The Felix Derby
So apparently there’s some kind of exhibition going on, which is why we don’t get any real baseball for a couple days. I don’t know what all this has to do with the Mariners. Maybe we can strain a little bit to point out that some guy Jack Zduriencik drafted won some sort of contest. It wasn’t that exciting, but it’s all the news we have right now.
I guess Felix likes this stuff, though, as Larry Stone tells us in an entertaining blog post. You get the sense that Felix would have more fun competing in the Home Run Derby than pitching in the All-Star Game. To which I say, why not?
Let’s have a home run derby specifically for the pitchers. Right now, other than the drama of picking who gets to start the game, there’s not a whole lot of All-Star attention for them. Half of them won’t even play out of fear that we might get another Bud Selig Special. And it’s not like you can have a real skills contest because the starters in particular have to save their arms.
So split the pitchers up into pairs, give them alternating batting practice swings, and whoever hits one out first advances to the next round. Sudden death, keep eliminating guys that way until you have a winner. Instead of numbing repetition as the Ryan Howards of the world knock balls over the fence, you get real suspense throughout. On every fly ball to the warning track, you wonder if this is the one that’s going to make it over. Okay, so maybe the NL guys have a bit of an unfair advantage, but you know Felix’s greatest moment of glory is still that eyes-closed grand slam off Santana. That’s why he would love to be part of something like this.
Wouldn’t this be fun? At least until somebody messes up his arm trying to make a home run swing. Oh well, it was an idea.