Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Ortiz, Cano among 6 in Home Run Derby
ESPN.com news services
Six All-Star players have committed to participate in the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Representing the American League are the Red Sox's David Ortiz, the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, the Yankees' Robinson Cano and the Jays' Vernon Wells.
The two National League participants include the Brewers' Corey Hart and the Cardinals' Matt Holliday.
Ortiz participated in the Home Run Derby each year from 2004 to 2006. Cabrera took part in the 2006 event, and Holliday competed in 2007. Cano, Hart and Wells will be making their Home Run Derby debuts.
While Cano felt honored that he was asked, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and hitting coach Kevin Long were less than enthused. They understand, they said, there is prestige in the invite, but worried about the impact it could have on Cano's second half.
"Physically, I think is somewhat of a grind," Girardi said.
He added that the decision to participate is solely Cano's.
"I would rather him probably not to do it," Long said. "But I can understand him doing it and the excitement of it. It's a pretty neat honor."
Neither Girardi nor Long spoke with Cano before he agreed to take part in the Derby, which will take place Monday in Anaheim.
Cano gave some leeway that he could decide not to participate.
"We still have five days left," Cano said before Tuesday night's game with the A's.
Cano's teammate Alex Rodriguez, who has participated in a few home run contests without winning, said there are as many cases where players were just as good, or better, after winning the contest as there are memorable struggles.
"Just to say it was the Home Run Derby, I'm sure you can find cases where someone did fantastic in the Home Run Derby and did fantastic in the second half," Rodriguez said.
One only needs to look at last year, when Milwaukee's Prince Fielder hit 24 homers after winning the derby compared with 22 before the break. Among the other players not affected have been Vladimir Guerrero, Ryan Howard, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
Rodriguez said his history in the event means he's not the one to give tips to Cano about how to win it. His advice was very simple.
"Hit 'em far. Very far. Far. Far," he said. "Yeah, do it. Why not? Have fun. He's a kid. Why not? I'll be watching. I'll be cheering him on."
The remaining competitors will be announced when they have been confirmed.
The Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPN 3D and ESPN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. ET on July 12.
Information from ESPNNewYork's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press was used in this report.