "Phillies always do well at the Derby." Good strategy Kruk. Next time try not being such a fucking homer.

Reggie Jackson throwing a first pitch. I have to say, when it comes to former players, Reggie seems to be in pretty good shape still. He looks like he could play the lead in Action Jackson 2 or some shit. Then again if Carl Weathers is up for it, I'd say he should get the lead role, but Reggie could play his brother.

Erin Andrews is our sideline reporter. Looking good Ms. Andrews, looking good.

There was a commercial for the MLB Network. That's great, just remember what the NFL Network did, and do the EXACT OPPOSITE!

Hey they changed the game from people winning a new home from Century 21 if their batter wins the Derby to kids winning $50,000 to their local Boys and Girls Club. Nice job MLB for actually making that a nice charity instead of giving Joe Suburbia an undeserved second home.

CHRIST! The bottom ESPN ticker keeps talking about Favre wanting to play elsewhere because he "doesn't feel welcome in Green Bay." Well no fucking shit Brett. You've been the psychotic girlfriend to Green Bay's 'nice guy who deserves better' for a while now. You cockteased that team for years about leaving, then stick around for one last great fling but then end it for good finally after dragging the Packers along. So Green Bay finally gets to move on and meets a nice person in Aaron Rodgers and all is well. Then the drunken text messages come. "OMG! I made a mistake! I still miss U." Well Green Bay finally has the nerve to say no more. They've moved on Brett, it's time for you to as well.

(pssst. Come to Chicago! We need you!)

Moving on, I missed the middle of the first round as I had to put my 2 year old daughter to bed. After 30 minutes of bedtime stories and eluding stall tactics from the mini-mastermind I was able to get back in time to see the highlight of the night. Josh Hamilton.

I have only two words to sum up Hamilton's first round performance: HOLY SHIT. If you missed it Hamilton hit a whopping 28 homers, breaking Bobby Abreu's record of 24 single round home runs, undoubtedly turning himself into a legend overnight. How can you not root for this guy? After the shitstorm he's gone through to be where he is now is just amazing, and is exactly what this game needs to distance ourselves from the performance enhancer-fueled era of just a few years ago. If you don't support Josh Hamilton then the terrorists have truly won.

Of course it was right around this point that Joe Morgan made his asinine comment of the night. Morgan basically downplayed Hamilton overcoming his personal demons and his addictions and instead found it more amazing that after 3 years out of the game he could hit major league pitching. Seriously Joe? Don't get me wrong, hitting like he has after such a long hiatus is pretty impressive but come on. Tell you what Joe, go out and drink every night, get hooked on coke and heroin and get back to me. ASS!

Mark my words. Right now, as you're reading this, ESPN is on the phone with Cole Hauser to play Josh Hamilton in their next shitty original movie.

After Hamilton's first round heroics, the rest of the Derby merely became an afterthought. The commercials were more interesting to note. For example the new MLB playoffs commercial featuring, Spanish from "Old School"? I guess you could trot out a toothless hobo with a sock puppet mumbling incoherently for 30 seconds and it would be better than Dane fucking Cook*.

NCAA Football 2009 = Weiner tingling. I wish I had a new system.

Justin Morneau hit only five home runs in the final round, but it was still enough to beat Hamilton who could only muster up 3. This despite music from Rocky playing while he hit and the crowd 100% behind him. Apparently it was Rocky I not II.

How about Hamilton's 71 year BP pitcher. Impressive outing for him too. At the end I can assume he was struggling to find the zone. You figure it was after 10:30pm at that point, at least 6 hours since he had finished dinner at Bishop's Buffet.

Morneau takes the trophy knowing full well that Hamilton was the real winner of the night. The State Farm guy handing him the trophy didn't even get his name right. Hell afterwards I Googled for "Josh Morneau". That's probably more because I was drunk however.

*Who really wants to see a Dane Cook clip anyway?

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