Mookie Betts thinks MLB should get rid of Home Run Derby
Boston Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts believes that Major League Baseball ought to just get rid of the Home Run Derby, at least if the power-hitting showcase at the All-Star Game remains in its current incarnation.
As an alternative, Betts suggested some kind of fielding skills competition or something of that ilk could be a viable alternative.
“Do something else, or take it out. Don’t even do it,” Betts said when asked about the HR Derby, via WEEI. “Anything you do too much, people are going to get tired of it.
“… Something like a throwing from the outfield contest. Some type of throwing contest,” Betts added as something that could be done in the Home Run Derby’s place. “Trying to throw into a barrel or infielders have to take a ground ball to your left, ground ball to your right, slow roller and they have to throw into a screen with a box. That might be something.”
The Home Run Derby has suffered in a large sense due to the exhibition’s lack of attracting true star power, something that has become more prevalent with each passing year. Both Giacarlo Stanton and and reigning Derby champ Aaron Judge this week stated they would not participate in this year’s edition, although Judge has long insisted that was going to be the case.
While Bryce Harper has signed on to compete in the Home Run Derby in a few weeks, that can be mostly attributed to the fact the Washington Nationals are hosting the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park.
Given fans’ overall affinity for the long ball, there’s no chance the Home Run Derby will be disappearing anytime soon. That said, the low opinion of the Derby held by Betts, who has 22 homers on the season and will start in the All-Star game, illustrates how baseball’s stars may view the showcase.
And it goes without saying Betts will not be participating in the Home Run Derby, nor will Red Sox teammate J.D. Martinez.