It was ’96 in Philly and the Orioles’ Brady Anderson went into the break with around 30 homers. Of course, he was in the Home Run Derby. I always liked covering Anderson because he had a terrific sense of humor. He was asked what the hardest part would be of hitting 60.
“Hitting another 30,” he said.
Anderson loved the long ball and wound up with 50 that year. But, he never changed his approach and kept swinging for the downs. Some guys however, screw up their whole game because of the Derby. Bobby Abreu hasn’t been the same player since last year. Key to winning the Derby is getting balls to pull, and players tell you that trying to pull is the quickest way to screw up your swing.
David Wright is at his best when going the other way and Willie Randolph has reason to wish somebody else was in it. Just wondering if Chris Berman or Harold Reynolds or Joe Morgan will mention the players whose season went into the tank after the Derby.
My favorite Derby moment: In Cleveland, in ’97, seeing Mark McGwire hit one off the scoreboard in the back of the left field bleachers.
Most revealing Derby moment: In 2002, seeing Sammy Sosa sweat to the point where he drenched his uniform. Ever wonder why?