First of all, MLB

 
That was awesome. Great job giving the fans a derby that they could genuinely appreciate and cheer for. It had been suffering, and now it’s 100 percent back. With that said, let’s start from the top. There was some early concern …  

But the rule tweak wound up leading to what we can now call the greatest HR Derby in years. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.    

Despite entering as the No. 7 seed (out of eight participants), Fielder was the favorite due to his history in the event. The two-time champ came out and set the tone with a convincing 13 homers, but in the end his diet may have caught up with him.

The hometown hero, Todd Frazier, did Prince one better and came out of the highest scoring first round matchup with 14 homers of his own. 

In the meantime, another hometown hero was busy snagging balls in the stands like a casual fan.   

But make no mistake, this night came down to Frazier (last year’s runner up) vs. super-rookie Joc Pederson.

It started with a Frazier walk off to to eliminate Josh Donaldson and establish the first spot in the finals.

And then Pederson had his way with the top overall seed, Albert Pujols, in convincing fashion.

Pederson stayed hot, putting up an impressive 14 homers in the finals (a record at the time). That record would fall.

Frazier responded by hitting 14 dingers during the four minutes of regulation, but he still had 30 seconds of bonus time to go. And on the first pitch?

 
Adios.  

A player winning at home (especially on a walk off home run) is always exciting — and always reminds me of MJ taking the 1988 dunk contest in Chicago. But this contest went wayyy beyond just Frazier winning. Check out the crowd as Frazier wins the Derby.

 

The success was ALL about the format change. It seemed like there was less wasted time, but we managed to see FAR more homers … and we all know, chicks dig the long-ball.

 

I’m legit excited to watch next year, something I can’t say has been the case for a while (maybe ever). Now if we could just get the dunk contest to get back to this level … What a great night for baseball. 

 

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