Rick Zamperin: 2018 MLB All-Star home run derby lacked star power

Aside from Washington's Bryce Harper (34), Monday night's MLB home run derby lacked star power.
Aside from Washington's Bryce Harper (34), Monday night's MLB home run derby lacked star power. AP Photo/Morry Gash

Did anyone feel compelled to watch Monday night’s MLB All-Star home run derby?

Anyone? Anyone?

Well, I don’t blame you for staying away, because there wasn’t much to see from the sluggers who swung for the fences at Nationals Park in Washington.

Unless you’re a die-hard fan of one of the eight players or the seven teams they represented, you — like me — didn’t care. That should be troubling for Major League Baseball.

Aside from Nationals megastar Bryce Harper — who ended up winning the slugfest — there wasn’t another marquee superstar talent on the derby hit list.

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Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman is a heck of a player, but unless you’re a Braves fan, you probably don’t even know what he look like.

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Same goes for Chicago Cubs teammates Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber, Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, Philadelphia’s Rhys Hoskins, Houston’s Alex Bregman and NL homerun leader Jesus Aguilar of Milwaukee.

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Aside from the derby format, which we can debate another time, the average fan was not intrigued enough to watch it.

The 2017 edition was way more entertaining. Why? Because it was a collection of some of the best baseball bashers on the planet. Home run champ Giancarlo Stanton, rookie sensation Aaron Judge and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez put on a show — and fans were glued to their TVs, tablets and smartphones.

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On Monday night, not so much.

Where were Major League home run leaders J.D Martinez and Jose Ramirez? Why didn’t Judge defend his title? Give me them, along with Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Nolen Arenado, Mookie Betts and throw in Harper for a local fan favourite.

Now we have a compelling home run derby that everyone can get excited about.