What!? Hold your horses ole' scribbler to the masses. In fact, knock the horse out and push it to the side.
Billy Bean-esque blog rambles are scaring sports fans and making them think the Kansas City Derby is orchestrated by NASA. It's not. We are talking B.P fastballs and major-league hitters. That's all. The Derby would be interesting even if the line-ups consisted solely of pitchers with the best batting averages. Interstate-70, moisture and Kelly LeBrock have nothing to do with it. Chris Berman won't be wearing a bra on his head and none of the players will be showering with their jeans on. All accounts of science, weird or not, should be left next to the knocked-out horse, and ignored.
Here is what you need to know.
1.) What could win - The idea of discounting hitters with power over power-hitters is insane, and confusing. What is the difference, geek? Consistency and not wearing yourself down is as much a key to success as any. A player that can take sweet, smooth swings and launch with effortless power stands a chance to win, equally. Example; Griffey Jr. There was a reason he won multiple times. He could crank out the long-ball, repeatedly, and not break a sweat. However, that's not science, that's style. Fielder, and the likes of Sosa and Giambi, swing, or swung, hard because that is what the task requires. The game is not called "Single Derby." Prince Fielder could easily slow down the hack and pepper a few about 390 to 420. But, that is not what the chicks, or anyone else, dig. The fans want to see balls go out of the stadium, literally. Current rule changes, that count total home-runs vs. round by round, make the Derby more of a marathon, as opposed to a sprint, but that doesn't give the advantage to one player over another. I would predict that out of all the players in the field, any can win. It may be consistency and boring, or could it be 520 feet and jaw-dropping. Either way, it counts as a home run.
2.) What could lose - Remember when Mark McGwire played in the Home Run Derby in Colorado? It was media-hyped! Experts were predicting where his colossal shots would land using road maps and real-estate pictures from three towns away. Anyone remember what he ended up doing? Nothing. Fans that opted to stand outside the stadium in hopes of catching a McGwire blast would have been better off volunteering to shag in shallow left-field - where most of his balls landed. Maybe his steroids didn't work in high altitude? Who knows. The days after were the usual tumble and bumble of why he didn't perform well. At the end of the day, after all the laser pointers burned out, one simple truth, and factor, shined. B.P or not, sometimes a player just doesn't have their swing. Again, this isn't soccer, it's baseball. Winds, altitude and who's pitching mean nothing when compared to a player that isn't "feeling it." A fraction of an inch is the difference between a rocket launch and a worm-burner. Pressure may get to the hitters, and rightfully so. The Home Run Derby attracts more fans and viewers than any other part of the Mid-Summer Classic. My guess is the player that over-thinks this fact, and is not "feeling it" will lose. Out of all the players in the field, I would predict this can happen to any of them.
3.) The Champion is - Just for the fun it, and hate-mail, let's give a prediction for the sake of water cooler coolness. Mark Trumbo has the power, and the hitter, in just the right amounts. Plus, he already won the double-A version a few years back. It's his first big dance so he may get a few blisters, but this guy can definitely crank. I fired my meteorologist and I haven't got my wind readouts, but I think his swing and ball path will hold up in the conditions. I know, it sounds stupid even as a joke.
Sit back, relax and watch the Home Run Derby. It's a true-underrated contest when considering the awe and high-fiving, mixed in with a few chugs, the game provides.