I have successfully picked the winner of Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby that last two seasons. In 2005, the biggest underdog in Bobby Abreu won the Derby. I happened to be in Las Vegas at the time and I was going to put $20 on Bobby. It would have won me $160, but I got the time zones screwed up and I wasn’t able to place my bet.
And last year, Ryan Howard was my pick to win. I had already picked Howard to win the Home Run title before the season began. A friend was in Vegas before the 06 season and showed me a sheet of the odds of about 100 players to win the Home Run crown. Howard was a relative unknown and his odds were about 200 to 1.
I am officially filing a protest in the 2007 Home Run derby. Albert Pujols was my pick. He was eliminated in the second round by one home run. The winners of the second round are determined by the total homeruns hit in the first and second round combined. In the first round, Darth Pujols hit a homer off the top of the outfield fence. It was called an out. ESPN showed no replay, but I replayed it about 5 times with my Tivo. The no-brain trio of Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, and Dusty Baker were too busy giving each other massages to notice that it was actually a homer. Pujols and Vladimir Guerrero should have gone into a faceoff to determine who goes into the final round. Instead Vlad went to the final round and defeated Alex Rios with 3 homers hit with 7 outs. Certainly, Pujols would have outhit Alex Rios to win the title. Fortunately Vladimir Guerrero is one of my favorite players (as noted in a blog post from last year’s All Star Game), so I’m happy he won, even though he really didn’t win.