“Open the window Aunt Minnie, here it comes!”

I enjoy watching home run derbies. It doesn’t make sense that I should, but I do. You should hear me talk about slam-dunk contests (or even just slam dunking in general.) I’ll practically froth at the mouth as I rant about how dunking isn’t a team-oriented skill, how those who do it are just hot-doggers, how I could do it, too, if I were seven feet tall. A home run derby isn’t so different from a dunking contest, in theory. But I like ’em.

Why is this? For lack of a better explanation, I turn to Joe Mauer for the answer… Upon being eliminated from the derby in ’09, Mr. Mauer turned to his “pitcher” with a silly grin on his face and the mics caught his exclamation of, “Aw, what the heck! That was fun!”

I feel this to be the truth, plain and simple. Home run derbies may be an individual thing, they may be just for showing off, the shameless advertising and awful commentary might get tiresome, but… what the heck! They’re fun!

Baseball is supposed to be fun anyway, but we all know how that often goes. I’m glad there is at least one evening a year that the major leagues devote purely to fun.

I would recommend that they find a way to shorten the competition, as nearly three hours is a ridiculous amount of time to spend watching guys hit homers. The length is a bit of a fun-sucker. Cut it down to an hour or so, though, and I think that the derby would continue to be a great tradition (maybe get a new broadcasting crew as well. That’d be peachy.) I’m sure I’ll continue to watch as the years go by, regardless. The 8-year-old in me can’t help it.

~

Enjoy the following photographs from last night’s Home Run Derby, all of which feature young’uns and are fairly adorable.

Marlins’ pitcher Josh Johnson and his little guy.

Do you think Matt Holliday had hair like this when, you know, he had hair?

Precious.

Whoever dressed this baby (Mrs. Pedroia?) deserves a standing ovation. Look at those shoes and socks! Cute cute cute cuteness.

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