Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby is losing popularity and the offensively challenged 2018 New York Mets don’t care one bit.
Despite employing two past winners of the Home Run Derby, the 2018 New York Mets won’t have to worry about the exhibition this summer. They don’t have any candidates to take part in what has become a far less popular event in recent years.
Back in the 1990s, the Home Run Derby was fun to watch. Home runs were all the rage. Players took it as an honor to participate.
In recent years, many of baseball’s best sluggers have bowed out of the event.
Much like the NBA and their Slam Dunk Competition, the Home Run Derby is something players don’t care about anymore. When the players stop caring, so do the fans.
Oddly enough, New York is a Mecca for past Home Run Derby champions. The last four winners now play in the Big Apple. The 2016 and 2017 winners play for the New York Yankees. You probably know already, they are Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.
Go a little further back into history and you see two Mets. Todd Frazier won in 2015 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He did so in front of the hometown team. In 2013 and 2014, it was Yoenis Cespedes who won the contest. Mets fans probably remember 2013 better. That event took place at Citi Field.
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This year’s Home Run Derby doesn’t seem likely to attract too many of baseball’s biggest sluggers. Months ago, Judge said he wouldn’t defend his crown.
Since the event will take place at Nationals Park, it would make sense for Bryce Harper to take a spot representing the Washington Nationals. I’m doubtful any level of pleading from MLB will convince him either way.
Participating in the Home Run Derby has caused several players to slump in the second-half. Judge did so last year, giving this theory more credence.
Baseball has a slight problem. An event with little fanfare may have even less this season.
Fortunately, the Mets don’t have to worry about this. It’s a problem for Major League Baseball to be concerned about.
Mets fans can skip a night of baseball during the Home Run Derby and catch up on other things. They won’t have any sluggers participating. We know that much for sure.
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