The one where I preemptively rip Chris Berman for tonight's Home Run Derby
The Kansas City Star
*I think Chris Berman is hilarious. His nicknames are funny, and his style is so new and refreshing.
— Me, when I was like 9.*
We can just come out and say it, right? No hard feelings? This is a blog for truth, you guys have always been honest with me, I’ve tried to be the same with you so let’s just all say out loud what we’ve been thinking anyway:
Chris Berman is the worst part of the Home Run Derby.
At times, he ruins it.
Kauffman Stadium is going to be beautiful tonight. Jam packed full of fans with a vibe you can’t get anywhere else. It will be festive. Nobody’s team will lose tonight. It’s all fun, all smiles, all holy-crap-did-that-ball-splash-the-back-fountains?
I’m lucky enough that this will be the seventh All-Star game and Home Run Derby I’ve covered, and I suppose I’m helplessly biased on this, but none of the others came in as good a setup.
Yankee Stadium had the history, San Francisco and Pittsburgh have the water behind right field, Chase Field has a swimming pool, every ballpark has its own quirks and its own personality but none of them are as perfectly and accidentally set up for a Home Run Derby.
The targets are everywhere. The Hall of Fame building (and what looks like a slide put for this week) in left field, the scoreboard in center (if someone wants to go all Bo Jackson on it), the restaurant in right field (that Travis Hafner hit one into this year) and of course the fountains all around the outfield.
After tonight, every time you go to a game at the K, you can look and point to some spot way beyond the field — maybe even the beer porch in left that’s up about 20 feet and out 447 feet from home plate — and say something like, “THAT’s where Jose Bautista hit it in the Derby.”
Those memories will be great, too, because hopefully by then we’ll have Berman’s tired BACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACK out of our brains.
If we’re lucky, he’ll even say, “that one went to Omaha!” Maybe he’ll even call him Rockin’ Robinson Cano! Last year, he said that Cano “Canoodled” one over the wall. That was clever!
I mean, look. I’m not trying to be the grumpy old man here. Hopefully that’s not what you’re taking away. I like emotion. I like flair. I love funny.
But I hate all of those things when it’s insincere. When it’s manufactured. When it’s prepackaged. And I especially hate all those things when the expiration date was somewhere around 1991.
The Home Run Derby will be one of the best nights at the K in a really long time. We’ll see things we’re just not used to seeing.
I just hope what we hear doesn’t take away from it.