The often entertaining and always dragged out home run derby, sponsored by StateFarm saw a Prince get crowned a king on Monday night. Prince Fielder, the mashing first baseman of the Detroit Tigers defeated Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays to win the derby, smacking twelve long balls in the final round. It was the second title for Prince, his first coming back in 2009 when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
After hitting just five bombs in the opening round, it proved to be enough to push Prince through to the second round where he hit eleven more and securing his place in the final. And he was just getting warm, defying the odds that fatigue sets in once the final rolls around.
What was equally amusing was watching defending champion, Robinson Cano go without hitting a home run, much to the delight of a sold out Kauffman Stadium. Cano’s first two outs were foul balls, sending the mainly Royal faithful into a frenzy. By the time Cano hit his final out he still had a goose egg on the board and the swag we saw during the derby last year in Arizona was no where to be found.
While it doesn’t mean jack in the standings and it is little consolation for Red Sox fans given the Yankees are in first place, it does provide a little solitude seeing any Yankee struggle in front of a nation audience. Given it was Cano, the often lackadaisical second baseman was even better.
Maybe Cano will struggle in the second half the way so many others have after they’ve participated in the home run derby. Prior to the all-star break Cano was arguably the hottest hitter in the American League, so maybe this humiliating night is just what the doctor ordered to cool him and the rest of the Yankees off. Not likely, but dare to dream.