When the National League and American League teams meet up in New York to decide home-field advantage in the World Series (a debate for another day), it will be a Big Apple-centric night surrounding the Home Run Derby at Citi Field.
The Mets’ David Wright and the Yankees’ Robinson Cano were selected by MLB as captains for the 2013 Home Run Derby on Tuesday, and it was surely no coincidence that each player resides in New York. Cano will captain the defending champion AL team, and while they absolutely dominated last year’s team competition (61 home runs to 21), the test should be tougher from Wright and the NL this season.
Each player will be charged with selecting three representatives to hit “with” them, and while the Derby is still an individual competition first and foremost, the team concept has helped interject some energy into the event. The candidates list won’t be available until after the actual rosters are announced, but you can bet that big names such as Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, and Paul Goldschmidt will be in the running when the captains make their picks.
In addition to the “usual suspects”, it’ll be crucial for the captains to examine the rosters carefully, as the MLB rule that forces each team to have a representative could place some interesting names on the rosters. Wright and Cano seem like players who are capable of taking this event semi-seriously, and frankly, that would make it more enjoyable for the average baseball fan.
In the end, it is still “only” the Home Run Derby, but for many baseball fans (especially the young ones), it is one of the biggest events on the MLB calendar. Hopefully, the National League will compete, but overall, the more home runs the better.