With the latest news out that Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols will not take part in the Home Run Derby this year, despite being fourth in the league with home runs (16). Here is what Pujols said on the matter:
"I'm not doing it," Pujols said. "I dont care if they ask. I did it three times already and I enjoyed it so I don't feel like I want to do it this year and that's it."
Pujols, along with Josh Hamilton and scores of other sluggers, plan on skipping the derby because it messes with their swing too much. There are plenty of batting practice home run hitters, so they shouldn't have a problem finding players to participate. However, if the players are second grade in the eyes of the fans, then it certainly loses some of its muster.
I have two ideas for possible replacements, even though it is unlikely to ever change. The first one would be to have an actual regular season game on the first day of the break. Okay, so one team misses out on a day off, but if it's the home team who has to play that game then it should not be a big deal.
The other idea would be to have a skills challenge/showcase of the first round draft picks of the years Rule 4 draft. Not only will it give fans a chance to see there favorite new players, but it will give a glimpse into minor league baseball that is currently not available to the everyday fan.
Hey, it's just a thought. Now let's hear the rest of you sound off in the comments below.