As I watched the Home Run Derby last night, it became painfully obvious to me the many flaws in this historic competition. The following are a couple tips I advise MLB to follow, if they wish to bring the fans and excitement back to this event:
1. Make the HRs carry over to the Final Round
As we saw yesterday, Josh Hamilton's incredible performance in the first round was completely WASTED when he got into the Final Round. The home runs from the first two rounds should be counted in the Final Round, so no performance as special as the one Hamilton had should be discounted. He hit 28 HRs in the first round, the most in any round in Home Run Derby HISTORY, yet when time came for the Final Round, his 32 homers (4 from the second round) were gone, and he had to start all over again. THAT is absolute BULL. He should have won that Derby, no doubt about it, and if he wasn't CHEATED out of his 28 homers, he would've won it easy. He exerted so much energy in the first round to out on a great show for fans, yet all that energy was wasted when he had to start all over again in the Championship Round.
2. Push back the time of the Derby
I, for one, am accustomed to staying up late and watching tv, movies, etc. but for some reason I couldn't get past Ryan Braun's turn in the 2nd round last night. In fact, I fell asleep on the couch on the first floor of my house, and my mother who sleeps on the second floor had to wake me at 12, so I could get my butt upstairs and into bed. I didn't even know who won the Derby until I woke up the next day, and was SHOCKED when I heard Justin Morneau had STOLEN the Derby from Hamilton. The Derby was scheduled to be 2 hours, yet it was around 3! It starts at 8, and I wholeheartedly disgree with this time, it should start at 7 EST, so fans can enjoy it, and still manage to watch the whole thing without falling asleep.
3. Make the Derby winner HAVE TO come back
It's no fun watching a past winner not participate in the home run derby. Everyone wants to watch someone try and defend their title of the Home Run Derby winner. I would have loved to see Vlad come back and defend his title against everyone who was participating. It would have made for a great, and more competitive environment for competitors. The Derby winner should HAVE TO try and defend their title, barring injury. I don't think it's fair to fans to watch someone win and not try to hold on to the title.