The confirmed participants for the 2014 Home Run Derby thus far are team captains Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista and Miami Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton. If you add Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu to that list, you very well might have the transformation of the event from dull and stale to must-see television.
On Sunday, Bautista said the pair had spoke about the possibility of Abreu joining the AL Derby squad. Based on that conversation, he hasn’t closed the door on the idea just yet.
“He’s a little hesitant because he’s done a couple of them in the past and he hasn’t fared too well,” Bautista said. “He feels like it messes up his swing a little bit. But he did tell me it’s not 100-percent no, to keep the communication lines open with him and see what happens. I’m definitely doing that because I think the fans deserve to watch him.”
Though the White Sox have started to fade a little bit as a team in recent weeks, Abreu remains one of the compelling stories of the first half of the MLB season. It would certainly be fitting for us to have the chance to acknowledge that fact and appreciate what he can do in the Home Run Derby.
Then again, it does none of us any good if Abreu genuinely believes that his swing will be impacted negatively. In the long run it is more important to be able to see him blast deep home runs in games that matter. But if he decides to participate, next month’s event suddenly has some real sizzle to it.