At the Home Run Derby, Bryce Harper showed us why he may be worth $400 million dollars come the offseason. Hitting 8 home runs in 47 seconds is not something most normal people can do. Not even the power aspect, but the fact he wasn’t even getting tired? Usually people have to break after a couple swings that deep into the contest, just to take a breathe.
He looked like human version of this gif:
But something else interesting happened that night that I think should be considered, or at least discussed:
I really cannot tell if this is a good idea or not. On one hand, how cool would it be to see some of the top pitchers throw as hard as they can to a poor catcher who will have to ice his hand until the next year when he has to do it all over again. On the other hand, this is basically writing off the rest of the season because Tommy John might as well be a lock for one of these guys. It’s only a matter of who will fall victim to the injury.
So there’s a question to be answered: Is it worth it?
For sure, all-time records for hardest ball thrown would be broken in this contest. Guys totally gearing up with everything they got to be crowned the “hardest thrower in baseball”. We’d see 104, 105, and maybe even the untouched 106 MPH. But, we could also see some young arms derail their career very early.
Another side to argue is the chicken and the egg, “which came first” question. If a player slumps after the Home Run Derby, was that just bound to happen based on the premise that everybody falters at some point in the season, or is it guaranteed that because the player was dipping and jacking for an hour on a Saturday night that the rest of his season is screwed. It’s hard to tell. Similarly, if a pitcher gets injured from throwing his hardest, which ideally he’s doing two to three times a week regardless, isn’t there a chance he was already hurt and this contest might have put him over the edge? Again, difficult to pinpoint.
Bottom line, if you came here for an answer, I don’t have one. As I stated, I have no clue if it’s a good idea. There’s a good amount of pros, and a good amount of cons.
I’d love to see more action on All-Star Weekend. All baseball has is their version of the Dunk Contest. A little more diversity and appreciation for players with other skills would be cool to see for the die-hard baseball purists. Show me the fastest runner, let me see which duo can turn the fastest double play, who’s got the best arm from the outfield, which guy has the best baseball IQ. If baseball has a problem marketing their players, giving all of them more of a chance to perform on the big stage is a great opportunity to let everyone know their name. But at the risk of a potential injury, who knows what the right call is. I guess it should fall under the same category as the Home Run Derby…enter at your own risk.