“Put on a show!”

Here’s a transcript of an interview with Josh Hamilton on the Rangers’ website. Almost all fluff and a heaping helping of Hamilton’s religious stuff if you’re into that kind of thing, but this caught my eye:

Hey Josh, How did it feel to hit 28 home runs in the home run derby?
Question submitted by: Travis Williams

Josh: I was a little tired, but it was unbelievable. It was probably one of the best moments of my life besides marrying my lovely wife and having my beautiful children. To have my family there watching, and it being the last year of Yankees Stadium and the first Home Run Derby ever at Yankees Stadium, it was unbelievable, and it did get pretty tiring.

But I was coming out of a store the other day, and this guy came up to me and said, “Hey Josh, you know you had a great season, and the Home Run Derby was great, but next time, pace yourself; we want to see you win,” and I said, “Let me ask you a question: Do you want me to hit eight home runs in the first round, maybe seven second, and five in the third to win it, or would you rather me put on a show?” He said, “Definitely, put on a show!”

Can’t say I disagree, which means that they should probably tweak the Derby. Same logic applies to the All-Star Game itself too, by the way. I want to see a show. Let’s scrap the “this time it counts” stuff and make some rules changes that encourage the best show above all else. For example, any rules, be they game-play rules or roster rules that prevent guys like Dan Uggla, as opposed to the real superstars, from deciding the game are something I’d really like to see. Off the top of my head that means getting rid of the every-team-must-have-a-representative rule, encouraging starters to play longer, and messing with the pitcher usage and substitution rules to optimize the game.

Any other suggestions? Yeah, I know the All-Star Game is like a gajillion months from now, but I’m cold, and I want to pretend it’s July.

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  1. Laurence Davison said...

    I agree with tweaking the All Star Game to keep the real stars in as long as possible. And my agreement only increases when I think of the cutaway reaction shot of (say) Lou Pinella as NL All Star Manager Dusty Baker sends Carlos Zambrano out to pitch the ninth with his count already at 120…

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    “And my agreement only increases when I think of the cutaway reaction shot of (say) Lou Pinella as NL All Star Manager Dusty Baker sends Carlos Zambrano out to pitch the ninth with his count already at 120…”

    Preposterous of course, because that means either (a) the Reds won the pennant the previous year; or (b) someone else decided it was a good idea to give Dusty a job.

    Never gonna happen.

  3. Mike Mariano said...

    I think it would be fun if the entire format of the all-star game was changed to increase the competition between the players. My idea would be to have the game between baseball’s Next Generation (guys in atmost their third (maybe fourth) year of service time) versus the Veterans (everybody else). I think this would work because it is one of the few true rivalries that still exists in today’s sports world. No matter how good an athlete you are there is always that fear of what’s next and this could really change the intensity of the game. The Game would lose the conference vs. conference aspect but with interleague play that doesn’t mean nearly as much anymore. We’re not going to see anybody derailing the catcher like Pete Rose back when the game really was important to the players. This will never happen because baseball is all about its traditions, but it’s fun to think about.

    i made some possible rosters too:

  4. Jason Rosenberg said...

    What about allowing players to come back into the game, after being taken out earlier? This way, if it’s close late, you bring the superstars back in to finish it out?

    Hey, if we can do it beer-league softball…

  5. Loren said...

    My All-Star improvement plan:
    Reduce the rosters to 25
    Eliminate mandatory representatives from teams with losing records.
    In addition to 25 all-stars, add a AAA starting pitcher and a AAA catcher to both teams for use in emergencies. That way if you run through all your pitchers or your catcher gets hurt, there’s a backup. Since they’re AAA players, there’s no pressure to get them in the game.

  6. DGL said...

    I’m with Jason – use the substitution rules from college softball (and Little League, for that matter).  You can pull your starters in the middle innings, then bring them back for the end of the game.

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